ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

England v Ireland, Group B, World Cup 2011, Bangalore

Partying supporters send message to ICC

Siddarth Ravindran

March 2, 2011

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

A beaming Cricket Ireland president, Basil McNamee, was among the dozens of delighted Irish fans awaiting their heroes at the team hotel in Bangalore on Wednesday night, savouring "the best victory in Ireland's cricket history". The stunning upset of England, their fiercest sporting rival, not only threw Group B wide open and injected excitement into a long-drawn league phase that was expected to be boringly predictable, but also brought into focus the ICC's decision to shut out Associate nations from the 2015 World Cup.

"This win is just a dream come true," McNamee told ESPNcricinfo. "It also sends out a message that Associates can't be taken for granted by everybody, that we can surprise." Ireland's back-from-the-dead victory gives them a real chance of making it to the quarter-finals, with two wins from their remaining four matches likely to ensure their qualification.

Ireland's position was bleak after defeat in the opening game to Bangladesh, and sliding to 111 for 5 against England. The resilience they showed in constructing the largest ever World Cup chase particularly pleased McNamee. "We were used to being defeated. So when victory comes, a victory against England, it's absolutely wonderful," he said. "Not only that, our boys played so well. It looked several times that we were going to be second-best again but our boys dug in."

The travelling Ireland supporters had plenty of anxious moments in the tense chase, relief and joy finally taking over when John Mooney clipped a boundary to midwicket off the first ball of the final over. It was nearly two hours later that the Ireland team arrived at the hotel to a rousing reception from the already partying fans.

William Porterfield and the rest of the side soaked in the applause and cheers from the fans who turned the lobby into a sea of green and white. "It was great to see so many of our supporters out here," a composed Porterfield told ESPNcricinfo. "It was even better to give them something to cheer about."

Ireland broke a slew of records and charted new ground in their win - fastest World Cup century for Kevin O'Brien, biggest World Cup chase, and their first victory over England being the prominent ones - and Porterfield said the team hadn't yet realised the enormity of the achievement. "We got to let this sink in still," he said. "We've all grown up dreaming of moments like this in a World Cup, and we're going to enjoy this time with our family and friends and have a couple of drinks."

It was the end of a day that he said "definitely eclipsed any Irish cricket has had" but even then he was not distracted from the task ahead for Ireland. "We've got another four games left in the group, and hopefully we can give our fans something more to cheer about," he said. "We've got to back this up in our next few performances and hopefully qualify for the next stage."

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 43 
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Posted by Anil on (March 4, 2011, 9:16 GMT)

Lots talk around to give Ireland Test staus, main member, better than BD, ZM, bla bla. I'm sure most comments are form Indian fans coz they are broad minded to accomodate everything. I too Indian fan but my honest advise is not messure with a single performance, there are another three/four matches left for Ireland. Let them play and we watch what they gonna be do. Cricket is a funny game, in their day even China (hopes China know this game) can beat India.

Posted by Cricket Fan on (March 4, 2011, 4:15 GMT)

Ireland should get test status

Posted by Cricket Fan on (March 4, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

The game between Ireland and England shows that there are lot of Irish fans in India.

Posted by Sajjad on (March 4, 2011, 3:02 GMT)

More Exposure and better results that is what happens in each sport and cricket too, ICC expects consistency from associates depriving them of proper exposure against top teams, look at teams like Sri Lanka in 70's and 80's, Zim and Ban in 90's and we still dont see consistency in teams like Zim and Ban so will ICC throw them out

Posted by Vinod on (March 4, 2011, 1:06 GMT)

Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Canada - if these countries play more often with the Big teams, they will be better teams. ICC can't expect these teams to compete in the World Cup without gaining experience playing regularly. I still believe that 50 overs a side game is too long in this age and era, for any limited overs tournament including T20, these upcoming teams need a chance to play regularly. We all know how Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh have progressed from an associate country to a full member country. Rather than saying these teams are not good enough, ICC should try and make them good enough. Or else why we need ICC ?

After this world cup, 'A' teams of test playing nations should visit these World Cup qualifiers and support them.

I think if ICC and other Big Boards support these teams, I don't see why there should not be 14 teams in the next world cup. !

Posted by N on (March 3, 2011, 19:17 GMT)

Hey ICC, it'll be a shame if Ireland doesn't play in the next world cup. Get them on the future tours programme right away. Irish cricket has earned that. If they tour India, I'll watch all the games and so will millions of fans in both countries. I am sure a lot of other cricketing nations feel the same way. If they play one-day cricket tournaments nearly as often as the other major cricketing nations, I bet the Irish will be a force to reckon with in the coming years.

Posted by Manan on (March 3, 2011, 14:37 GMT)

Well, The talk should not be whether to allow the associate nations for the world cup! They should talk about letting associate nations play regular tours with the Test nations, so that they become used to facing them and get exposed to more and more cricket!

Posted by Rafid on (March 3, 2011, 12:27 GMT)

Now, the first step would be allowing them to play more matches against test playing nations each year. I have 100% confidence that this will pave the path to a test status. GO LEPRECHAUNS!!!

Posted by Yasir on (March 3, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

I hope that ICC re-consider their decision for 2015. It is World Cup and Ireland is surely part of cricketing World. They have given very decent performances in every time they participated.

Posted by Ahmed on (March 3, 2011, 10:04 GMT)

Slap on ICC and its announcements!

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