Belfast, May 30: Ireland's task is cut out if they have any intentions of making it to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be held Down Under. And their star all-rounder Trent Johnston, knows a thing or two about it.
According to him, Irish cricketer must get another scalp of a full-member cricketing nation to oush their case further for the participation in cricket's gala event.
After his side's abject loss to Pakistan, the same side they had defeated in the 2007 Cricket World Cup and shown to the World their development as a cricketing nation, he was quoted by BBC as saying, "It's important we put in a performance because Ireland and the next World Cup are in the limelight."
He added, The issue is on the tips of people's tongues that the Associates and Ireland should be allowed a qualification process [for the 2015 World Cup]. Because of that we really need to keep the fire burning and produce a performance against Pakistan."
Ireland were dismissed for only 96 runs by the Pakistani bowlers in the first ODI between the sides in the two-match series. Ireland eventually lost the match by seven wickets, but nevertheless their bowlers managed to make an impression with three wickets of the Pakistani top order.
Johnson, was also quoted by the BBC as saying, "We know it is not the be all and end all, because we have been consistent in our performances for a while now and think we deserve a chance. But at the same time we can help our cause if we beat Pakistan tomorrow and get another Full-Member scalp."
ICC had earlier decided to limit the ODI world cup to its full members thereby making it clear that Ireland won't be a part of the event. But later after widepsread criticism, it decided to revaluate the decision and chances are that they might stage a qualifying round before the World Cup to allow the better performing associate members.
Johston was among the representatives of the Associate members that met the ICC body to chalk out the impasse over the number of teams in the 2015 World Cup.
Speaking about that experience he said, "It was pretty resounding among the people at the meeting that they were happy with a 10-team World Cup, but they were uncomfortable with it being a closed-shop. The consensus was that it is unfair and that there should be some sort of qualification process."
He added, "You look at the last World Cup and while there were some lop-sided results with the minnows, ourselves and Holland had some pretty good performances, while a young emerging team like Afghanistan should be given a chance as well. It was pretty unanimous and we even had the CEO of New Zealand [Justin Vaughan], which is a Full-Member nation, back us as well so that is reassuring."
The all-rounder is hopeful that something will surely materialise for his team and said, "The committee that will discuss it next month is the one that made the decision for a ten-team, closed-shop World Cup. Obviously the talk around the cricket world has been they got the decision wrong initially, so hopefully they look at what's been said and decide differently this time. There is a lot of backing for us, people have come out and said it is unfair. The only thing we can do now perhaps is help our cause with a better performance against Pakistan on Monday."