No point in Associates playing cricket if World Cup is reduced: Ireland captain William Porterfield
Ireland cricket team captain William Porterfield asked why the Associate countries should play cricket if the ICC is going to not globalize cricket
Ireland captain William Porterfield launched a scathing attack at the International Cricket Council (ICC), rubbishing their decision of hosting the next World Cup with just 10 teams. He said that it does not make sense having four fewer teams (the current edition has 14 teams) and having the 2019 World Cup last longer than the tournament Down Under. The Irish team captain even questioned the Associates’ “point to keep going” if the number of participating teams in World Cups is reduced.
Porterfield claimed that the ICC don’t want the game to grow and doubted their vision for cricket.
He said, “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,” the 30-year-old explained.
“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.”
“It is not right and it needs to change”
Porterfield’s Ireland narrowly missed out on qualification to the quarter-finals of the World Cup as they finished fifth in Pool B. However, they beat West Indies and Zimbabwe, two ICC Test-playing nations, apart from a win over United Arab Emirates. England – a Test-playing nation, on the other hand, failed to register a single win against a country with Test status, managing just 2 wins in the tournament – over Afghanistan and Scotland.
Porterfield said that despite the handicap of having limited fixtures, the Associate nations have shown that they can compete at the top level and a move to cut the number of participating teams at the World Cup does not augur well for the globalization of cricket.
“The ICC is the International Cricket Council. 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,” he said.
“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,” Porterfield concluded.