Irish handed further World Cup boost after ICC meeting

Ireland's hopes of playing in the 2015 World Cup appear to have received a major boost.

Ex-Ireland captain Trent Johnston told BBC Sport on Wednesday that the ICCexternal-link's Cricket Committee had "unanimously" recommended that there should be a qualifying process for the 2015 event.

Last month, the ICC announced a move to restrict the 2015 competition to the sport's 10 full members.

This led to a major outcry and the ICC later said it would revisit the issue.

Former Ireland captain Johnston was attending Wednesday's meeting as a players' representative of the associate nations.

Johnston wrote on his Twitter page: "Unanimous decision by ICC Cricket Committee to recommend to the Chief Exec Committee there be a qualifier for CWC 2015. A great result!"

A final decision on the issue is expected to be taken at the ICC's Annual Conference in Hong Kong in June.

Two weeks after the initial decision, ICC president Sharad Pawar responded to vociferous dissatisfaction among the associate and affiliate nations by requesting the executive board look again at the structure of the tournament.

Apart from Ireland, who beat England in 2011 and Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, the other nations outside the ICC's full members to take part in the 2011 event were Kenya, Canada and the Netherlands.

Scotland, who were at the 1999 and 2007 tournaments, did not dispute the decision to limit the World Cup to 10 teams but argued there should be a qualification event.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also called for a qualification tournament.

Cricket Irelandexternal-link chief executive Warren Deutrom has insisted that the associate and affiliate nations will "keep up the pressure" on the issue.

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