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William Porterfield wants Ireland to follow Sri Lanka Test example

Updated: Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 12:53 | Comments

William Porterfield: 'I genuinely believe there's the talent and potential in Ireland for us to become an established Full Member international side'
William Porterfield: 'I genuinely believe there's the talent and potential in Ireland for us to become an established Full Member international side'

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Ireland captain William Porterfield is calling on his team to draw inspiration from Sri Lanka as they continue their quest to gain Test status from the International Cricket Council.

Sri Lanka were granted Test status in 1981 after winning the 1979 ICC Trophy, and just 15 years later were crowned World Cup champions.

Since then they have finished runners-up in both the 2007 and 2011 finals, as well as winning the 2002 Champions Trophy.

Sri Lanka, who Ireland play in two ODI matches in Clontarf on 6 and 8 May, have also been successful in Twenty20 cricket, reaching two global finals, and are currently the number-one ranked side in that format.

"You can't help but marvel at just how successful they've been in the last 33 years since they became a Test nation, and they're definitely an inspiration to all Associate sides," said Porterfield.

"I genuinely believe there's the talent and potential in Ireland for us to become an established Full Member international side. You only have to look at the growth in participation and popularity of the game throughout the country in the last seven years to see how it's taken off.

"They're definitely an inspiration to all Associate sides"

"It's fantastic that the Sri Lankans are coming to Dublin and it'll be a great opportunity for fans of both sides to see some of the world's top players in the flesh.

“The Dublin crowd is always superb, and always get behind the team - they're definitely our 12th man on these big match occasions.

"I've played against Sri Lanka twice - in the 2007 World Cup and in the T20 at Lord's in 2009. We lost heavily in Grenada but it was still a wonderful experience to play against the like of Muralitharan and Vaas."

Sri Lankan captain Angleo Matthews is anticipating a hard-fought contest.

He said: "We are very much looking forward to travelling to Ireland. We have seen Ireland's progress on the world stage and there is no doubt they will be formidable opponents especially in their home conditions.”

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