Ireland hope to avoid falling victim to slimmed down Cricket World Cup | The Spin

In March 10 sides will fight for two remaining places at the 2019 tournament and in-form Ireland face a tough battle to qualify

On Thursday, Ireland play a Northerns/Easterns XI in Pretoria. This is the opening skirmish in a battle of the utmost importance, with qualification for next year’s World Cup at stake, the decision to shrink the tournament to just 10 participants about to yield its first significant victims.

There were 12 teams in 1996 and 1999, 14 in 2003, 16 in 2007 and 14 again in 2011. Before that event the decision was made to reduce the 2015 field to 10, a move derided by the then Ireland captain William Porterfield as “an absolute joke” and “an absolute disgrace”. The ICC was swiftly convinced to change its mind, but for next year’s World Cup in England the guillotine has fallen.

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