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Published: 11:33 | 4/6/16

Ireland hope to host 2018 Cricket World Cup qualifier

Cricket Ireland are keen to replace Bangladesh as hosts of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament in 2018.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom says Ireland are ready to step in if the International Cricket Council [ICC] decide to move the event.

ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said this week that the qualifier could be moved if The Tigers qualify automatically for the main tournament, which will take place in England in the summer of 2019.

The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will comprise 10 teams, with eight automatic qualifiers joined by the two top sides from the qualifying tournament.

Bangladesh were not expected to qualify automatically for the tournament when the ICC awarded hosting rights for the 2018 qualifying tournament three years ago.

However, The Tigers have thrived in one-day cricket over the past couple of years, rising to seventh in the rankings, above both the West Indies and Pakistan.

If Bangladesh are still in the top eight in September 2017, they will qualify for the World Cup automatically, and Deutrom wants the ICC to draw up contingency plans "sooner rather than later" to give potential new hosts time to prepare.

"The ICC need to plan for the possibility that the event needs to be held elsewhere, given how well Bangladesh have done recently in ODI cricket," Deutrom told the Irish Examiner.

"We respect that Bangladesh are the current holders of the event, and that they will only give that up if they qualify automatically.

"But, it takes time to arrange these events. They don't happen overnight so, yes, we will discuss this with the ICC sooner rather than later.”

Deutrom will lobby his fellow chief executives at the ICC meeting in Edinburgh at the end of June, and point to Ireland's successful co-hosting, with Scotland, of the 2015 World Twenty20 qualifier.

World cricket's governing body the ICC spent €2.35m on staging the 2014 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand and will again cover staging, travel and accommodation costs in 2018, with the host nation expected to cover ground fees, ticketing costs and in-ground broadcasting facilities.

Ireland are therefore likely to ask Scotland to again act as co-hosts in order to minimise their financial exposure.

"The infrastructure requirements for that many matches means a solo bid is unlikely, so we would probably look to do something jointly," Deutrom confirmed.

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