DUBAI: Sri Lanka have become the eighth and last team to earn a direct qualification into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, following West Indies' defeat against England in the first ODI at Old Trafford.
West Indies' seven-wicket defeat last night means that they cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka (86 points) by September 30, the cut-off mark for direct entry.
The Caribbean side (78 points in the ODI Team Rankings) can still qualify for the World Cup by finishing in the top two of next year’s World Cup Qualifier, an ICC release said.
Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, join hosts England, India, Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa for the ICC's showpiece event.
"It's no secret that we have been going through a tough time, but I want to say a big, big thank you to our fans who have kept faith with us when things looked bleak," Sri Lanka’s ODI captain Upul Tharanga was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
"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."
The West Indies will now progress to the 10-team Qualifier, where they will be joined by the bottom three sides in ODI Rankings - Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland – as well as the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the top two sides from the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.
The top two sides from the World Cup Qualifier will complete the 10-team line-up for the Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in the United Kingdom from May 30 to July 15.