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Cricket: Pakistan defeats 'won't harm World Cup hopes'

Trent Johnston believes the summer schedule will help in Ireland's fight to regain access to the World Cup when the International Cricket Council meet next month.

Despite losing both one-day internationals to Pakistan over the past week, the veteran all-rounder reckons Ireland will only improve by playing top-class opposition. Next up are Sri Lanka, Scotland and England.

"It certainly does help. We only get better by playing the big teams -- and performances like we put in on Sunday are very good," he said.

"I don't think losing 2-0 against Pakistan will do our World Cup chances any harm. Winning one of those games would have got us out in front of the media again, but it is not just Ireland who are fighting for that qualification pathway, it is 94 other countries.

"I think we have a pretty strong argument, but we want to be playing those guys a lot more and gaining more experience."

All eyes now turn to the ICC and the critical decision -- will they change their minds and allow qualification for the 2015 World Cup?

"Hopefully, common sense will prevail," Johnston said.

"We're not worried about money, we're not worried about anything else, we don't care if it is a 12-team, 10-team, 50-team World Cup. We just want the opportunity to go there and play again.

"A qualification pathway is what we're looking for."

Irish Independent