Belfast Telegraph

Cricket: Ireland gripped by World Cup fear

By Ian Callender

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat is unable to give any encouragement to the Associate members, including Ireland, that they will be involved in the 2015 World Cup.

Speaking in Adelaide during the Ashes Test match, Lorgat confirmed the sport’s ruling body wanted the best teams to play in the World Cup finals.

However, he added that they were still debating whether there would be a qualifying competition to determine the finalists.

Although 14 teams will be involved in next year’s finals in Asia it has already been decided to reduce the number of teams in the following tournament to 10, the number of ICC Full Members.

Worryingly, for cynics who believe that ICC is fobbing off the Associate nations with instant cricket, Mr Lorgat added: “There will be more opportunities for the Associate countries in the World Twenty20 which will be held every two years and involve 16 teams, including six Associates.”

Meanwhile, tickets for Ireland’s one-day international against England at Clontarf on Thursday, August 25 are now on sale.

England’s first visit to Dublin promises to be the highlight of the international season post-World Cup and Cricket Ireland have announced the pricing structure for the game.

To guarantee yourself a seat at the big game, email www.ticketmaster.ie or telephone 0844 847 2455.

Ticket prices are Adult €40.00, Assoc/Life Member €32.00, OAP €30.00, Under-16 Accompanied €14.00, Under-16 Unaccompanied €18.00, Family package 1 (2 adults/2 children) €104.00, Family package 2 (1 adult/2 children) €65.00, Wheelchair bound adult plus carer €60.00, Club deal €35.00, School deal (1 adult free with 8 children) €112.00.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan have ended the year as they started it and succeeded Ireland as holders of the Intercontinental Cup.

In January, their seven wickets win over Ireland in Sri Lanka all but ended Ireland’s hopes of defending the trophy and on Saturday they completed victory over Scotland in Dubai by the same margin to win the Cup at their first attempt.

Despite leading by 41 on first innings, the Scots were bundled out for just 82 in the second innings and Afghanistan reached their target of 124 to win the five-day final with more than two days to spare.

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