Ireland to join Top Tier of ODI cricket

Fri, Jan 30, 2015 11:38 AM

THE ICC Board today approved that Ireland and Afghanistan will join the 10 Full Members in a rankings-based qualification system for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

As a result, Ireland will no longer participate in the ICC World Cricket League, but will continue to play in the four-day, first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2015-17.

The top eight-ranked sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings as at 30 September 2017 will qualify automatically to the 2019 event, while the bottom four will play in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 that will determine the final two teams in the line-up.

The new structure also includes a promotion and relegation system for Associate and Affiliate Members, with a challenge series to take place between the lowest-ranked Associate Member on the Rankings table and the winner of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. The winner of the play-off will be included on the Rankings table for the next cycle, and the loser will compete in the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom welcomed the announcement, saying: “We were always confident that a robust qualification pathway would be put in place for the 2019 World Cup, and it is noteworthy that, for the first time, at least two Full Members will have to pre-qualify. It is also important in terms of delivering genuine context to the 50-over game that every ODI will now count in some way towards qualification for the World Cup.

“Another sea change in today’s announcement is the creation of a system of promotion and relegation in ODI cricket – similar to what is now in place for Test cricket – with Ireland and Afghanistan confirmed in the top division along with the Full Members. We believe this sends a strong signal to the other Full Members to play us to ensure credibility and fairness for this new ODI rankings system.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson added: “Both Afghanistan and Ireland have excelled on and off the field in recent years, and this decision is a critical step forward to the ICC’s aim of having more competitive teams in international cricket.

“The decision also provides even greater context to One-Day International cricket, and provides a fully meritocratic pathway into ICC’s Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy events. It also compliments the recent decision by the ICC Board to introduce opportunities for Associate and Affiliate Members to play Test cricket through the ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC Test Challenge.

“With a system of promotion and relegation in place, I look forward to seeing the leading Associate and Affiliate teams become even more competitive as they battle for the opportunity to compete at the very highest level of one-day cricket.”

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