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Monday 23 October 2017

Porterfield: ICC shutting us out

Ireland captain William Porterfield fears the International Cricket Council will be running a competition for 'members only' rather than a proper World Cup if it presses ahead with streamlining plans.

The ICC remains committed to reducing the number of teams competing in the next World Cup, in England in 2019, to 10 rather than the 14 who took part in the ongoing one in Australia and New Zealand.

Porterfield (pictured) is tempted to ask himself "What's the point?" in continuing on that basis, as the world governing body is effectively "shutting doors in the face" of improving associate nations like his own.

Ireland have beaten Test-playing countries at each of the last three World Cups, including a famous run chase against England in 2011 and another against West Indies to begin their campaign this year.

But Porterfield worries Ireland, and others, will have minimal opportunity to qualify for the tournament next time - because they are granted so few fixtures against teams they need to beat.

"It's a decision that not only I but a lot of other people completely disagree with," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If you look at any other sport around the world, they're looking to expand and develop.

"The way the ICC are going... they don't seem to be doing that really."

Instead, after this week's remarks from ICC chief executive David Richardson, Porterfield senses financial considerations are over-riding any intention to make cricket a truly global sport.

"Cutting teams is not the way forward," he said.

"It's only full members, pretty much, they're giving the opportunities to - it may as well be a members' cup, as opposed to a World Cup."

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