Ireland captain William Porterfield
has described the ICC's decision
to trim the next World Cup to just the ten countries as "an absolute joke". The ICC, in its executive board meeting in Mumbai on Monday, decided to restrict the 2015 World Cup to its 10 full-member nations, thereby denying Associate countries like Ireland and Netherlands the chance to qualify on the basis of their position in the ICC one-day rankings or by a qualification tournament.
"It's an absolute disgrace," Porterfield said, "and I don't know how they can even comprehend doing this. We have done everything they asked of us over the last few years in terms of restructuring Irish cricket and I can't come to terms with how they can just shut us out, do away with the qualification period and then try and call this a World Cup."
Monday's decision means that that the Associates and Affiliates have been effectively shunted out of cricket's showpiece event for the next eight years. Ireland are currently ranked No. 10 in the ICC ODI rankings, and though they finished sixth in Group B in the World Cup, they beat England in Bangalore, to add to their win over Pakistan in their World Cup debut in 2007 and have been one of the consistently stronger Associate countries.
"We are currently ranked 10th, ahead of Zimbabwe, and there is no reason we can't move up another position, if not two, by the next World Cup," Porterfield said. "Instead, the door has been closed in our face. It is an embarrassment.
"I don't know what else we had to do in the World Cup, we held our own against the full members, we beat England, we got the fastest ever hundred. For them to turn around and throw that back in our face a few weeks later is an absolute joke."
Porterfield said the decision to expand the Twenty20 World Cup to 16 teams was not adequate compensation and warned that the development of the game in the non-Test playing nations could get severely affected. "They say it's a compensation [to expand the Twenty20 World Cup to 16 teams] but I can't agree with that because it is every player's dream to play at and win a World Cup," he said. "Everyone in the cricketing world can see they are shutting the door on not only a lot of players, but also on the development of world cricket.
"It's not just about Ireland. This could mean the death of cricket in a lot of countries … and all because a few full members are looking to make a few extra quid from the competitions. How they can turn around, shut out half the world and still call themselves a world governing body is an absolute joke.
"It is every full member's duty to look after world cricket. Now the whole integrity of the World Cup has been brought into question because this is not a World Cup, it's a glorified Champions Trophy."