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Porterfield calls on the ICC chiefs to praise Ireland

By Ian Callender

Not only is Ireland's future at this World Cup on the line when they meet Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow (3.30am GMT, live on Sky Sports World Cup) but also their prospects of playing in the next edition in England in 2019. Quite simply, it is Ireland's most important ever cricket game.

Captain William Porterfield chose the eve of the clash to urge the game's governing body to come out of hiding and recognise Ireland's achievement.

"If we win four games (three against Full Members) no-one can argue with our right to be in the quarter-finals and the ICC will have to come out and do something about the next World Cup, rather than not making any comment or hoping everything blows over after the World Cup.

"If we get the two points then ICC will have nowhere to hide and they will have to do something about it," said Porterfield, who confirmed the squad is ready and raring to go.

"If we could, we would fast forward to tomorrow, but we know we have to bring our A-game again.

"We came out here with the goal of making the quarter-finals and we are one game away from doing it.

"We have put ourselves in that position through a lot of good cricket, so there's a great feeling in the camp at the minute and the lads are just looking forward to getting out there on Sunday.

"A win will be massive not just for the squad and for all the work they have put in, but for everyone back home and the support we have received. It can only do wonders for the game of cricket and to keep growing it and the more we can do to help it the better."

Porterfield continues to defend his bowlers, with in-form Andy McBrine set to be recalled and the last place likely to rest between Stuart Thompson, who took the only two India wickets on his World Cup debut on Tuesday, and George Dockrell, who, since his three wickets against West Indies in the opening game, has figures of 32-0-195-2 in the four games since.

"We have bowled well in different stages of the competition. Every team would want to restrict the opposition even further in the last 10-15 overs but it's a very hard thing to do. In the games we have won we have taken early wickets and that's what we need to do tomorrow," said Porterfield.

"It makes it a lot easier coming down the back end because guys are coming in at seven, eight and nine who can hit the ball out of the park, which wasn't necessarily the case even three-four years ago.

"It would be very harsh to criticise the bowlers, we just have to remain smart and again it's a different ground we have to cope with."

The awe-inspiring 50,000 seater Adelaide Oval is a fitting venue to decide the last quarter-finalist and while other results could yet impact on Ireland's progress, Porterfield is only controlling the controllables.

"It's in our own hands; if we win we are through to the quarter-finals and that's the only way we are looking at it," he said.

"You can't rely on any outside factors but if we bring our A-game on Sunday then we have a quarter-final berth."

Belfast Telegraph


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