Ireland vs UAE is not going to be just another Cricket World Cup 2015 match, but yet another chance to showcase their talents and prove to the ICC that they belong in the biggest stage of them all.
Much of the talk going into this match between the two Associate sides has been about ICC's decision to make the next World Cup – in 2019 – a 10-team tournament. That means four of the Associate nations currently involved in this tournament are unlikely to even get a chance to test themselves against the big Test playing nations, which, in turn, kind of makes the whole point of calling it a World Cup a little senseless doesn't it?
"It wouldn't be a World Cup if you just keep reducing teams down to the top few teams that are ranked," said Ireland captain William Porterfield. "It's frustrating whenever you come to tournaments and the governing body wants to keep cutting teams.
"Cricket is the only sport in the world that does that when it comes to world events. It's very disappointing and frustrating from our point of view that that's the way the ICC are viewing things.
"We have played nine ODIs against top-eight teams in the last four years. That is not a lot of cricket -- about two games a year against top nations. That is not acceptable.
"It is not what developing the game is about. Hopefully if people get behind that then things can change and it's not just a case of narrowing down the teams, it's a case of expanding the game."
Porterfield, of course, makes a good point here, and Ireland have been the leading light in suggesting it is about time that the ICC stopped looking down on the Associate teams. The Irish were superb in their win over the West Indies – a team that put on 372 in their game on Tuesday, with one man alone scoring 215 -- easily chasing down a 300-plus target to seal a comfortable victory.
The UAE gave Zimbabwe a real scare in their opening CWC match, and pretty much every single Associate side have given a really good account of themselves in Australia and New Zealand so far.
"Hopefully we can keep putting in performances," added Porterfield. "Afghanistan probably could have come out on top against Sri Lanka and Scotland have done reasonably well, and the way the UAE played against Zimbabwe posting 285 things could have gone quite differently if it wasn't for [Sean] Williams at the end.
"The way the four qualifying teams have performed has been great and we've got to keep that going, not only ourselves but everyone else. It's great to see people have got behind that, it is a global event and a sport we want to grow. This is a sport we want to grow and if it's going to grow you need to have more teams participating around the world."
Hopefully, Ireland and UAE will put in an ODI spectacle for the world audience on Wednesday, and convince the ICC just that bit more to get off their high horse – not that a performance should be necessary to do that, but there will be no harm if they do.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Report of the Match
The match is scheduled for a 2 pm local time (9 am IST, 3.30 am GMT, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD3. Audience in India can also watch the match via live streaming on Starsports online and Live Pro.
Audience in the Ireland and UK can watch the game live on Sky Sports World Cup or live stream the action on Sky Go. People watching the game in the Middle East can catch the action on OSN or via live streaming on OSN Play.