Today will hopefully be one of those moments in sporting history when we will look back and think ‘that was the day.’
At around 4pm this afternoon word is expected from the international Cricket Council on the outcome of a vote among existing full members to admit two new members to one of the most privileged tables in World Sport.
Ireland and Afghanistan are overwhelming favourites to be those two new members should the vote go the right way.
Bangladesh were the last nation to join the club, 20 years ago and before them it was New Zealand. The decision will be taken based on the new admissions meeting a host of criteria relating to governance and management of the game. It is believed that ireland has submitted strong material in support of this.
The benefits will come in more games against teams at the highest level of the sport. Ireland have acquitted themselves well in World Cups beating England, Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe along the way but it is in the sustained regular pitting of wits against the best that long term improvement will come.
There will also be access to greater levels of international funding to develop the game at local level.
The figures involved would make the GAA, FAI and IRFU excited. The global revenue estimates for International cricket between now and 2025 range from $2.5 billion to $3 billion dollars and there are suggestions that ireland’s share of that could be between $50 million and $75 million.
Those are the kind of monies that will enable Cricket ireland to deliver on its mission over the coming years to Make Cricket Mainstream in this country, mush as it was in the 19th century before the advent of organised hurling.
Tipperary and Kilkenny were unsurprisingly strongholds of the sport. Who knows if the decision goes the way we hope it will maybe we will have an All Ireland Cricket Championship in the years, well maybe decades to come.
If the call made is the right one it will be down to the enormous work put in by every level of the game here, especially from CEO Warren Deutrom and Chairman Ross McCollum who have travelled the world stating Ireland’s case.
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