Sunday 18 February 2018

Cricket: Ireland in line for bigger slice of pie as report combats elitism

David Townsend

IRISH cricket will get a massive injection of cash and resources if the recommendations of a major independent review are adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The Woolf Report into the governance of world cricket wants to see more nations given 'Full Member' status of the ICC, a fairer cash distribution and a break-up of the cosy old boys' club that runs the sport.

Ireland's much-vaunted plans to play Test cricket by 2020 may also be put on hold as the report suggests an end to the requirement of 'Full Members' to play the five-day game.

The 10 'Full Member' nations control more than 95pc of worldwide revenue, leading to anomalies such as Zimbabwe receiving $10m (€7.6m) for competing in the 2007 World Cup, while Ireland, who knocked them out, got less than $500,000 (€380,000).

One of the main reasons Ireland laid out ambitious plans to play Test cricket last month was to get access to more ICC funding, so 'Full Member' status without the expense of staging five-day cricket would seem ideal.

Another of Ireland's long-running campaigns -- an obligation on major nations to play regular one-day internationals against the lesser sides -- is also supported by the report.

The ICC commissioned the Woolf Report and has promised a response by April, but the powerful Indian voting bloc may still block Ireland's immediate elevation.

Meanwhile, Railway Union big-hitter Kevin O'Brien has been given a base price of only $50,000 in Sunday's auction for the Indian Premier League.

Irish Independent

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