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Cricket Ireland hoping to capitalise on full Test status

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The governing body for cricket in Ireland has been handed a major boost in its ambition to make the sport part of the nation’s mainstream after being awarded full Test status.

Ireland along with Afghanistan were confirmed as 11th and 12th Full Member countries by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and will now be eligible to take part in Test matches.

According to Cricket Ireland, participation in the sport has “quadrupled” since 2007, and chief executive Warren Deutrom expects that to continue growing with ICC recognition.

“Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport and it’s what we’ve been aiming for,” he said. “The players have been very clear in their stated objective of wanting to play at the highest level of the game and it’s clearly a momentous day that we will be able to do that in the very near future.

“The sport has grown substantially since 2007. With the increased profile and revenue streams that come with achieving full membership, this can only get even better as we invest in the sport throughout the country.”

Last year, Cricket Ireland unveiled its latest strategy, which signified the ambition for the sport to be regarded as mainstream alongside sports like football, rugby and Gaelic games such as hurling.

Shortly after publishing the document, Deutrom told Sports Management that becoming a Test nation would “unlock” a stronger commercial model for the organisation, with increased income from television rights and sponsorship.

The number of Tests Ireland will play in the short-term are likely to be limited, but the opportunity to make Ireland a “major cricket nation” is there according to Deutrom.

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy said the recognition was a “testament to the exception performance” of the Irish teams, as well as Deutrom and Cricket Ireland chair Ross McCollum.

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The governing body for cricket in Ireland has been handed a major boost in its ambition to make the sport part of the nation’s mainstream after being awarded full Test status.
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Ireland played England at Lord's earlier this year /  John Walton/PA Wire/PA Images
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