Ireland's 2015 cup hopes rest on ICC rethink

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The Independent Online

Ireland are set to be given the clearest indication yet on whether they will play in the next World Cup at the International Cricket Council's annual conference in Hong Kong.

The ICC is expected to review the decision to exclude Ireland and their fellow Associate members from the 2015 tournament when the five-day conference begins on Sunday.

The April decision to restrict the Cup to the 10 full-member nations, with no qualifiers, was widely condemned, especially after Ireland's impressive performances at this year's showpiece.

The criticism led the ICC president, Sharad Pawar, to call for a review, while last month the ICC's Cricket Committee unanimously recommended that a qualification system be introduced.

With ICC head Haroon Lorgat also backing calls for qualification there will be pressure on the Chief Executives' Committee to reverse its decision.

"I do support that there should be some sort of qualification process for all members to get to the World Cup. I do favour a 10-team World Cup with a qualification process," said Lorgat.

The Decision Review System is also set to be a key discussion point.

The Cricket Committee unanimously recommended its use in all Test matches, but India have blocked it from use in their upcoming series in England.

"The ICC cricket committee is in favour of employing DRS in all formats of the game," Lorgat added. "They were quite impressed with the success in terms of all the research and feedback they received."

Other topics include the prospect of day-night Tests and the format of one-day internationals.

The West Indies pace bowler Ravi Rampaul has been fined 10 per cent of his match fee for dissent after disputing an umpire's decision in the first Test against India, the ICC said yesterday. The West Indies captain, Darren Sammy, was also reprimanded for another code of conduct breach in the Sabina Park test, the ICC said in a statement.

India won the Test, which ended on the fourth day on Thursday, by 63 runs to take the lead in the three-match series.

"Just like India player Amit Mishra in the first innings, Ravi stood his ground and gestured to both the umpires on being given out," ICC match referee Jeff Crowe said.

Sammy was reprimanded for pointing to his arm to suggest where the ball had struck him when the Indian fielders appealed for a catch.

"Darren, who was eventually given not out, immediately looked to influence the umpire as to where the ball struck him," Crowe added."It is a pity they didn't take note of Amit's earlier behaviour because it is clear that their actions were also in breach of the code."