Michael Holding has backed Ireland’s national cricket team to get Test status from the ICC.
Ireland beat the West Indies by four wickets on Monday, their third win over a test-playing nation in their third World Cup since 2007.
The Caribbean team collapsed to 87 for five in Nelson on Monday before Lendl Simmons (102) and Darren Sammy (89) guided them to a total of 304 for seven.
But as far as fast bowling legend Holding and many other observers were concerned that was merely a ‘par score’.
Certainly it was one Ireland, defeating a Test side for the third successive World Cup, had few problems chasing down as they made 307 for six with 25 balls to spare at Saxton Oval.
‘It was a little bit pathetic to be honest,’ Holding told Wisden India.
‘I’ve been saying since this World Cup started that 300 on a good pitch here in New Zealand or Australia is just a par score, irrespective of who you’re playing against,’ he added.
‘The West Indies, I do not understand how they could ever think that just over 300 runs that they would just automatically win,’ insisted Holding, a member of the West Indies side that won the 1979 World Cup final.
Holding was far more complimentary about Ireland, indicating the International Cricket Council (ICC) ought to grant them Test status in a bid to stop the other players from following the example of Irish-born Eoin Morgan, England’s captain at the World Cup, in switching allegiance.
‘If they (Ireland) continue to linger around the lower regions of world cricket they’ll continue to lose good cricketers,’ Holding said.
‘Morgan left Ireland to play for England because he saw brighter prospects. England are a Test playing nation and are a world-renowned team.
‘Ireland need to be recognised now. They are playing good cricket and it’s about time they get the recognition otherwise they’ll keep losing cricketers.’
Meanwhile, Holding predicted Ireland would qualify for the quarter-finals, with four teams from each of the two pools of seven going through to the knockout phase.
‘I should certainly think (they’ll qualify). I think they’ll beat Zimbabwe….I would think they have an outstanding chance of going on to the quarter-finals.’