Cricket Ireland has welcomed the International Cricket Council’s decision to allow Associate members to play in the World Cup 2015.
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has welcomed the decision by the ICC Executive Board to maintain the number of teams at the 2015 World Cup to 14, claiming that it was the right choice for all of cricket.
Warren Deutrom said, “Obviously we are relieved with the decision today. The Board should be greatly commended in the first instance for agreeing to look again at the matter, and then for being courageous enough to review their original decision – that isn’t easy.
“We can now get on and focus our energies on more proactive pursuits such as trying to qualify!”
Phil Simmons said, “All 96 of us should be happy, but the real work starts now. We’ve got to show the ICC and the Full Members that we can perform in the final stages. That means reaching semi-finals and finals, not just the occasional shock. We’ve got to take our cricket to the next level and show we belong as a right at these global events. We’ve certainly progressed in recent years, but we have got the potential to grow much further. That’s what I’ll be looking for from this Ireland team in the next four years up to 2015.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield said, “It’s great news for the Associate and Affiliates that the ICC has reversed their decision, meaning that we will have 14 participants at the 2015 World Cup.
“It’s a real boost for Irish cricket, as we have continued to improve since our first appearance in 2007, and will now have further opportunities to qualify for World Cups.”
Trent Johnston said, “The decision has given everybody a great lift, and it’s very big of the ICC to admit they’d gotten it wrong, and changed their mind. It’s important as we look to grow the sport in Ireland, as we have the potential to be a serious player in the global game. The game has really taken off in the last four years and it was the World Cups that generated that interest. It’s important for all our sponsors and stakeholders, including team sponsor RSA.”
Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien said,”I think it’s the right decision from ICC, not just for Ireland, but all the other 95 countries who aspire to play in World Cups. There’s no doubt that it will help spread the game even further, and that’s got to be good for the future of the sport.”
Niall O’Brien said, “It gives all the players light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s an amazing goal to work towards. To play in a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand would be a dream come true for me personally, having played so many years in club cricket in Sydney.”
Ireland opening bowler Boyd Rankin said, “It’s given everyone a real boost. A lot of us thought we may have played in our last 50 over World Cup, and that would have been hard to take. We realise that there’s still the qualification hurdle to overcome, but at least we have the chance on the field of play, which is all ourselves and the other Associates have ever asked for.”
Mark Garaway, Cricket Ireland Performance Director, said “From a performance angle, the news coming out of Hong Kong is highly positive. There is nothing more motivating to Irish cricketers than the opportunity to play in ICC World Cup events against the best teams and players in the world.
“The programme of events through to the 2019 World Cup provide our present and aspiring internationals with regular events to focus upon, and gives Irish cricket a further opportunity to show its qualities on a world stage. Our aim is to qualify for each World event over the next eight years either through the qualifying event or ICC ranking – there is no reason why this can’t be achieved.”
John Mooney said, “I’m delighted that common sense has prevailed, and all teams have the opportunity to play in the Blue Riband event of the sport. It just goes to show that money is not everything in sport, and people still love to see the underdog prevail. It’s given the whole country a great lift, and is a wonderful boost for Irish and Associate cricket. It keeps the dream alive for everyone.”
Paul Stirling said , “This is incredibly positive news, and to be honest, a big relief too. To get a taste of playing in the World Cup three months ago, and then realising we might not be back until I’d reached 30 was a daunting prospect. All we ever wanted was the chance to qualify – and that’s what they’ve given us.”