Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ireland captain William Porterfield has made it clear that his side need to play more games against top-ranked opposition.
Porterfield’s comments come after Ireland were added to the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings table.
“We need fixtures. We’re crying out for that,” Porterfield said. “We need that kind of support. As a player it is very frustrating. We’ve talked about World Cups and they’re four years apart. We’ve played nine games against top-eight teams since 2011. Nine games in four years is nothing really. We need to be playing more.”
Porterfield also cannot understand why higher-ranked nations are hesitant to play against teams like Ireland.
“I’m not sure, I can’t put my finger on it,” he said. “Warren and the people behind the board have done a fantastic amount to try and organise fixtures, but I’m guessing it is up to boards to agree to play us.
“We’ve got an open door to anyone so I’m guessing teams aren’t agreeing to play us.”
Since Ireland have a chance of directly qualifying for the 2019 World Cup, Porterfield is on a mission to try and ensure his side play more games against top-tier countries like Australia, South Africa and India.
“If we play the same amount of fixtures we have in the past four years we’ve no chance because we’re not going to qualify through nine games,” he said. “I’m not asking for seven fixtures against Australia or India, we’ve got to be playing teams around us first and foremost and more often which we’re not getting.
“Hopefully being in this top 12 we’ll get this opportunity. That’s what we need and the proof is going to be in the pudding over the next 12-18 months if we get these fixtures.”
When asked about Ireland’s goals are for the World Cup, Porterfield said: “Getting out of our group. We’ve done that on previous occasions in different formats of World Cups. That’s first and foremost, that’s our goal to get through that and reassess from there.
“Once you get through your group you are in straight knockout games. That’s the priority for ourselves to get into that top four.”