Irish hopes of making World Cup boosted by ICC decision

IRELAND’S hopes of making the 2015 Cricket World Cup have taken a massive turn for the better after the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday overturned a decision to exclude non-Test playing nations.

The ICC’s chief executives’ committee (CEC) met yesterday in Hong Kong and recommended in favour of a qualification process for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, paving the way for Ireland to play in the tournament.

All of these recommendations have been put forward to the ICC’s executive board, who will meet over the next two days. If ratified, they will come into effect from the start of October.

The ICC had opted to exclude Ireland and their fellow associate members from the competition, instead restricting the World Cup to just the 10 full-member nations.

However, April’s decision drew widespread criticism and prompted ICC president Sharad Pawar to call for a review.

Yesterday’s statement said: “The CEC recommended that there should be a qualification process for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 but did not make a recommendation to the ICC executive board on the number of teams that should compete in the event, to be held in Australia and New Zealand.”

The meeting in Hong Kong covered other issues also, including the mandatory use of the Decision Review System in international cricket.

The ICC’s chief executives’ committee unanimously agreed to recommend all Tests and one-day internationals are played with DRS, albeit modified so as not to automatically include ball-tracking technology such as HawkEye.

While infra-red cameras, like Hot Spot, and audio tracking equipment are now likely to become compulsory standards, the Board of Control for Cricket in India have been vocal doubters of predictive ball-tracking.

Teams will still be allowed to agree to use those systems but yesterday’s proposal means they are not part of the compulsory package.

Speaking ahead of his debut today as England’s permanent one-day captain, Alastair Cook showed his support for technology in the game.

“I believe DRS helps get more right decisions, which is the most important thing,” said Cook, who leads England against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s Thilina Kandamby who will skipper his side at The Oval today if Tillakaratne Dilshan fails a fitness test, echoed Cook’s sentiments. “I feel technology has to come in,” he said.

“I feel cricketers and umpires might make mistakes. We are all human, so it has to come in to a certain extent.”

England’s Test series against India later this summer is now expected to feature the modified version of DRS recommended by the CEC, where it was previously likely to be absent.

Meanwhile the Intercontinental Cup match between Ireland and Namibia, which was due to begin in Stormont today, is not going ahead due to visa issues faced by members of the tourists’ squad.

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