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Ireland cricket chief hopes exodus is over

Press Association logoPress Association 22/06/2017

Ireland cricket chief Warren Deutrom is hopeful their progression to a Test-playing nation will stop the country's best players defecting to England.

Both Ireland and Afghanistan were awarded full membership to the International Cricket Council in London on Thursday meaning they can now play Test cricket against the world's best.

The two newest nations were voted in unanimously to become the first newcomers since Bangladesh in 2000 and take the number of full ICC members to 12.

Dublin-born Eoin Morgan, England's One-Day and Twenty20 captain, turned out for Ireland in 23 ODIs before switching his allegiance and representing England from 2009.

Now though, Ireland's up and coming stars will have a chance to grace the world stage while wearing the green shirts of their homeland.

"It is no secret that Ireland chased this dream, number one because Test cricket is the best, it is the pinnacle format and that which the best players define their legacy in the game," Deutrom said.

"It is because of that, it was the reason that was stated by some of our brightest and best in recent years that they wished to play for England.

"So therefore, we realised that unless we were sharing the same dream as our best players we always had the risk of losing them.

"While I can't sit here and say definitively no Irishmen is ever going to play again for England, what I can say is at least the reason that the reason given in the past for them to leave no longer exists."

Deutrom and Afghan counterpart Shafiq Stanikzai said there were no firm plans to announce their first respective Tests but neither ruled out the two newcomers meeting in 2018, with Deutrom hopeful of a clash with England the following year.

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