ICC news January 28, 2015

Ireland, Afghanistan in mix for 2019 World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff
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'ICC needs to help Associates grow consistently' - Graeme Smith

Ireland and Afghanistan have the opportunity to gain direct qualification to the 2019 World Cup if they are among the top-eight ranked ODI sides as of September 30, 2017 after they were grouped with the current Full Members.

The bottom four sides in the rankings-based qualification system for the World Cup - which now includes the ten Full Members, Ireland and Afghanistan - will play in the 10-team World Cup Qualifier in 2018 that will determine the final two teams in the line-up.

It means Afghanistan and Ireland have been withdrawn from the World Cricket League Championship with their places going to Kenya and Nepal who finished third and fourth at the recent WCL Division Two event in Namibia. They will join Hong Kong, Namibia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and UAE in the two-year competition, which is scheduled to start in mid-2015.

Alongside the elevation for Ireland and Afghanistan there has also been a promotion and relegation system which will involve the lowest-ranked Associate team in the rankings take on the winner of the WCL Championship to decide which side will take their place in the full rankings table for the next cycle.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "Both Afghanistan and Ireland have excelled on and off the field in recent years, and this decision is a critical step forward to the ICC's aim of having more competitive teams in international cricket. The decision also provides even greater context to One-Day International cricket, and provides a fully meritocratic pathway into ICC's Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy events."

Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland chief executive, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the opportunity to qualify directly to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Ireland has worked very hard over recent years to prove itself as the leading Associate side and has beaten a number of Full Members over the years.

"We are confident that we can now accelerate our progress as part of this qualification structure with the Full Members, while this is also an excellent boost as we put our finishing touches on our preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015."

However, while this announcement is encouraging for Ireland and Afghanistan there remains a challenge for them to find enough ODIs to make their chance of rising up the table realistic. Since the last World Cup, for example, Ireland have played just 11 ODIs against Full Member teams. There also remains a feeling that teams close to them in the rankings, with the most to lose when it comes to World Cup qualification, will be reluctant to play them and risk losing.

Afghanistan are currently 11th in the ODI rankings and Ireland 12th. Afghanistan are 54 points behind the eighth-placed side, West Indies, and Ireland a further seven behind on 34 points.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 4, 2015, 7:29 GMT

    ICC should give Afghanistan and Ireland more ODI series to play in different condition to give them an opportunity for growing up. one ODI here and there can't help them to grow up.

  • barris on February 1, 2015, 11:06 GMT

    We will win 100% most of the full members Inshallah in 2015 50 WC

  • Waheed on January 31, 2015, 0:36 GMT

    it concern me about ODI matches they get now. if ICC give both of them more matches against Test Nation countries will be very good for both of the teams

  • Android on January 30, 2015, 17:27 GMT

    Afghanistan u19 beat all Asian u19 ! when? They only beat srilanka u19

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2015, 7:13 GMT

    (2) What I haven't read either, is that both Ireland and Afghanistan are to be given a certain amount of matches to play. There is a possibility that, as some of the full members might decide not to risk losing ranking points against these "minnows". A very real possibility exists that these teams might now be playing less ODI-cricket over the following years, as they too are missing at least their secured matches that would have come from the WCLC.

    WCLC and the Intercontinental Cup used to be tied together. On a single tour, teams would play both their 4-day match, and their two ODI's. This will no longer be a possibility, as their will now be tours involving Kenya and Nepal, with only ODI's, and tours involving Afghanistan and Ireland, involving only the first-class matches. This means more tours to the associates, without an increase in funding.

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2015, 7:12 GMT

    So, the ICC once again changed the rules of a tournament after it has started - or in this case even after it has ended. The WCL div. 2 was meant to have only two sides promoted, and the last day drama in the round-robin stage has now retroactively lost all its meaning. Almost as if either Kenya or Nepal was supposed to have been promoted, and they needed a way to make that happen.

    But now we also have yet another artificial division that no-one seems to think of. 16 teams have ODI-status. For some reason, Scotland, UAE, Hong Kong, and PNG do not get the same opportunity of qualifying through their ODI-ranking. They are also robbed of at least 4 certain ODI's each, as both Ireland and Afghanistan will not be playing them in the WCLC.

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2015, 6:24 GMT

    ICC!!! Now ICC showed Justice for Afghanistan, AFG reached to the position which other teams couldn't grape it in 70 years, Afghanistan has wonderful talent in cricket, Afghanistan U19 beat all Asian U19 and they are seriously row talent for future cricket.

    With this opportunity Afghanistan will absolutely raise and will show their talent.

    Thanks ICC.

  • ESPN on January 29, 2015, 3:57 GMT

    As a bangladeshi fan I wish we should play against Ireland and afgan. I think it will competitive match. But few afgan player r manner less. They don't know how to behave opposition players. In t20 World Cup 2014 they misbehave with bangladeahi players.specially wicketkeeper mohmmed sheazed n daulat zarden r totally manner leas. But my wish Ireland n afgan will play test cricket very near future specially Ireland deserve it. Icc should arrange more odi against full member. Good luck for both team

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2015, 1:56 GMT

    it's seems not so good ,but good and again not that good that it would be, the decision made by icc is just like the Darius of an elephant ,it seems one way and goes other ways,simply icc should open their space for at least 18 or 20 nation in world cup,simply to promote the game worldwide, fifa doing such things on their own way, icc may copy +ve from that

  • Arif on January 29, 2015, 0:56 GMT

    ICC has been very slow and inept at making Cricket more of a global sport. They should take some cue from FIFA, who have made great in-roads in China and other Asian countries. There doesn't seem to be any long term vision, only respective members looking for their cut! Anyway, kudos to Afghan brothers. We are supporting you guys from Bangladesh :)

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