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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2007, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Ireland consider semi-pro move
ICU chief executive Warren Deutrom
Warren Deutrom believes changes are needed in Irish cricket
Ireland want to make some of their players semi-professional in a bid to build on their World Cup success.

"The question that raises its head now is can we continue to have the players as amateurs?" ICU chief executive Warren Deutrom told the Sunday Tribune.

"It's important we have players a coach can call on on a day-to-day basis and haemorrhaging our best players to England is no longer good enough.

"We have to have our best players available full time."

He added: "We had a time frame looking at 2009 and now that's been booted out due to our success.

"The details are sketchy as to which players, for how long and so on but it's something on our minds."

Ireland's progress to the Super 8s in the World Cup and their participation in the Friends Provident Trophy has not brought a cash windfall.

Deutrom admits that finances are tight, although securing a television deal for the three one-day internationals between India and South Africa in Belfast next month will bring in much-needed revenue.

The India-South Africa series has led to a disagreement between the ICU and the ECB over broadcasting rights.

The ECB offered Ireland "a substantial package which includes continued participation in domestic cricket so that television coverage in the UK and the Republic of Ireland is aligned".

But that offer has been rejected as Ireland seek to cash in on their World Cup heroics.

"We looked at the pros and cons, we looked at the offer they made to us to resolve this and decided that none of it stacked up because of what happened to the Irish game," said Deutrom.

"We need to forge ahead and we can't take into consideration their concerns."


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