Afghanistan, Ireland made full ICC members

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    Afghanistan and Ireland have been voted in as full members of the International Cricket Council, meaning they can play Test matches against the world’s elite countries.

    The ICC announced the decision on Thursday following a unanimous vote at a full council meeting.

    There are 12 full members. Afghanistan and Ireland are the first to receive Test status since Bangladesh in 2000.

    ICC chief executive David Richardson said the countries deserved their elevated status because of “their dedication to improving performance both off and on the field resulting in the significant development and growth of cricket in their respective countries”.

    Ireland and Afghanistan have been playing as associate members since 1993 and 2013, respectively.

    “For a nation like Afghanistan, it is a huge and remarkable achievement,” said Shafiq Stanikzai, chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

    “Afghanistan cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen and today it has become a reality.”

    While Afghanistan gained ODI status only in 2011 and has appeared in one Cricket World Cup (in 2015), Ireland has enjoyed more success at the limited-overs format, appearing in the last three World Cups and beating Pakistan and England in that time.

    Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, said the vote was a “reflection not just of our past achievements but of our potential to grow our great game.”

    The ICC said it has also unanimously agreed to a new financial model to give greater equality in the distribution of the governing body’s income.

    For the cycle 2016-2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India will receive $US405 million ($A536 million) across the eight-year cycle, the England and Wales Cricket Board will get $US139 million, Zimbabwe Cricket gets $US94 million and the seven other existing full members get $US128 million each.

    © AAP 2017

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