Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ireland batsman Ed Joyce has expressed his disappointment towards the fact that the 2019 World Cup will only feature 10 teams.
Since Ireland were recently added to the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI rankings table, Joyce and the rest of his team-mates have to ensure that the national team are ranked eighth or better by September 30, 2017 in order to directly qualify for the 2019 World Cup. If they don’t, then they will have to take part in a qualification tournament and battle against three other nations for the last two spots.
“We are very disappointed that it is to be a 10-team World Cup,” Joyce told the BBC. “We seem to be the only sport that has a World Cup that is contracting rather than expanding.”
Since Ireland are currently ranked 12th, behind Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, Joyce admitted that this could be the national team’s “last World Cup”.
“I hate to say it, but this could be our last World Cup because it is going to be very difficult to get into that top eight and, with the qualifying tournament in Bangladesh, they are going to have a home advantage,” he said. “I wholeheartedly disagree with the reasons for that. I do not think it is the way a sport should be run, especially one that speaks about expanding and trying to get bigger. Opportunities are obviously dwindling for sides outside the elite and that’s not ideal for trying to grab the game at home. There is an appetite, but we need an opportunity.”