Ireland skipper William Porterfield fears that even if there has been growing criticism of the ICC’s stance (over the 10-team World Cup), the issue will fade away once the World Cup is over. Despite featuring fewer teams, it will actually be longer than the current event and, as Porterfield sees it, if the ICC is hell bent on limiting the mega event, then all the associate nations might as well not bother to play.
“I’m sure the ICC are hoping everything blows over in the next few weeks and they don’t hear much from us. And then it’s just as easy to brush it under the carpet.
“But I think something has to be done if they want to grow the game. Everyone wants to know what their vision for the game is, because if they cut the teams in world competitions, why not just have 10 teams playing cricket and every other country in the world doesn’t bother?
“The next World Cup is two or three days longer than this World Cup. So if you’ve got four fewer teams and your competition drags out longer, that’s not an excuse for cutting the number of teams.
“It’ll be interesting to see what their vision is and what their thoughts are behind the 10-team competition and what value there is for other teams playing outside of the top 10.”
The frustration for Porterfield is that Ireland have continued to improve and develop but appear to have future opportunities blocked. Even in the ongoing World Cup, despite not reaching the last eight, they beat two Full Member nations – West Indies and Zimbabwe – which is two more than England managed.
“The ICC is the International Cricket Council,” Porterfield said. “That’s global. They’ve got to develop the game. There’s a lot of countries out there that have done a lot of work over the last number of years. We’ve shown what we can do when we get to these competitions with the minimal fixtures that we’ve had.
“I think when we do get more fixtures then we’re only going to keep improving, and it’s going to be the same with every other country. You’ve got to keep growing the game.
“If you cut World Cups from the agenda, then what’s the point really in us keeping going? I think it’s the wrong move. I think a lot of people have spoken out and said that it is the wrong move. And not just from Associate countries, from Test-playing nations and a lot of influential people, too. So I don’t think the ICC can just ignore that. I don’t think it’s right. It needs to change,” he concluded.