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'An absolute disgrace'

Ireland has been incensed by the decision to freeze them out of the next Cricket World Cup, which will be limited to the International Cricket Council’s 10 full-member nations, restricting the tournament to the nine Test nations and Zimbabwe.

The Irish caused one of the tournament’s biggest upsets when they beat England, but they aren’t only plucky underdogs who look to occasionally bloody the nose of a bigger foe; they stand in 10th place in the one-day world rankings but won’t be able to qualify even through a qualification tournament. They will however have the chance to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will be held in England, but this begs the question: what is the point of the rankings if they don’t count for anything?

‘It's an absolute disgrace and I don't know how they can even comprehend doing this,' said Ireland captain William Porterfield. 'We have done everything they asked of us over the last few years in terms of restructuring Irish cricket and I can't come to terms with how they can just shut us out, do away with the qualification period and then try and call this a World Cup.

‘We are currently ranked 10th, ahead of Zimbabwe, and there is no reason we can't move up another position, if not two, by the next World Cup. Instead, the door has been closed in our face. It is an embarrassment.

‘I don't know what else we had to do in the World Cup, we held our own against the full members, we beat England, we got the fastest ever hundred. For them to turn around and throw that back in our face a few weeks later is an absolute joke.’

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