Porterfield: Cull questions World Cup's integrity

Ireland captain William Porterfield has accused the International Cricket Council of endangering the integrity of the World Cup as well as damaging the development of the game worldwide after it was decided the 2015 World Cup would be closed to associate members.

Ireland captain William Porterfield has accused the International Cricket Council of endangering the integrity of the World Cup as well as damaging the development of the game worldwide after it was decided the 2015 World Cup would be closed to associate members.

An ICC executive board meeting in Mumbai yesterday made the ruling that in addition to culling four sides from the 14-strong tournament that has just been completed, it would also do away with a qualification process in four years' time.

Instead the 10 full members nations will automatically compete, including a Zimbabwe side currently ranked below Ireland in the official rankings in 11th.

Porterfield has given a furious critique of the decision, questioning the motives behind the move as well as predicting a devastating effect on the growth of the sport in disenfranchised countries like his own.

He said: "It's an absolute disgrace 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.

"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.

"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. Instead, the door has been closed in our face. It is an embarrassment.

"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."

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom, who plans to explore every avenue available in terms of appealing the decision, told Press Association Sport: "We're outraged by the decision. We're not taking it lying down.

"It's a betrayal of sporting principles and it flies in the face of all the evidence we saw at the World Cup, which was that an associate nation could compete with the best teams in the world.

"In the last four years we have been ranked above one of the teams that now has automatic qualification for the World Cup, Zimbabwe, and there isn't a single point you can take from that that is remotely justifiable."

The 2019 tournament will be preceded by a qualifying period, with promotion and relegation from an ODI league planned after that.

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