Finally after 17 years ICC have agreed to add two more cricketing nations for elite club of test playing teams. Its a big news for both the teams.
Ireland cricket, who attained their ICC status in 1993 took a while to get the ODI status. It was 2007 World cup in Caribbean land where Ireland who were one among 6 associate countries to participate in that World cup were put in the same group of Pakistan, hosts and Zimbabwe. Upsets are bound to happen in the World cup and they started their first ever worldcup campaign in an enthralling way. Down the blue mountains of Kingston, they created history by beating fellow green army Pakistan and advanced to super 8 of that tournament. Although they lost in super 8, warm welcome was awaited in Dublin airport for their team’s magnificent achievement at the biggest tournament of the game. Time and again they evinced why they are superior than the other two associate giants of the same continent. Beating Bangladesh in 2009 World T20, Historic win against England in 2011 worldcup and the win against West indies in 2015 worldcup proved to be stepping stones for their success of getting longest format status. The tenacity of players to do well in crucial games has finally given them the reward. This is a massive step towards the game’s development in a country where cricket is not amongst most popular sports. Ireland’s record in Intercontinental cup, which is a tournament designed for Associate nations to play First class cricket has been incredible. They are most successful team in that tournament having won 4 out of 7 editions including the latest one. Irish cricketers also have a good exposure of playing in English county making their way easier to play the same format at the International level.
Ireland record in ODIs: Matches- 123, Won- 51, Lost- 62, Tied- 3, No result- 7
Record in T20Is: Matches: Matches- 61, Won- 26, Lost- 29, No result- 6
Afghanistan thrived and evolved quickly after getting ODI status. The success which they have achieved in cricket has made this war-torn country noteworthy in competitive cricketing world. They might not have won against big teams as much as Ireland have won, but they have always been a force to reckon against their equally good teams. Afghanistan’s performance in Intercontinental cup has been remarkable too. They won in 2009-10 and were runner-up in last edition. Rise of cricket in Afghanistan has gone leaps and bounds making it as one of the most popular sport in the country. A spirited team having bunch of exciting cricketers were destined to achieve big at this level. Participation and performance of their poster boys in IPL where they were first associate nation cricketers to be part of the league is the testimony to quality of cricket they play. Sportsmanship is the one which they value the most and that has drawn lot of fans towards them in recent times.They have showed immense strength of character to reach this feat. Afghans are currently ranked 10th in ODIs and 9th in T20Is in ICC rankings.
Afghanistan record in ODIs: Matches- 83, Won- 42, Lost- 39, No result- 2
Record in T20Is: Matches- 61, Won- 39, Lost- 22, No result- 0
I think its bit late for Ireland as they should have got it 3-4 years back when they had showed enough credibility to get the test status while for Afghanistan they have hit the spot at right time.
What do higher authority say ?
Cricket Ireland chairman Ross McCollum –
“We will start discussions with several parties about staging our first Test. We are sincerely grateful to the ICC and its members for giving us this honour. It is a recognition of the quality of our teams over the years, male and female, of our talented administration, and of the strength of our domestic and club structures.” he said.
Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai –
“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.” he said.