Ireland Captain William Porterfield said on Saturday that even if Ireland failed to make the quarter-finals of the International Cricket World Cup they and the other associate members have shown sufficient promise to warrant inclusion in future tournaments.
The Irish, the only one of the 4 associates to defeat a test playing country at the 11th version with wins over West Indies and Zimbabwe, can make the last eight on Sunday by defeating Pakistan in their Pool B finale in Adelaide.
Even if they lose, a first win for their associate workmates United Arab Emirates over West Indies would send the Irish through.
But with the International Cricket Council arguably cutting the number of teams from fourteen to ten for the 2019 tournament, defeat for both United Arab Emirates and Ireland on Sunday would likely mean a long wait for another International Cricket Council World Cup opportunity.
The 30 years old, who was part of the Irish squad that beat Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, was quoted saying: “I think all teams in the competition have shown enough to justify a change in 2019, Afghanistan could have gone across the line against Sri Lanka … which would have been great for them to get that win. But I don`t think it should matter. We`ve shown enough regardless come tomorrow of where we`re at and where the next qualifiers are at.“
Hosts England and the top 7 teams as of September 2017 will qualify for the next International Cricket Council World Cup, with another two coming from another qualifier for the bottom four and six other associate teams.
But the possibilities of success for Ireland and Afghanistan will depend on the number of fixtures they will be capable to play to help their ranking.
And that is a concern for skipper William Porterfield.
The Northern Irishman said they have played 9 against the top 10 in the previous four years, and he is sure that is a lot more maybe by Afghanistan. United Arab Emirates and Scotland would not have played that many.
So accumulative among the 4 countries, they have possibly played as many in four years as a lot of teams play in 1 year, if not less.
So in terms of coming into this tournament, he thinks the qualifiers have prepared themselves very well considering the preparation over the 4 years. He thinks to be capable to do that with that little preparation is great.