World Cup spot key as West Indies face England

Fri, Mar 3, '17


Windies v England

t John’s, Antigua and Barbuda (AFP) — West Indies face England in a three-match one-day series starting today under pressure to reverse a run of poor form that could see them facing the indignity of having to qualify for the World Cup in 2019.

The top eight teams in the ICC One Day Internatonal rankings at the end of September 2017 automatically advance to the event in England.

The West Indies — struggling in ninth spot, three points behind Pakistan and a further two adrift of Bangladesh — have only this series, a return duel in England in September and, critically, three matches against Pakistan in the Caribbean in April to make the cut.

England have no such concerns as hosts of both the World Cup and the next Champions Trophy in June, for which the West Indies failed to qualify.

England’s brand of ultra-aggressive limited-over cricket since the disappointment of the 2015 World Cup, where they failed to get past the group stage, makes them favourites to extend their domination of the home team.

Newly installed West Indies coach Stuart Law said making the 2019 World Cup was crucial.

“The main aim is to qualify for the next World Cup so these one-day games are extremely important to us,” said the Australian.