Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Australia pace bowler Jason Gillespie believes that Ireland deserve Test status following a string of impressive performances over the last couple of years.
Gillespie also noted that by giving Ireland Test status, it may encourage more people to attend Test matches.
“Let’s face it, outside of Australia and England and, to a lesser extent, South Africa, people don’t turn up to watch Test cricket,” he said. “That’s just the way it is, and it’s sad.
“One fantastic way to give Test cricket a lift straight away would be to give Ireland full Test status. It’s something that should happen sooner rather than later from the ICC.
“Imagine if Ireland were given Test status. That would be huge news in world cricket, and it would be a massively positive story for the world game.
“The ICC and all the national boards talk a lot about the importance of protecting the integrity of Test cricket. If it is that important, then we should look to improve it, and in my view including Ireland would improve it.”
Ireland have pulled off a number of upsets over the past few years, including their renowned victory over England in the 2011 World Cup.
“Think of the list of names who’ve plied their trade in English domestic cricket and who have even played for England,” Gillespie said. “It would make a decent Test side.
“I don’t see why it couldn’t happen. Eoin Morgan is obviously with England full-time now but, apart from him, you’ve got Ed Joyce, William Porterfield, George Dockrell, Peter Chase.
“Ireland are ticking all the boxes. They’ve punched well above their weight in limited-overs tournaments.”