Simmons blasts ICC decision
Ireland coach Phil Simmons has added his voice to the growing condemnation of the International Cricket Council's "despicable" decision to exclude associate nations from the 2015 World Cup.
That means the likes of Ireland, who are currently ranked 10th ahead of Zimbabwe, have no chance to build on the positive aspects of their 2011 campaign - which saw Simmons' men capture the public imagination with their defeat of England as well as pushing the West Indies and Bangladesh close.
Simmons said: "It is a dark day for cricket but a great day for greed and fear. It is hard to find words to describe this despicable decision made by some who want to keep things among themselves and some who fear us."
He added: "There can be no cricketing reasons for this decision, as we answered the cricket question, the television rating question and we are the 10th-ranked nation in the world. What else is needed?
"I'm afraid the next World Cup will be like the American World Series - you are crowned World Champions but the world did not take part - congratulations to India on winning the last real World Cup.
"Finally - congratulations to ICC for pulling the game we love back 10 years."
A Cricket Ireland statement confirmed they are actively pursuing ways in which the decision can be challenged.
It read: "The decision was ratified, not surprisingly, by the full members themselves, who have shown themselves to be unfit for purpose or governance.
"Ireland are currently in discussions with their fellow associates and affiliates about the avenues of action left open to them following the shameful ruling by ICC."