Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Cricket: Ireland demanding more major matches

Ireland has asked the game’s governing body for up to 15 one-day internationals per year as it strives to assert its place as the world’s top Associate nation.

The suggestion of Ireland playing 10-15 ODIs was first mooted last year following the recommendation that the 2015 World Cup be confined to the 10 Test countries.

That decision was overturned by the full ICC board at its annual meeting in June and a qualifying league is currently taking place but outside last year’s World Cup Ireland have played only three ODIs against Full Members in each of the last two years and at the moment only one, against Australia in Belfast on June 23, is confirmed for this year.

Ireland’s application, expected to be considered favourably as the country is the No 1 Associate in all three forms of the game, will be heard at the ICC’s annual conference in June.

Cricket Ireland has also applied for support in establishing a Cricket Academy, both north and south, and a domestic inter-provincial structure. Three games between North and South have been pencilled in this season for May, June and August with the intention of plugging the gap between international and club cricket.

The applications, made last month, were revealed in Dundalk yesterday by CI chief executive Warren Deutrom to the annual meeting which was attended by National Coach Phil Simmons.

The World Twenty20 qualifying trophy, won in Dubai last month, took pride of place and outgoing chairman David Williams and Deutrom both congratulated Simmons and the squad for their efforts.

The new CI chairman is Lurgan’s Ross McCollum and the incoming president Jimmy Joyce, head of the most famous cricketing family in Ireland, including current international Ed and women’s captain Isobel.

The President-elect is former NCU president and current Sunday Life cricket correspondent Robin Walsh.

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