Ireland to play tests?

Ireland's cricket team has again shown its calibre. After tying with Zimbabwe they have gone one better by defeating Pakistan and knocking them out of the competition.

Ireland now have the chance of gaining Test status - something that the ICC should consider seriously. There's no doubt that Ireland still has a way to go to produce consistently good cricketers, but there's also no doubt that the potential is there.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe has gone backwards ever since the player exodus and political problems destroyed any chance that the team has of playing competitive cricket. They should be banned from playing any form of Test cricket until there is evidence that things are improving.

The best thing that the ICC can do to develop the game in both Ireland and Zimbabwe is to pressure the ECB to relax some of its rules in choosing players. Money should be reallocated to give English counties incentive to hire cricketers from Zimbabwe and/or Ireland, and the rules about overseas cricketers from these nations should be relaxed.

A team representing Ireland should also be added to the County Cricket competition, in addition to developing grassroots competition in Ireland.

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