• Afghanistan, Ireland get Test status

    Afghanistan and Ireland were on Thursday confirmed as full members of the International Cricket Council.

    Both will now be eligible to play Test cricket following a membership committee recommendation that the respective full member applications from each met the newly approved membership criteria and should be put forward for approval.

    ‘I’d like to congratulate Afghanistan and Ireland on their full membership status, which is the result of their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field, resulting in the significant development and growth of cricket in their respective countries,’ said ICC chief executive David Richardson.

    ‘Both have clearly demonstrated they meet the new criteria and as such have made the progression to full membership.’

    The ICC Board also unanimously agreed a new financial model, thereby reversing the 2014 resolutions and giving greater equality in the distribution of ICC income. As such. the revenue distribution for the cycle 2016-2023 will be as follows:

    Based on current forecasted revenues and costs, the BCCI will receive $405-million across the eight-year cycle, the ECB $139-million, Zimbabwe Cricket $94-million and the seven existing full members $128-million each.

    The associate members (together with Ireland and Afghanistan) will collectively receive funding of $240-million.

    Cricket Ireland chief executive, Warren Deutrom, expressed his pride at Ireland’s inclusion.

    ‘Test cricket is the pinnacle, it’s the best. Not being able to play Tests was the reason cited by some players, who weren’t able to achieve that career fulfilment with Ireland, as the reason they went to England,’ he told ESPN Cricinfo.

    ‘That reason is now removed, we can play Tests ourselves. Who can say for certain that players won’t leave in the future, but that can’t be the reason for it now.’

    ACB chief executive, Shafiq Stanikzai,  added that the job was not yet done, but saw Afghanistan’s inclusion as an honour.

    ‘Another day that we can lock in our history and be proud,’ he told ESPN Cricinfo.

    ‘Every achievement is great, but it opens the door to challenges. We’ll be hosting our international matches in Greater Noida and Sharjah, there should be a day when we can host inside Afghanistan.’

    Photo: Cody Glenn/Getty Images

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    Simon Borchardt