Test Status for Afghanistan and Ireland as Full Member Nations of ICC

Ireland team

The governing body of world cricket, the International Cricket Council(ICC) today confirmed Afghanistan and Ireland as full member nations of the ICC after an unanimous vote at the ICC full council meeting held at the Oval in London.

Also Read: India vs West Indies – Key Players and Probable XI

Both Afghanistan and Ireland will now be eligible to play Test cricket after a Membership Committee recommendation that the Full Member applications from each of the nations should meet the newly approved membership criteria and should be put forward for approval. The number of ICC full members has now increased to 12.

David Richardson, the ICC Chief Executive said, “I’d like to congratulate Afghanistan and Ireland on their Full Membership status which is the result of their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field resulting in the significant development and growth of cricket in their respective countries. Both have clearly demonstrated they meet the new criteria and as such have made the progression to Full Membership.”

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said: “I would like to thank all ICC members for their commitment to changing the constitution for the good of the global game. This is the first step towards the ICC improving its governance and I believe that these changes will benefit all members and enable us to continue to grow the global game. Throughout this process we have shown the strength of a collective and unified approach and I would like to pay tribute to my Board colleagues who have been so determined to reach consensus. They have not focused solely on their own country but have ensured cricket around the world benefits.”

Shafiq Stanikzai, Afghanistan Cricket Board Chief Executive said that, “For a nation like Afghanistan it is a huge and remarkable achievement, the entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces, it is the perfect Eid gift. Everyone has waited for this news and has been so keen to hear this news. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen and today it has become a reality.”

“I would like to thank the ICC and the Board who have demonstrated today that they are committed to growing the global game and rewarding nations who are performing on and off the field. As an administrator every achievement is huge and it opens the doors to new challenges and we need to work hard to maintain and sustain our development at the top of the cricket world.” he added.

Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said: “We are delighted and proud with today’s historic announcement. It is an extraordinary testament to the talent and endeavour of thousands of passionate players, coaches, volunteers, staff, clubs and committee people.

“We would like to thank most sincerely the ICC and its members for bestowing this honour on us today. It is a reflection not just of our past achievements but of our potential to grow our great game. We shall spend the next 24 hours marking the moment and celebrating this great day for Irish cricket and next week the hard work of planning to transition to full membership and Test status begins in earnest.” he added.

According to the current predicted costs and revenues, BCCI will be receiving $405m across the eight year cycle. The England Cricket board(ECB) will receive $139m, Zimbabwe cricket $94m and the seven existing full members will receive $128m each. The Associate Members along with Ireland and Afghanistan will get a funding of $240m each.

Afghanistan has had a sharp rise in world cricket as they gained ODI status in 2009 following a 6th finish at the 2009 World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa. They have shown that their players have the abilities to stand toe-to-toe with the players of other countries with great performances from the likes of Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan. Rashid Khan, the young Afghan Leggie recently picked up 7/18 which are the fourth best figures by a bowler in ODIs as they defeated West Indies in the first ODI of the recently concluded 3 match ODI series, drawn at 1-1. These kind of performances depict the calibre of the players of the Associate nations.

Ireland finished 2nd at the ICC Trophy Tournament following which they gained ODI status in 2005. They have defeated the likes of England and West Indies in the World cup stunning the world and proving that they can play against other test playing nations. This is a welcoming move by the ICC and would boost the confidence of other nations too to become full member nations and increase the competitiveness and quality of the world cricket.

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