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Ireland could play 15 ODIs a year against Full Members

ESPNcricinfo staff

April 11, 2011

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An Irish fan waits for the team to arrive at the team hotel, England v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Bangalore, March 2, 2011
Irish cricket fans may have something to cheer yet, even though their team has been excluded from the next World Cup © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Ireland, who have been controversially excluded from the next World Cup, could still play up to 15 one-day internationals against Full Members each year between now and 2015. Cricket Ireland chairman David Williams, who visited India last week and met with BCCI chairman Shashank Manohar, confirmed that he had received support from several of the ICC's Full Members willing to accommodate Ireland.

"One of our ambitions is to increase our ODI exposure against full members to between 10 to 15 per annum, and we received some support from Full Members to accommodate us," Williams said. "There is, without question, among all the Full Members chairmen I spoke to, considered to be very clear water between us and the rest of the Associates."

Both South Africa and Bangladesh reportedly lent support to Ireland's push for more games against Full Members, but chances of a bilateral series against world champions India remain slim, and Zimbabwe have withdrawn an invitation for a repeat of Ireland's trip to the country in September last year. Zimbabwe cited the lack of a gap in their programme due to playing commitments as the reason for the cancellation, although the ICC's Future Tours Programme does show that they have no international cricket scheduled between the end of October and the beginning of December.

"We had hoped to play a four-day game - an unofficial Test match - against Zimbabwe and three ODIs. That would have been a very nice tour. But that tour will not take place," Williams confirmed.

However, Ozias Bvute, ZC's managing director, insisted that Zimbabwe's priority in that period was their domestic programme, rather than furthering their international commitments.

"We have taken a deliberate decision to try and ensure that all our players turn out for the respective franchises, we have thus tried to separate our international calendar with our domestic fixturing on that basis," Bvute told ESPNcricinfo. "Our strategy moving forward is to grow our domestic cricket to a point where in itself it becomes financially viable and sustainable. To attract the crowds and sponsors we need all our players in attendance."

Williams, who was re-elected as chairman for a fourth year at Cricket Ireland's annual meeting, had travelled to India with the intention of securing a qualifying tournament for the next World Cup, ensuring a promotion and relegation system in ODI leagues and canvassing for support for more ODIs for Ireland. "I didn't get the first, but the second was delivered and I am hopeful that the last will happen," he said.

"Mr Manohar was charming, as expected, but he said he felt the Full Members did not have time to adjust to a qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup and it would disrupt the Future Tours Programme. But I don't think they are arguments which could not be overcome.

"There will be qualifying for the 2019 tournament but that is six years away, but the promotion and relegation between ODI leagues is a very significant step for us as well. In the meantime, though, you are handing an opportunity for our best players to go to England because they have no alternative [if they want to play in the next World Cup].

"We have all gone into print expressing our disgust but now we must move on and, in association with our Associate friends, we will leave no stone unturned in seeing what our options are in having this iniquitous decision overturned."

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom believes any action to get the decision overturned will have to be inclusive of all the Associate nations and multi-lateral if it is to be successful. "We need to work with the other 94 Associate countries," Deutrom said at Cricket Ireland's annual meeting.

"They feel disenfranchised and it is not just the High Performance countries that have been in touch. Sports lawyers have also been in contact with me but that will be the last resort. All other remedies must be exhausted first and the first opportunity to challenge the decision is at the annual conference in June."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TheBigFatFlapjack on (April 13, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

Its clearly obvious why the Zimbabweans dont wanna invite the Irish for a few games. Just imagine the fracas if Zimbabwe get beaten by Ireland (and they very likely will), a "full member" losing to an Associate! It'll be a kick in the teeth for the ICC (BCCI) for leaving the Irish out of the next world cup. I'd be really surprised if the Irish get to play a series with any of the Test-playing nations before the 2015 world cup.

Posted by Notredam on (April 13, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

Email at this..

Vent out ur anger and feelings..

Posted by Notredam on (April 13, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

Full Indians support..come on irish

Posted by Notredam on (April 13, 2011, 7:18 GMT)

Best fielding unit...Most disciplined bowling unit... Good hiiters batters..

End result..........Abosulte tyrannical behaviour by god'send_men of ICC..

Serius joke...they are on par with west indies...better than Zim and bangla...

Posted by Notredam on (April 13, 2011, 7:16 GMT)

Absolute disgrace to exclude Ireland from world cup. Hope it spells doom for the game of already dying sport. Look up and open up your eyes wise guys the game is popular only in Indian subcontinent. Rest everywhere it has bled to slow death. Examples West Indies, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Scotland, Canada, USA. Remember that oldest game was played between USA and Canada in 18 th century. Even AC Milan the famous football club is having cricket also in its name. The first Olympic had France and Great Britain playing. But no one cares. As long as you can fill your own pocket why it's development that should concern you.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2011, 3:56 GMT)

Unfortunately it looks like Irelands last hope is an appeal in July, if that fails, legal action may be the only option. I hope to see more of Ireland in the future, with a posible eye to full member status and eventually test status when they feel they are ready to make that step.

Posted by irish1994 on (April 12, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

@Jonah58, hope what ure saying is true wld b a dream come true 4 me as I am an irish national living in Pakistan...Wld absolutely love 2 c our national team touring Pakistan and playing some good, quality cricket...

Posted by   on (April 12, 2011, 16:56 GMT)

Irelandfan100 I agree inirely with u though.

Posted by irish1994 on (April 12, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

Ireland should have a series with the Windies or Bangladesh in which they can easily prove they deserve a place in the next world cup. Maybe even one against the English would not be too bad :-)

Posted by Nduru on (April 12, 2011, 15:35 GMT)

@IrelandFan100, I agree with you and all the Ireland fans that you have a very fine team, and have been treated very badly by the ICC. I also do believe that your team has improved vastly and are now definately on a par with Bangladesh and Zim, even though you get less funding. The ICC operates in a very stupid way, and I think that teams like us should play each other regularly. My point is really that although Zim has more funding, we have some really bad socio-political barriers which have impacted our cricket and not allowed players of top class to stay in the country. I know you guys have also lost Morgan, but at least you still have some really experienced first class and county players, which we don't have at this point. And yet, I still think Zim can hold its head up high. Besides, it is also unfair for you to attract players into your team because you have such beautiful women in Ireland that players are lining up to come to your country ;)

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