Ireland fume as 2015 World Cup is cut to 10 teams
Ireland furious after ICC confirms decision to cut associate teams from next World Cup
The decision to exclude all non-Test playing nations, including Ireland, from the 2015 ICC World Cup has been met with wide condemnation in the cricket community.
None of the four Associates who took part in the 2011 competition will have the chance to play in Australia in four years’ time.
The ICC Executive Board met in Mumbai just two days after the 2011 final and confirmed the decision made in October 2010 to reduce the 2015 tournament to 10 teams.
But the door, left slightly ajar in October, was firmly slammed shut on the likes of Ireland and Netherlands by restricting the competitors to Test sides only.
The decision seems scarce reward for the fantastic strides Irish cricket has made in the past four years.
As well as beating England this time around, they saw off Pakistan and Bangladesh in the Caribbean in 2007.
Several of the squad involved in those famous victories used twitter to lash out against the ICC.
Surrey and Ireland batsman Gary Wilson said: “What is going on? Excuse the French but that is a sh*t decision! Not a world cup now, just a trophy with 10 teams. Heads up their own a***s.”
Wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien added: “just got of the field and I’m gutted with this news! This could halt the progress of Irish cricket beyond repair. So sad now.”
Barry Chambers, the Media Manager of the Ireland side, laid down a particularly damning view of the ICC. He tweeted: “ICC – no morals – no sense of fair play or natural justice. They are a disgrace and unfit to govern.”
The unhappiness at the decision was echoed by the vast majority of the cricket community.
Former England all-rounder Andrew Fintoff was one of many to stick up for the Irish, saying: “I agree with all you Irish lads, you deserve to play world cup cricket! Should appeal!”
The 2019 tournament in England will see some form of qualification introduced but by then the majority of the current Ireland set-up may have retired.
The ICC has tempered their decision by expanding the bi-annual World Twenty20 to 16 teams but it is unlikely to appease Ireland.