William Porterfield still unhappy with decision to reduce teams at World Cup

Ireland's William Porterfield. Credit �INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Ireland's William Porterfield. Credit �INPHO/Tommy Dickson
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Ireland captain William Porterfield has revisited his criticisms of the slimmed down World Cup format and believes Celtic cousins Scotland are not getting a fair deal from cricket’s power-brokers.

Porterfield is a long-time opponent of the decision to reduce the number of participating nations at the sport’s flagship 50-over tournament to 10, four fewer than the previous edition, and will be a frustrated onlooker rather than an active participant this summer.

For England, Friday’s match in Malahide represents the start of their final preparations for the competition but for the hosts there is no such excitement on the horizon.

“It’s a gripe of mine, it’s always going to be a gripe when every other major sport is expanding their World Cup and expanding participation,” said Porterfield, the former Gloucestershire and Warwickshire batsman who is now back home with North West Warriors.

“You’ve got to have a pathway where anyone can progress.”

Ireland may still be sore about missing out on the World Cup but can at least console themselves with their recently acquired Test status and an expanded schedule that sees the West Indies, Bangladesh and Afghanistan follow England’s visit in the coming weeks.

Scotland, however, can expect slimmer pickings in the next few years, despite memorably beating England in a one-off contest at The Grange last summer and coming within one poor lbw decision of pipping the Windies to a World Cup spot.

And Porterfield is happy to act as an advocate having spent much of his career fighting for opportunities.

“I almost feel sorry for them in some ways, they had that game against England and what have they had since?” he said.

“They got two days of coverage and that’s it.

“You can harp on about growing cricket but Scotland have actually got a really good team and they need more fixtures to kick on.

“They’re just going to stagnate if they don’t get the backing and the fixtures.

“We have been fortunate in the way we’ve timed things and come through so we’re getting more fixtures now but from cricket’s point of view it’s sad if they get left behind when they’re in a good place to do something.”