Ireland’s route to 50-over World Cup tougher after ICC meeting

Qualification for 2019 event will see countries ranked ninth and 10th joining Associate nations in qualifier

Kevin O’Brien: yesterday named the international player of the year in the Cricket Ireland awards. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland's potential route to the 2019 50-over World Cup in England and Wales looks tougher than ever following the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai.

Ireland qualified for their third straight 50-over World Cup by winning the ICC World Cricket League in July 2013 and will compete in next year’s event in Australia and New Zealand.

The 14-team format for next year’s event was only restored after considerable pressure was put on the ICC by Associate and Affiliate members, with Ireland in the vanguard of the campaign.

The ICC had initially announced it as a 10-team tournament and part of the compromise was that future 50-over World Cups after 2015 would only involve 10 countries. The qualification for the 2019 event will see the top eight in the one-day international rankings as of September 30th, 2017 automatically qualify, with those ranked ninth and 10th joining the Associate nations in a qualifier event.


Bangladesh and Zimbabwe sit ninth and 10th in the ODI rankings, with further evidence the full member countries are trying to make the event a closed shop coupled with the fact Bangladesh will host the 2018 qualifier tournament. Ireland are 12th in the ODI standings, with Afghanistan in 11th.


Ireland’s hopes of rising up the rankings are hindered by the lack of opportunities to play full member countries in one-day internationals, with just 10 scheduled between the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, two of which were rained off, and just one away game coming against the West Indies in February.

The ICC also announced the prize fund for next year’s World Cup will rise from $8 million (€6.44m) in 2011 to $10 million (€8m), with the winning side taking home €3 million. For the first time the six teams eliminated after the group stages will receive €28,000 while a win in the group stages is worth €36,000, up from €24,000 in 2011.

Meanwhile, Kevin O’Brien has proved a World Cup hero in the past for Ireland and the all-rounder was yesterday named the international player of the year in the Cricket Ireland awards.

Cecelia Joyce took the international women’s award, while Craig Young was named the young player of the year and Peter Chase taking the academy award.

Australian-born Irish international opening bat Nick Larkin recorded his maiden first-class century in New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield game against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval. The 24-year-old made 130 in the second innings having scored 78 in the first in just his second game for the state side.

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist