DUBAI: Time is ticking for lower-ranked ODI sides to secure their place for the 2019 World Cup.
Former World Cup winners Pakistan and the West Indies are in danger of failing to automatically qualify for the 2019 edition of cricket’s showpiece 50-over tournament.
Following today’s release of the updated One-Day International team rankings by the International Cricket Council, eighth-placed Pakistan have opened up a nine-point gap on the West Indies, who sit a spot back on 79 points.
The top seven ranked ODI teams and England, as the host nation, will automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup which means the Windies, who won the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, need to perform strongly before the September 30 cut-off date or face the prospect of further qualification.
Between now and the deadline, the West Indies host 10th-placed Afghanistan for three ODIs in June (during the Champions Trophy which they failed to qualify for) before flying to the UK for a five-match series against England in September.
Pakistan’s only ODI assignment before the cut-off date is the Champions Trophy while seventh-placed Bangladesh, who are 12 points ahead of the Windies, have a tri-series against Ireland and New Zealand ahead of the Champions Tropy.
Those teams that do not automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup must earn a spot by going through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in 2018, a 10-team tournament comprised of the bottom four ODI sides and six sides from the ICC World Cricket League, with the top two sides advancing.
The latest ODI rankings update takes into account results dating back to May 1, 2014, with the most recent results having the most significance.
South Africa remain in first place on 123 points, with Australia (118), India (117), New Zealand (115) and England (109) rounding out the top five.