Jason Gillespie, now head coach of Yorkshire, said that one fantastic way to give Test cricket a lift straight away would be to give Ireland Test status © Getty Images
Jason Gillespie, now head coach of Yorkshire, said that one fantastic way to give Test cricket a lift straight away would be to give Ireland Test status © Getty Images

London: Dec 16, 2014

Former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie has called for Ireland to be elevated to Test-cricket status, as he believes the move would reward the nation’s performances in limited-overs internationals and provide a necessary boost to the long format of the game.

Gillespie, now head coach of Yorkshire, said that one fantastic way to give Test cricket a lift straight away would be to give Ireland Test status, adding that it is something that should happen sooner rather than later from the ICC.

Gillespie said that stats reveal that outside of Australia and England and, to a lesser extent, South Africa, people don’t turn up to watch Test cricket, adding that that’s just the way it is, and it’s sad, BBC reported.

He added that imagine if Ireland were given Test status, that would be huge news in world cricket, and it would be a massive positive story for the world game.

Gillespie said that the ICC and all the national boards talk a lot about the importance of protecting the integrity of Test cricket, adding that if it is that important, then they should look to improve it, and in his view including Ireland would improve it.

Ireland reached the Super Eight stage of the 2007 World Cup, beating Pakistan and Bangladesh, and claimed a memorable victory over England at the 2011 tournament. In addition, they have played in every World Twenty20 since 2009.

The International Cricket Council had approved a play-off system in April that would give Ireland and Scotland the chance to play Test cricket. The world governing body said that the ICC Test Challenge would take place every four years from 2018.

The winners of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, featuring the top non-Test sides, would play four five-day matches against the lowest-ranked Test team, the report added.