West Indies, Sri Lanka fight for spot in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
The West Indies and Sri Lanka will be competing for an automatic qualifying spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after Zimbabwe's win against Sri Lanka, which resulted in changes to the One-Day International (ODI) team rankings.
Zimbabwe’s historic series win against Sri Lanka has given the West Indies a glimmer of hope of direct qualification with the gap between two-time former world champions West Indies and 1996 champions Sri Lanka narrowed to 10 points.
India defeated the West Indies by 3-1 and Zimbabwe overpowered Sri Lanka by 3-2, resulting in changes to the ODI team rankings, giving the Caribbean side renewed hope in the race to the September 30, 2017 cut-off date for direct qualification.
Sri Lanka had entered the series against Zimbabwe, needing to win by 4-1 or better to secure a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup.
However, the eventual result has brought the West Indies back in contention for direct qualification as Sri Lanka have slipped from 93 points to 88 points and as a result the 16 points gap between the eighth and ninth ranked sides have been trimmed to 10 points.
According to the current Future Tours Programme, Sri Lanka will now have a second chance to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when they host India in a five-match ODI series in August.
If Sri Lanka win two or more matches in this series, then they will qualify automatically for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament, irrespective of how England and the West Indies series pans out.
However, if Sri Lanka fail to win two matches against India, it will mean the West Indies will still have a chance to avoid featuring in next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
If India beat Sri Lanka by 4-1, then the West Indies will have to win all five matches against England. But, if India sweep all five ODIs against Sri Lanka, then the West Indies will need to beat England by 4-0 or better.
These permutations give tremendous context to the presently scheduled upcoming ODIs as Sri Lanka and the West Indies will be fighting to secure for the eighth and last available automatic place in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The remaining two places will be filed by the top two sides from the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, which will be completed by the bottom four sides from the ICC ODI Team Rankings, top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League.
Upcoming ODIs, currently scheduled on the FTP in the lead-up to the September 30, 2017 cut-off date, are:
SRI LANKA V INDIA
20 Aug – 1st ODI, Dambulla
24 Aug – 2nd ODI, Pallekele
27 Aug – 3rd ODI, Pallekele
31 Aug – 4th ODI, Colombo
3 Sep – 5th ODI, Colombo
ENGLAND V WEST INDIES
19 Sep – 1st ODI Old Trafford
21 Sep – 2nd ODI, Nottingham
24 Sep – 3rd ODI, Bristol
27 Sep – 4th ODI, The Oval
29 Sep – 5th ODI, Southampton