At last, a good news has arrived for the Sri Lankan cricket team as they have qualified for the 2019 ODI World Cup. The loss of Windies to England in the first ODI in Manchester has ensured that Sri Lanka will stay on the 8th spot irrespective of the result of the remaining 4 ODIs of the series.
The top 8 teams in the ICC rankings were to earn a direct qualification to the prestigious tournament before the cutoff date of September 30, 2017, and the spots for the top 7 were already booked. There was a fight between Sri Lanka and Windies for the final spot which the former clinched only just.
Sri Lanka’s chances were majorly impacted by their terrible loss at home to India by a margin of 5-0. Post that, they had to wait for the results of the ODIs that Windies featured in before the cutoff date. The only ODI between Ireland and Windies was washed off and the Jason Holder-led side lost the first match to England which booked Sri Lanka’s berth for 2019.
Windies, ranked 9th, currently has 78 points in ODI rankings and by no way can they overtake the 9th ranked Sri Lanka which has 86 points to their credit.
The next World Cup will only feature 10 teams. Windies will now have to play in the qualifier tournament along with 9 other teams to fight for the remaining 2 spots. The tournament will be played next year that will include associate nations like Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe.
The top four nations from the Cricket League Championship and the two teams from the Cricket League Division 2 will also make it to the Qualifier tournament.
Delighted by the news
Sri Lankan ODI skipper Upul Tharanga mentioned that the qualification has come as a big relief for the side after going through the rough patch.
“It’s no secret that we (Sri Lanka) have been going through a tough time, but I want to say a big, big thank you to our fans who’ve kept faith with us when things looked bleak. ICC events have always brought out the magic in Sri Lanka cricket, and I look forward to proving that once again,” quoted Upul Tharanga as per the quotes in the Indian Express.
ICC announced Sri Lanka’s qualification through an Instagram post. Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are the other teams who have earned direct qualifications.