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ICC to consider Ireland's bid for Test status

Cricinfo staff
February 8, 2010
Ireland have impressed in the one-day game © Getty Images
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The ICC board will discuss Ireland's proposal to become a Full Member when they meet in Dubai on February 10 and 11.

Ireland are the world's leading associate team and announced their ambitions for Full-Member status, a pathway for Test cricket, in November last year. Ireland's cricketers have mounted a strong case with a string of solid performances in the four-day, 50 and 20-over formats but face a difficult task convincing existing members of the political and commercial benefits that their elevation would bring to the game.

Unlike Bangladesh, who were the most recent country to reach Test status in 2000, Ireland doesn't possess a large cricket-orientated population, while Bangladesh also gained the support of the Asian countries.

"It perhaps sets in motion a process that allows others to see the levels they need to reach in order to fulfill the same ambitions," Warren Deutrom, the Ireland chief executive, said at the time. "It shouldn't be easy. Test cricket is regarded as the pinnacle of the game and it's quite right that those trying to ascend to Test cricket, or just Full Membership without necessarily involving Test cricket, have to ensure that they are coming up to some pretty rigorous criteria."

Nevertheless they remain unwavering in their ambitions and while the team prepares for the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in UAE, Cricket Ireland confirmed a series against Jamaica in April, ahead of the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean. Deutrom feels it's a move that will help progress Irish cricket.

"Whether or not we have qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 Cup in the Caribbean, playing against teams of this calibre is exactly what Ireland needs to do in order to both continue its upward curve on the field, and to gain experience of overseas conditions."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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