Ireland Netherlands

Ireland’ match with Netherlands on Tuesday ended in a tie, allowing them to qualify for the ICC World Cup 2015 © Getty Images

Dubai: Jul 10, 2013

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday congratulated Ireland for becoming the first associate team to qualify for the ICC World Cup 2015, saying they played “extremely well” and hoped the side will repeat their giant-killing performances of the 2007 and 2011 editions.

Ireland became the first Affiliate side to qualify for the World Cup after its sixth round ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Championship match against Netherlands ended in a tie on Tuesday. Ireland had won the first ODI on Sunday in Amstelveen by 88 runs.

With the top two teams in the WCL Championship qualifying for the 2015 World Cup, the result of one win and one tie means that Ireland has reached an unassailable tally of 20 points to open up a five-point lead over Netherlands and Scotland.

Ireland thus secured its qualification to the ICC’s flagship 50-over event, regardless of how the seventh and final round matches of the competition pan out.

“Ireland has performed extremely well throughout this competition, winning nine of its 12 matches against the strongest teams in Associate and Affiliate cricket to become the first team to qualify for the ICC CWC in 2015,” ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson said in a release.

“Ireland has been at the forefront of the rising standard and profile of Associate and Affiliate cricket around the world, and we look forward to watching the team in 2015 try to emulate and even better — its giant-killing performances of the ICC CWC 2007 and 2011,” he said.

In the 2007 edition, Ireland defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh, while in 2011 it recorded a heart-stopping victory over England.

“The ICC World Cricket League Championship provides great context to Associate and Affiliate cricket. With one team still to qualify from the ICC World Cricket League Championship, the competition is wide open and any one of Scotland, Netherlands and Afghanistan can progress directly to the main event in Australia and Zealand in 18 months’ time,” Richardson said.

“The remaining six unsuccessful sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship, along with Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Uganda will have another opportunity to qualify for the ICC CWC 2015 at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014, which will be staged in New Zealand next year.”

The World Cup 2015 will be Ireland’s sixth global event, with the side having already competed in the 2007 and 2011 editions, as well as the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009, 2010 and 2012.