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Friday 15 December 2017

Michael Holiding: Ireland deserve to have Test status

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan

Ireland's World Cup victory over West Indies has convinced Michael Holding they deserve to be granted immediate Test status.

International Cricket Council constitution, updated last year, provides a pathway for Ireland and other aspiring nations to play Tests in the foreseeable future.

Even so, there remain those who fear a 'glass ceiling', not least for a country like Ireland who - without Test status - continue to run the risk of losing their best players to neighbouring England.

They nonetheless began their World Cup campaign with a four-wicket win over the Windies in Nelson on Sunday, a performance former pace-bowling great Holding believes is stronger evidence than ever that Ireland should be fast-tracked. Holding, part of the Windies' much-feared seam attack in their glory days during the 1970s and 80s, told Wisden India: "Ireland need to be recognised now.

"It's about time ... if they continue to linger around the lower regions of world cricket they'll continue to lose good cricketers.

"(Eoin) Morgan left Ireland to play for England because he saw brighter prospects."

Morgan will be unavailable to skipper England in their one-day international against Ireland on May 8 after he was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League auction.

Morgan confirmed last month that he had entered the auction after the England and Wales Cricket Board relaxed rules to allow its contracted players to be available for the whole competition.

It was hoped that might prompt more England players to be purchased by Indian franchises, although the only ECB contracted players to be picked up were Morgan and Ravi Bopara. Alex Hales, who is ranked third on the ICC's Twenty20 batting ratings, was unsold.

Morgan and Bopara will join Kevin Pietersen at Hyderabad and will, therefore, both miss the one-off game in Dublin.

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