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West Indies brace for challenge of qualifying direct for World Cup 2019

KARACHI: The West Indies side have an arduous task of trying to qualify direct for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as they brace for an upcoming one-off ODI against Ireland in Belfast on 13 September and a five-match ODI series against England from September 19 to 29. The Windies side are currently on 78 points in the ICC ODI Team Rankings, eight points behind eighth-placed Sri Lanka, whom they will need to overtake in order to qualify. The top seven ODI sides apart from hosts England as on September 30 qualify direct for ICC’s pinnacle 50-over event, which will take place from May 30 to July 15, 2019 in the United Kingdom.

The 1975 and 1979 champions side will have to beat Ireland and then also defeat England either 5-0 or by a 4-1 margin in which they win the last four matches. In other words, losing any match other than the opening match against England at Old Trafford on September 19 will allow Sri Lanka a direct passage.

Teams not getting direct places in the ICC World Cup 2019 will get another shot through a Qualifying tournament. The ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 will feature the bottom four sides from the ICC ODI Team Rankings, the top four sides from the ICC World League Championship and the top two sides from ICC World League Division 2. The top two sides from the World Cup Qualifiers will complete the 10-team line-up for the ICC World Cup 2019.

As for fourth-placed England, they will be able to gain a maximum of one point and reach 114 points, even if they wins the series 5-0. On the other hand, a 5-0 series loss will see them go down to fifth position and 106 points. In the ICC ODI Player Rankings, Joe Root is the leading England batsman in fourth position while Chris Woakes is the leading bowler at 11th place. For the Windies, Marlon Samuels (43rd) and captain Jason Holder (20th) are the leading batsman and bowler, respectively.

Meanwhile, India hosts Australia for five ODIs from September 17 to October1, a series that gives both sides a chance to go atop the rankings table currently led by South Africa with 119 points. India and Australia are both on 117 points with Australia ahead on decimal points. A win for either side by a margin of 4-1 or better will see them move to number one position.

India captain Virat Kohli is the number-one ranked batsman in the format with Rohit Sharma (ninth) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10th) also in the top-10. Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel is ranked 10th among bowlers. For Australia, opener David Warner is ranked second among batsmen while Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are ranked first and third among bowlers.

ICC ODI Team Rankings

Rank Team Points

1 South Africa 119

2 Australia 117

3 India 117

4 England 113

5 New Zealand 111

6 Pakistan 95

7 Bangladesh 94

8 Sri Lanka 86

9 West Indies 78

10 Afghanistan 54

11 Zimbabwe 52

12 Ireland 41

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