Deutrom welcomes debate decision
Cricket Ireland have welcomed International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar's decision to reopen the debate about the structure of the 2015 World Cup but remain aware that the argument is a long way from won.
After their inspiring efforts in the sub-continent this year, Ireland were perceived as the main victim of the ICC executive board's ruling that the competition would be reduced from 14 teams to 10 in four years' time - with only full-member nations invited to take part.
Opposition to that decision emerged immediately, with representatives from the likes of Ireland, Holland, Canada and Kenya joined by cricket fans from across the globe in questioning plans to dispense with any World Cup qualification until 2019.
Having made their protests to Pawar over the weekend, as well as submitting a detailed document arguing their case, the non-Test playing nations have been buoyed by news that the president has requested the ICC executive board reconsider their plans for the tournament.
Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom, who has been central to negotiations, is pleased by the developments but remains aware that the ICC officials charged with making the decision are the same as last time.
"It is encouraging that the president has reopened this issue but there is still a way to go. This is a positive step but we're cautious about it because it is the same 10 people having the same debate about the same issues," he said.
"We (the 95 associate and affiliate members) have asked to assist in that process and requested for our elected representatives to meet the ICC president and/or the vice-president to put our case, so that they can see the strength of our resolve on this matter.
"There is a long way to go and it is down to how much momentum can be kept up, either through the media or through the public, who have been strong and unanimous in their views."