Ireland and Afghanistan to play Test cricket after ICC vote

  • Ireland and Afghanistan to play Test cricket after ICC vote

Ireland and Afghanistan to play Test cricket after ICC vote

Both countries were confirmed as full members after a unanimous vote at an ICC Council meeting in London on Thursday.

The granting of Test status will fulfil a lifelong ambition for the likes of legendary batsman Ed Joyce, who is playing on in expectation of a treasured first Test cap.

As new full members of the ICC, Ireland and Afghanistan will take the total of countries playing tests to 12.

And what about Eoin Morgan, will he come back and play Test cricket for Ireland now? "Today is a historic day for Afghanistan, every Afghan is happy", Afghanistan Cricket Board deputy chairman Dost Mohammad Nazari said.

Ireland have been knocking on the doors of the ICC for quite some time.

ICC chief executive David Richardson outlined how he believes the new funding model will benefit Ireland and Afghanistan, who are still bundled with the other Associate countries at present, sharing $240 million (€215 million) over the next eight-year cycle.

Neither Ireland or Afghanistan are expected to take part in the mooted nine-team Test championship that could finally be announced on Friday by the ICC after months of talks.

Now they will be able to play Test cricket against the world's best, as will Afghanistan - who only achieved affiliate membership in 2013.

But after securing Ireland s qualification for the 2011 World Cup, in April 2009, he was immediately called up by England after making his mark in county cricket with Middlesex.

"Test cricket is the pinnacle".

The growth of cricket in Afghanistan has been particularly astonishing, given that most members of the current team learned to play while growing up in refugee camps in bordering Pakistan.

"I'd like to thank all those involved with Irish cricket for their drive, enthusiasm and energy over the years which has made this journey an ultimately successful one".

"It is also clearly a sign of the faith that the cricket community has in Ireland's ability to help grow the global cricket economy through more people attending, watching or investing in our great sport". "That reason is now removed, we can play Tests ourselves".

Questions remain, however, about how well Afghanistan and Ireland, now coached by former New Zealand off-spinner John Bracewell, will do in the game's longest format. "We're all proud of this cricket team and cricket board", he said.

And are bags of cash about to flow into Cricket Ireland's coffers?