NELSON, New Zealand (AP) — After his team caused one of the bigger upset victories in Cricket World Cup history, beating the West Indies by four wickets, Ireland captain William Porterfield felt the need to express his distaste for the word “upset.”
Porterfield has been part of Ireland’s great World Cup wins — over Pakistan and Bangladesh in its first tournament appearance in 2007, and over England in India in 2011.
The no-nonsense Warwickshire professional now finds it irritating that the cricket fraternity continues to regard second-tier Ireland’s wins over top-eight rivals as a shock.
After stating before the match began that an Ireland win over the West Indies shouldn’t be seen as a surprise, Porterfield said “I actually hate the term upsets.”
What really rankles with Porterfield is that, after proving its bona fides over such a long period on the world stage, Ireland is still regarded as an “associate” member of the International Cricket Council, excluded from the club of elite test-playing nations.
And when the next World Cup is contested by 10 rather than the current 14 nations, Ireland faces being left even further out.
“I don’t see why a team has to be an Associate and a team has to be a full member,” he said. “It’s not like that in any other sport, so I don’t see why it has to be like that in ours.”
Porterfield said Ireland entered the match with the intention of beating the West Indies, and it should not be a shock when that happened.
“I don’t see it as an upset. We prepared to come into this game to win. We’re going to prepare to go into the UAE game to win. It’s where we’re at,” he said. “We’re looking to pick up two points in every game, and as long as we’re doing the right things and building up to that, then we’re happy.”
Ireland was coasting toward an even-more emphatic victory Monday at 273-2 — needing only 32 more runs to surpass the West Indies’s total of 304-7 — when it suddenly lost four wickets, slipping to 291-6. But Portefield never doubted Ireland was in control.
“I wouldn’t say (I was) concerned,” he said. “We obviously had a couple wickets lost there in the end, and that’s the way it goes. That’s cricket, but the game was played by then.”