ICC annual conference June 28, 2011

Ireland want 'meritocracy' in world cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has welcomed the about-turn on contentious plans to bar the Associate nations from the 2015 World Cup, but urged the ICC to give developing cricketing countries such as Ireland a fair chance to join cricket's elite.

"The one thing that we shouted out more loudly than anything else is 'meritocracy' - not 'we want to be given this as a right', but 'we want the opportunity to be better'," Deutrom told AFP.

Ireland have made a strong case for higher honours in recent years, having beaten Pakistan during their first World Cup appearance in 2007 and scored a remarkable win over England in India earlier this year. Though their inclusion in 2015 continues to give them something to aim for, there remains no official route or timetable for them to be awarded Test status.

"All we've asked for from the very start is simply a road map to where we go next because what we've done, and what we've achieved, is everything that has been asked of us," added Deutrom.

"We've got a business and we are prepared to develop that business but the only way we can move that business on is to get that additional support, to be able to afford more ODIs and the opportunity to play those ODIs," he said. "And then a pathway perhaps to Test cricket. That has to be the holy grail for us."

Amid a myriad of tweaks and amendments made at the meeting of the ICC's Executive Board in Hong Kong, the format and composition of the next two World Cups and World Twenty20s and the implementation of the Decision Review System have attracted plenty of attention, but there remains another high-profile issue to be decided upon: whether or not to scrap the ICC's two-year rotational presidency.

Deutrom said he was in favour of doing away with automatic rotation, a policy which was put under review after Australia and New Zealand's nominee for the position, ex-Australian prime minister John Howard, was rejected by other countries last year.

"The principle is quite simply that it's the best person for the job," he said. "And the best person for the job might already reside within Pakistan or Bangladesh, but the idea is that as long as the best person for the job is found, we should support that."

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