Simmons: Ireland deserve to be at 2019 WC

2015 World Cup

Phil Simmons may be the coach of the West Indies now, but for eight years he was Ireland's mentor and he has urged the ICC to reconsider reducing the World Cup to 10 teams in 2019, which could see Ireland missing out.

Simmons saw Ireland to the end of the 2015 World Cup group stage, where they narrowly missed the quarter-final place, and Simmons feels that some of the best games at the tournament featured Associate sides, who are at grave risk of missing out in 2019.

Simmons said in the Jamaica Gleaner: "There shouldn't be a World Cup without Associates, and no disrespect to the others, but definitely not one without Ireland.

"I would hope the ICC reassess, because some of the best games at this World Cup have been played by the Associates. Other sports have at least 20 teams, so why can't cricket have 14 teams regularly.

"We were saying the same at the end of the 2011 World Cup and the pressure (to change the decision) wasn't half as much then as it is now, so I hope they reverse their decision and that there will be 14 teams in the next World Cup."

Simmons was very impressed with the way Ireland played this year, including a win against his West Indies during the group stage, and could have advanced if now for some results outside their control.

He added: "The players' attitude was superb throughout, fronting up to those big games. We left saying we needed to win three games, and that's what we did. We just didn't allow for Pakistan beating South Africa."