Sri Lanka have officially booked their spot at the 2019 Cricket World Cup following West Indies’ defeat to England, International Cricket Council announced on Tuesday.
This means that West Indies with 78 points now cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka (86 points) irrespective of how their remaining matches against England pan out. The Windies will now progress to the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, where they will be joined by the bottom three sides – Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland – as well as the top four sides from the Cricket League Championship and the top two sides from the Cricket League Division 2.
The new update leaves the 1996 world champions Sri Lanka to become the eighth and last team to qualify directly, joining Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa. A relieved Sri Lanka’s ODI captain Upul Tharanga said: “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.”
“We have a clear plan toward the World Cup, and we will work hard at achieving each step. As we say in the dressing room, – Little ‘w’s (wins) add up to make the big ‘W’ (win) – so that’s what we’ll be focusing on and I know you will see Sri Lanka’s special brand of cricket out there once again soon.”