Ireland news June 9, 2010

David Morgan meets with Cricket Ireland

Cricinfo staff

Cricket Ireland have shared their plans for further progress with ICC President David Morgan as they continue to push their case for an ascent to Full Membership of cricket's governing body - a vital step towards their stated ambition to play Test cricket.

"I was extremely grateful for the invitation and the time spared by the Cricket Ireland board and was also impressed with the ambitions of Cricket Ireland," said Morgan following his meeting with Irish cricket officials. "Irish cricket is developing well as can be observed by Ireland's performances at recent ICC global events.

"Our discussions illustrated the challenges faced by all administrators within cricket to maintain the current strength of our great sport with its great spirit, and they highlighted that we are all charged with the same responsibility to lead the game forward."

Morgan's visit to Ireland was the latest of a series of meetings with ICC Members, and he has already met with the cricket boards of Full Members Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and West Indies as well as some other Associates and Affiliates. He will travel to Harare next week to have similar discussions with Zimbabwe Cricket.

"It was a real honour for us to be able to host the ICC President," said David Williams, Cricket Ireland's chairman. "We were able to share our plans for the continued development of cricket in Ireland and at the same time we were able to learn much more about the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for this great game."

Ireland's ambition to play Test cricket was made clear in November last year when Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland's chief executive, sent a letter to the ICC stating his board's intention to apply for Full Membership - a potential pathway to Test status - and to seek clarification on the process. The ICC board discussed Ireland's proposal at their meeting in Dubai in February, but the question of Ireland's suitability for a position at cricket's top table is a complex one, with strong arguments both for and against their ascent to the next rung.

Kyle McCallan, the former Ireland allrounder who retired last year after a record 226 appearances for his country, believes that Ireland have the talent to warrant Test status, but warns that, unless that is granted soon, gifted players will continue to look abroad and the draining of Ireland's player pool will persist.

"It galls me that Irishmen are good enough to win World Cups with England but Ireland is not a strong enough cricket nation to eat from the top table of the ICC," he told BBC Sport. "We would be equally as good if we had the funding and the same supplementary services that the other Test playing countries have.

"We have the ability to be the next Test nation although people will say that's poppycock. Ireland will continue to have its best players taken from it until the playing field is made level. Cricket Ireland has that potential - there is enough talent in the country and enough people who are qualified for Ireland to allow it to play at the top level over a prolonged period of time."

There has been a notable improvement in Ireland's performances since their disastrous showing at the ICC Trophy in 2001, and in 42 one-day internationals since 2006 they have won 17 - including a famous win over Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup.

But during the same time period, they have lost batsmen of the quality of Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan to the lure of English cricket. Though Joyce has since made clear his intention to throw his lot in with Ireland once more ahead of the 2011 World Cup, Morgan has cemented a spot as a vital member of England's middle order in limited-overs cricket and made a start to his Test career with a debut against Bangladesh at Lord's last month.

England also appear to have an eye on Boyd Rankin, Ireland's most promising young fast bowler, who plays county cricket for Warwickshire and was included in the ECB's enhanced England Performance Programme. Ireland have attempted to stem the player drain by professionalising their structures, and in January six players were given full-time central contracts while county-based players were offered additional financial support.

Ireland's push for Full Member status appears to be gaining momentum, and their ranks could be further boosted by Hamish Marshall, the former New Zealand batsman, who recently announced his intention to resume his international career with Ireland when he qualifies in April 2011 through holding an Irish passport. However, until the door to cricket's elite table is opened to Ireland, it appears their progress has hit a glass ceiling.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • spirit on June 15, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    @ redneck..ireland need majority of da vote to get test status and if only BCCI is da obstacle its no problem,so if they r not getting the status it means others r also not voting in their favor

  • Dummy4 on June 14, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    Ireland are very capable of going up to full member status. Ireland have shown that they can compete with the full member teams they pushed england a few times they have beaten pakistan and bangladesh. they should be boosted with kiwi hamish marshall and Ed Joyce batting wise next year. first of all ireland need a good solid domestic competition where they can produce some quality players what the full member sides need to do is send their A teams (2nd teams) on a consistent basis this would improve teams like ireland for a start off or their needs to be a second tier ipl where players from ireland scotland netherlands afganistan etc are included with players from australia,england,south africa, nz etc with promotion/relagation system with the top ipl. something like this would improve ireland and their players can take back what they have learnt and it would improve the standard of irelands domestic cricket when players have been expose at a higher level

  • utkarsh on June 14, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    well i think that teams like Ireland who have the ability to make it to test level must play more ODIs with the top teams like aus,ind,eng,nz,sl etc. most of the time they play ODIs only with associate member countries. if they play with stronger teams regularly they can really build up experience. icc can give them chance as a third team in a tri-series which have two stronger teams. or may be a 3 match seies . i would love to see Ireland playing in diff. continents like asia, australia, africa . it will help them in understanding the playing conditions in diff. places.

  • Amar on June 13, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    Amar Mendes:

    Good News that Zimbabwe is aiming to return to Test cricket by the end of 2011 World Cup in India which is less than 12 months away. If Ireland can also be admitted along with Zimbabwe at the same time, there will be a strong competition at the bottom of the table which also includes Bangladesh as non of them would like to have their name last on the league table. Ireland will have to show that they have suitable grounds that can cope with the massive TV demands or room to accommodate a Test match crowd. If Ireland can host Tests for Pakistan they can show the world they have the venues and structure. This will be an Ideal situation for them to learn and cope-up with the pressures and requirements of Test cricket.

    They will also have to put a multi innings Professional National League in place which includes teams from its Sub-Association. For example a three-day competition between Leinster Cricket Union Munster Northern Cricket Union North West

  • Dummy4 on June 11, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    they dont need the vote of the BCCI they only need majority also it stated in the aticle that they need full mebership to then go on and get test status full membership is test status its the same thing Full Membership means you can play test cricket also isnt it about time Afghanistan were promoted to Associates they are one of the best non test nations

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    All the best to them, I hope they get in sooner rather than later. It really is time for some sort of two-division system so that the highest Associates can look to progress, as there is a very clear glass ceiling operating right now.

  • Monty on June 10, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    The only thing that can get them full member status is "the luck of the Irish". I wish them all the best.

  • hayden on June 10, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    given that they are meeting zimbabwe shortly, it says it all that the only country they havent met with is india! i would have no doubt the irish would have tried only to be knocked back by the bcci. that is their main obsticle, another european team may tip the icc vote away from the bcci's agenda.

  • Michael on June 9, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    I do not think the Irish would let anyone down. Since they have played on the main stage they have looked fully committed and up for it, in a way that other minnows sides have not. Obviously another Bangladesh would not go downwell and the pressure is therefore on them, but the mind set for serious play is there and I would give them a go-so long as we keep Morgan....good luck to them!

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Bearded_Lefty- If you knew that benefits BD team have or had compared to other teams you will feel sorry,The improvement that they made were completely by their own. The board or the ICC did not take any part to improve the team.You need grounds,you need technologies,you need instruments to cope with the others that we don't have.All them money are going to the pockets of IPL players and in their cars and villas. There is no such development programs that could impact .

  • No featured comments at the moment.