The ICC (International Cricket Committee) has its own set of regulations that states that ten of its full member nations will get qualified to play in the next year’s World Cup Tournament by default. During 2011, it was also decided that the next edition would witness only those ten teams participating. However, this decision did not go down well with countries like Ireland, because the Irish cricket team had showed a lot of promise during the 2007 and 2011 editions. They felt that they were robbed of a chance just because they were not full time members. Hence, a second round of discussion followed, after which, the ICC agreed that the 2015 edition would feature 14 teams – out of which ten would be the full time member nations and the remaining 4 associate member nations would be filled through a stringent qualification process.
The mode of qualification was decided by the Chief Executive Committee of ICC during the September 2011 meeting. Out of the 4 places, two would be occupied by the teams who were 1st and 2nd in the 2011-2013 ICC World Cricket League. The other two places were decided by ICC World Cricket League Two and ICC World Cricket League Three tournaments between the 3rd and 4th teams of ICC World Cup 2011 and 1st and 2nd teams of 2013 ICC World Cricket league tournaments respectively.
Ireland was the first of the four teams to qualify for the ICC World Cup 2015, when they tied a match against Netherlands on 9th July 2013. Afghanistan was the 2nd team to qualify, after beating Kenya in their deciding match. In the final of the 2014 ICC World Cup Qualifier match, Scotland tasted victory against UAE and hence both the teams became the 3rd and 4th teams to qualify for the 2015 World Cup conducted by ICC.