Wednesday 16 January 2019

In Brief: Simmons tells Irish to earn it

Cricket: Ireland coach Phil Simmons believes Ireland must prove they are worthy of a place at the World Cup after being handed a route back into the tournament by the International Cricket Council.

Ireland will be expected to qualify for their third consecutive World Cup in 2015 after the ICC announced yesterday that four associate nations will play in Australia and New Zealand.

That represented a significant reversal of the ICC's thinking, after only two months ago it announced it no longer wanted to have a 14-team World Cup and that the tournament would be restricted to only its full members. The ruling was, however, met with widespread condemnation with Ireland's impressive performances at the past two World Cups at the heart of criticism.

The fact the ICC bowed to the pressure is perhaps a reflection on the strides Ireland have made on the international stage.

However, Simmons wants more from his upcoming side.

The Irish have played the spoiler's role at their two World Cup appearances -- reaching the last eight in 2007 before this year's tournament was highlighted by a memorable win over England.

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