Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Cricket

John Mooney to wear black armband in protest

By Ian Callender

John Mooney is to wear a black armband in Ireland's opening World Twenty20 match against Nambia on Friday to commemorate the death of Associate Cricket, following the ICC's decision to make the next ICC World Cup a 10-team event.

With the qualifying tournament taking place in 2018 in Bangladesh, where conditions will be alien to every other competing team, effectively only one place will be available - the top eight Full Member nations granted automatic qualification to the finals.

"It is a shambles that when every other sport is expanding its main event, football have 32, rugby is going to 24, that cricket is contracting, and from 14 in this year's World Cup which was hailed as the best ever, only 10 will be playing in England next time," Mooney said.

"Basically with no guarantee of any non-Full Member playing in the World Cup, it signals the death-knell for Associate cricket and I contacted Andy Leonard in the ICC office in Dubai to tell him of my intention to wear a black armband in Friday's game.

"I don't know if any of the other players will join me -it's an individual decision - but it's what I will be doing."

After this year's event in Australia and New Zealand, ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "The ICC World Cup 2015 was the most popular ever played.

"The venues were world class, the host cities were world class and the two countries delivered a world class tournament which was watched by more people around the world than ever before."

But the promise to "look again" at the decision taken four years ago to have the 2019 and 2023 events a 10-team event was not even discussed at last month's ICC board meeting in Barbados.

"The only information that I've had from the Big Three (India, England and Australia) was that it was extremely difficult to unpick the TV rights and to change things," said Ross McCollum, Cricket Ireland chairman.

The £1.6bn bumper TV deal guarantees India a minimum of nine matches at the next two World Cups.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph