Hong Kong, June 28: Irish cricket chief Warren Deutrom today urged the global governing body to run the sport as a "meritocracy" by giving smaller nations the chance to compete in World Cups and achieve Test status.
Deutrom spoke out ahead of a key decision by the International Cricket Council''s (ICC) executive board on controversial plans to bar so-called "minnow" countries from the next World Cup in 2015.
"The one thing that we shouted out more loudly than anything else is ''meritocracy'' -- not ''we want to be given this as a right but ''we want the opportunity to be better''," Cricket Ireland''s chief executive told AFP.
Ireland performed on a par with many of the full member, or Test-playing, nations at this year''s World Cup, including a stunning victory against England. They also upset Pakistan during their first World Cup appearance in 2007.
But there is no official route or timetable for Ireland to be awarded Test status, frustrating their players, administrators and fans.
Ireland were among a number of second-tier nations to voice outrage in April when the ICC said it would limit participation in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand to the 10 Test-playing nations.
However, the ICC's chief executives'' committee recommended on Monday that the decision be reversed, suggesting a qualifying process to allow an unspecified number of minnows to take part.
The recommendation goes before the ICC's executive board for a final decision later on Tuesday. The world body''s five-day annual conference is due to wrap up on Thursday.
"All we've asked for from the very start is simply a road map to where we go next because what we''ve done and what we've achieved is everything that has been asked of us," said Deutrom.