Cricket: Ireland waiting on Botha
IRELAND will make a late decision of the fitness of veteran Andre Botha before their first One Day International against Zimbabwe in Harare tomorrow.
Botha was unable to field in the Intercontinental Cup this week after requiring three stitches in a hand injury and, although he is improving daily, the all-rounder may be saved for the subsequent games on Tuesday and Thursday.
The three-match series is the first chance Ireland have had to face a full-member country in a 50-over contest since the International Cricket Council announced it is planning to exclude non-Test playing nations from the 2015 World Cup.
A whitewash in the three-match series would see Ireland stay above Zimbabwe and leapfrog Bangladesh to ninth place in the ODI rankings, but this still would not be sufficient to gain a place at cricket's premier tournament. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh would, however, take part.
The ICC's proposal has created outrage among fans because if it goes ahead, Ireland will be denied the chance to repeat their World Cup adventure in 2007 and famous victory over Pakistan.