Michael Vaughan criticises ICC for Ireland snub

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has criticised the International Cricket Council'sexternal-link decision to exclude Ireland from the 2015 World Cup.

The ICC ruled on Monday that only the 10 full-member countries would compete in the 2015 competition.

"It's wrong. Ireland are the 10th best one-day team in the world as we speak," Vaughan told BBC Breakfast.

"It's a huge blow for Ireland because of all the work they have put in. The ICC have again made a poor decision."

Vaughan added that two qualifying spots should have been made available for the 10-team 2015 competition which will take place in Australia and New Zealand.

"You look at the progression Ireland have made over the years. They did well in 2007 (at the World Cup) and did well again at this year's World Cup where they beat England.

"I would have liked to have seen a pre-tournament qualifier with the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe thrown in as well with Ireland, Canada, Kenya and all the other associates teams and the best two going on to the World Cup.

"I'm pretty sure Ireland would have won that tournament because they are the best associate team and they showed that at the World Cup."

The ICC's decision has enraged Irish cricket with national team coach Phil Simmons describing his team's exclusion from the 2015 World Cup as "despicable".

In its latest response to the ICC's decision, Cricket Ireland said: "Ireland are currently in discussions with their fellow associates and affiliates about the avenues of action left open to them following the shameful ruling by ICC."