Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has warned the International Cricket Council their decision to exclude associate nations from the 2015 World Cup is “not a dead issue” as far as he is concerned.
Irish cricket has been left devastated by the news their spirited displays at the recently completed tournament – which saw them complete an historic win over England as well as running the West Indies and Bangladesh close – are to be rewarded by a return to the World Cup wilderness until at least 2019.
Having resolved to cut the tournament, which had been criticised as being too drawn out, from 14 teams to 10 it also opted to award automatic qualification to all 10 full member nations in 2015 before instituting a qualifying period four years later.
That decision jars with the fact that Ireland are currently ranked above 11th-placed Zimbabwe and Deutrom is committed to investigating all possible lines of appeal.
“We won’t be taking this lying down, we will continue to fight this and we don’t believe this is a dead issue yet,” he said.
“The chairman of the associates has sent a memo out to all 95 non-Test playing countries to notify them of the decision and to say the six elected representatives who sit on the two main ICC committees will be liaising over the coming days to talk about the course of action we need to take.”
Asked if it would be feasible for the associates and affiliates to take the decision to the courts, Deutrom said: “I would think that (legal action) would be a long way down the track.
“But we do have to determine if the ICC has acted in concert with its memorandum and articles. I don’t believe the ICC or its directors would act in an illegal fashion but we have to determine whether or not what has transpired is in the best interests of the sport.
“There is fidelity to one’s memo and articles and that’s one thing, but there is also fidelity to the principles of sport.
“I have worked in the ICC for the best part of eight or nine years, first as part of the management and now sitting on one of the two senior committees and I can say that today I am ashamed to be part of that apparatus.”
Deutrom is particularly frustrated to be dealt such a blow having overseen plenty of behind-the-scenes developments in Irish cricket.
As well as improving steadily on the pitch Ireland have improved their infrastructure, secured more high-profile one-day internationals and increased their funding through government and private sponsorship.
Deutrom is now fearful about whether or not all of those improvements can be sustained without the lure of a World Cup appearance.
“We can’t guarantee fixtures to our funding sponsors or our government partners and we have to fight for every ODI we get,” added Deutrom.
“Now we’re in the position we would be had we failed to qualify for a World Cup but from our perspective we always thought we would be good enough to qualify.
“Only time will tell whether or not those funding partners and stakeholders, who have been so loyal so far, will continue to be loyal in the future.”