WHATEVER happens during the remainder of the Cricket World Cup in India, Ireland’s stunning victory over England has set the tone for the tournament.
And it has done Ireland’s chances of obtaining full I.C.C. member status, which would allow them to play Test matches for the first time, no harm at all.
Ireland captain and former Donemana player, William Porterfield, described his team’s three-wicket win over England in Bengalore on Wednesday as ‘the biggest win in the history of Irish cricket.’
“I think I speak for all Irish sports teams, not just cricket, when I say that beating England in any sport at a World Cup is always going to be a fantastic occasion,” he said.
Kevin O’Brien turned around a remarkable match with his 50-ball century – the fastest by any player at a World Cup - to take Ireland from 111-5 past England’s total of 327, which was also the highest successful run chase in World Cup history.
Ireland, under the guidance of West Indian coach, Phil Simmons and Irish team manager Roy Torrens, have been the leading Associate Cricket Nation – non-Test playing – for the last few years.
The International Cricket Council has pumped millions of pounds into the development of Bangladesh as a Test-playing nation over the past decade, but they have only ever won three matches from 68 attempts.
Ireland’s efforts on the one-day stage – they dumped highly-fancied Pakistan out of the last World Cup four years ago – make a strong case for their promotion to the Test-playing ranks.
North-West Stage World Cup
Meanwhile the North-West has been selected to host the Under-19 World Cup qualifiers this summer.
A total of 10 nations will take part in a week-long tournament which will begin on August 3rd next.
Beechgrove, Strabane, Bready, Limavady, Eglinton, Drummond and Coleraine will all host matches.
North-West chairman, Mr. Joe Doherty, said he was delighted at the decision.
“Eddie Fitzgibbon came over from Dubai last week and spent two days visiting the seven grounds we put forward and they all passed. It was fantastic to get a 100 percent passmark back.”