Trent Johnston hoping for World Cup profile boost for Ireland
Trent Johnston is hoping Ireland can produce another impressive display at next year's World Cup to boost their profile.
Last Updated: 14/02/14 4:33pm
Ireland secured their place at the event in Australia and New Zealand by winning the World Cricket League Championship and will be aiming to emulate their performance at the last World Cup when they claimed a shock win over England in the group stages.
Johnston played in that three-wicket victory over England in Bangalore and hopes another positive display in 2015 will help boost Ireland's standing in the game and aid their ambition to play more high-profile fixtures.
"We try to lift the profile every time we go out and play," Johnston told Sky Sports. "I suppose the guys who go out and play feel the pressure every time because we don't get much TV exposure over here in Ireland.
"When we do get to the World Cups we click and go out to win games to take advantage of that publicity we are getting."
Ireland are currently ranked 11th in the ODI rankings, which puts them just outside the qualification places for the 10-team 2019 World Cup to be held in England and Wales.
They also do not currently hold Test status, although recent changes to the structure of the game by the International Cricket Council have opened up the opportunity to achieve this.
The ICC have said that the next winners of the Intercontinental Cup, of which Ireland are the present holders, will play off against the bottom ranked Test country and, if successful, obtain status to play the five-day game.
"With recent developments at the ICC, the Test pathway is looking pretty good and everyone in Irish cricket is excited by that," said Johnston. "If we win the Intercontinental Cup for a fifth time in a couple of years we could potentially play a Test match.
"When we first burst onto the scene in 2007 we were a 50-over team and that is pretty much all the cricket we played.
"Going forward, the World Cup in 2019 is a 10-team tournament so we have to lift our ranking up to get inside that.
"And the Champions Trophy is only an eight-team competition. But for us to lift our ranking we have to play more cricket against the full members."
Ireland have never qualified for the knockout stages of a World Cup but Johnston feels the side have a chance of achieving that next year.
"Knowing the team, they will be striving for a top-four finish at the World Cup," he added. "The only disappointing thing is that we don't play the hosts. We've got a tough group but we have the players to get us out of that group."