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Jason Gillespie urges chiefs to give Ireland Test status


Jason Gillespie wants to see Ireland given Test status

Jason Gillespie wants to see Ireland given Test status

Jason Gillespie wants to see Ireland given Test status

Former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie has called for Ireland to be elevated to the Test cricket ranks.

The 39-year-old, now head coach of Yorkshire, believes the move would both reward Ireland's performances in limited-overs internationals and provide a necessary boost to the five-day format.

Gillespie said: "Outside of Australia and England and, to a lesser extent, South Africa, people don't turn up to watch Test cricket. That's the way it is, and it's sad.

"One fantastic way to give Test cricket a lift straight away would be to give Ireland full Test status. It should happen soon.

"Imagine if Ireland were given Test status. That would be huge news, and it would be a massively positive story for the world game.

"The ICC and all the national boards talk a lot about the importance of protecting the integrity of Test cricket. If it is that important, then we should look to improve it."

Ireland reached the Super Eight stage of the 2007 World Cup, beating Pakistan and Bangladesh in addition to a memorable tie with England, and also qualified for the World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2010.

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Gillespie added: "Ireland are ticking all the boxes. They've punched well above their weight in limited-overs tournaments.

"Think of the list of names who've plied their trade in English domestic cricket and who have even played for England. It would make a decent Test side.

"Eoin Morgan is obviously with England full-time now but you've got Ed Joyce (Sussex), William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin (both Warwickshire), George Dockrell (Somerset), Peter Chase (Durham)."

Surrey captain Gary Wilson, Middlesex opener Paul Stirling and brothers Niall and Kevin O'Brien are also among the Irish contingent to make their way in the county game.

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