Ireland to host ICC Trophy in 2005
Ireland will host the ICC Trophy in 2005 which will involve 12 teams. Ehsan Mani, the ICC president, and Malcolm Speed, the chief executive, signed an agreement confirming this. The eighth edition of the tournament will be held in July 2005 and the majority of the matches will be around Belfast and Dublin. Mani and Speed visited both the cities and received a briefing on the preparations for the event.
The ICC Trophy in 2005 will have more at stake for the 12 participating nations than earlier editions. As many as five places at the next World Cup in the West Indies will be up for grabs for the competing teams.
Mani said that he was very pleased that the Irish Cricket Union (ICU) was planning to host matches in both centres. "Throughout its history, the ICU has operated as a unified body and I am delighted that matches will be staged in both the north and south of the island."
The ICU has received significant support from the clubs, provincial unions and governments, both north and south of the border, in its preparations. The ICU's chairman, Joe Doherty, was elated with the announcement and termed it as a "momentous day" in the history of cricket in Ireland. He added, "A lot of hard work has already been put in to get us this far and we now look forward to tackling the remaining stages of preparation and welcoming teams from all corners of the cricket world."
The last edition of the ICC Trophy was held in Canada in 2001 with Holland emerging champions in a tense final against Namibia. Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have all won this tournament earlier, which enhanced their chances of being granted Test status.