Sri Lanka became the eighth and last side to book a spot in the 2019 World Cup through direct qualification as West Indies went down to England in the first ODI at Manchester. They will now have to qualify by competing with lower ranked sides in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier event.
The International Cricket Council on Tuesday confirned Sri Lanka’s inclusion into the 2019 World Cup following West Indies’ heavy defeat to England in the first ODI. The defeat leaves the Caribbean side with 78 rating points and they cannot surpass Sri Lanka’s 86 before the cut-off date, of September 30, for automatic qualification.
An ecstatic Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka’s ODI captain, 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.”
The 1996 World Champions becomes the last side to join the elite few that have booked an automatic qualification place in the tournament with the likes of Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa already in the tournament.
“We have a clear plan towards 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,” added Tharanga.
West Indies still have four more ODIs to win the series against England, but they will have to qualify
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