Cricket: Irish World Cup hopes handed lifeline as ICC pledges review
Ireland's hopes of competing in the next World Cup received a lifeline yesterday when the president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) called for a rethink of the format for the 2015 tournament.
With one carefully worded news story on the ICC website, the odds of Ireland making the trip to Australia and New Zealand went from non-existent to even money.
The ICC caused an outcry two weeks ago when they announced that only the 10 Test-playing nations would contest the next event, with Ireland -- ranked 10th in the world in one-day cricket -- and the other 94 Associates and Affiliates not even getting a chance to qualify.
After hearing from the Associate nations at the weekend, and receiving a document outlining their case, ICC president Sharad Pawar has asked his executive board to look at its 2015 format again when it meets in June.
"I have given this matter further serious thought and will request the board to consider this topic once more," Pawar said. "I can understand the views of the Associates and Affiliates and the ICC will seek to deal with this issue in the best way possible."
Warren Deutrom, CEO of Cricket Ireland, greeted the news with quiet optimism.
"It is encouraging that the president has reopened this issue but there is still a way to go," he said. "This is a positive step but we're cautious about it because it will be the same 10 people (on the ICC executive board) having the same debate about the same issues."