Sri Lanka was going through a lean phase in cricket. They had an early exit from the Champions Trophy and then suffered a whitewash of 9-0 against India leaving their chances to qualify for ICC World Cup 2017 in vain. But they have managed to directly qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 after West Indies lost the first ODI against England on Tuesday.
It all came down to West Indies and England game in which if Indies won they could have been the one who could have qualified. After the defeat in the first ODI, West Indies stand with 78 points in the ICC ODI rankings. This means that there is no way in which they can go on the Sri Lankan team in the rankings now. Sri Lanka have 86 point to their name in the points table. Now, the West Indies team will be expected to play the ICC World Cup Qualifier next year.
The Qualifier event will feature 10 teams. They will be joined by the top associate nations like Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Ireland. Also, the top four nations from the Cricket League Championship and the two teams from the Cricket League Division 2 will make it to the Qualifier tournament. Team Sri Lanka became the eighth and the final team to qualify for the tournament.
The other teams who have already qualified for the ICC World Cup 2019 are – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
The Lankan camp looks relieved and the skipper Upul Tharanga feels this is a great opportunity.
“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.