Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Irish Cricket Robbed by ICC

Just when Irish sport was recovering from the wounds inflicted by Sepp Blatter comes a new blow: the ICC - their abilities would make even FIFA blush - has decreed that there is no place for Ireland at the next cricket World Cup. This is baffling not only because of Ireland's excellent performance in this edition of the Cup but because the event has always been regarded as a vehicle for promoting the game beyond the test playing countries. One only has to look at India's case to see the effect that a strong performance in the World Cup can have on the development of the sport in a country. Before India's unexpected victory in the 1983 World Cup, Hockey was very much the national sport although India had Test status. Cricket captured the national imagination behind that one victory and dominated the sporting landscape in a way that is to be seen to be believed.

Irish cricket needed all the help possible. Instead of rewarding the country for exciting performances - like the terrific victory over England last month - the game's administrators have dealt a massive blow not just to Ireland but to cricket fans everywhere. This decision must be reversed.