Ireland to join big guns in one-day top tier cricket

Ireland will join the top tier of one day cricket after gaining approval from the International Cricket Council yesterday.

Ireland to join big guns in one-day top tier cricket

Ireland, along with Afghanistan will join the 10 full members in a rankings-based qualification system for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

As a result, Ireland will no longer participate in the ICC World Cricket League, but will continue to play in the four-day, first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup from 2015 to 2017. The top eight-ranked sides on the ICC ODI team rankings on September 30 2017 will qualify automatically to the 2019 event, while the bottom four will play in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 that will determine the final two teams in the line-up.

The new structure also includes a promotion and relegation system.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said: “We were confident that a robust qualification pathway would be put in place for the 2019 World Cup, and it is noteworthy that, for the first time, at least two Full Members will have to pre-qualify. It is also important in terms of delivering genuine context to the 50-over game, that every ODI will now count in some way towards qualification for the World Cup.”

Meanwhile Australian star Brett Lee bowed out of professional cricket on the losing side but with star-status intact as Perth Scorchers retained their Big Bash League title in a thrilling finish against Sydney Sixers yesterday.

Australia great Lee, playing his last match before retirement, rattled the stumps with the fourth and fifth balls of the final over and faced the prospect of bowing out with an unforgettable hat-trick.

Yasir Arafat dug out the delivery but would still have been run out — forcing a super over — had Sixers captain Moises Henriques not fluffed his collection at the bowler’s end.

The scrambled single left Scorchers with a four-wicket win, having chased down their opponents’ 147 for five.

Lee said: “That’s cricket, isn’t it?

“My hands are still shaking from that last ball. I was just trying to blast those pegs one last time and I thought I had it on the money. We played really well tonight but there had to be a loser and it had to be us.”

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