After his team caused one of the great upsets 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 victories over Pakistan and Bangladesh in its first tournament appearance in 2007, and over England in India in 2011.
The bluff, no-nonsense Warwickshire professional now finds it irritating that the world 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 of the old boys’ club of the ICC’s “member” nations.
“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 like sure, you’re ranked or whatever.”
“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 suffered the sudden loss of four wickets, slipping to 291-6 and sending pulses racing. 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.”