After days of uncertainty new look Sri Lanka can heave a sigh of relief . The team which was hammered by Virat Kohli’s India in the recent series ( in all formats 9-0) finally have booked their place for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. This after West Indies were beaten by England in the first ODI of the five-match series on Tuesday. The cut-off date for direct qualification for the tournament is September 30, 2017. Sri Lanka, who have 86 points, are ahead of West Indies, who have 78 points on the ICC ODI rankings chart.
With the cut-off date only a few days away, West Indies cannot leapfrog Sri Lanka and eventually the team from the Emerald Isles has become the eighth team to get a direct entry for the World Cup.
India, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan and South Africa have already qualified for the tournament that will be played in England and Wales. West Indies meanwhile will have to play a qualifying tournament in 2018. It will involve 10 teams of which the two best teams will proceed to play in the World Cup.
The ICC released a statement from Sri Lanka’s ODI captain Upul Tharanga who 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.”
He further added, “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.”