Defeated Australia in 1996 in the World Cup finals, Sri Lanka had emerged as the world champions for the very first time in the history of cricket. Later, they became the T20I champions in 2012 after beating India. But now, after 5 years, things look drastically different for The Lions as they are now even struggling to qualify for the 2019 World Cup which scheduled to be held in England and Wales. After losing the bilateral series by 3-2 to Zimbabwe, Sri Lankan team is on the verge of getting whitewashed again by India. In the ongoing India vs Sri Lanka ODI series, they have been starving for a win, while Virat Kohli & Co. are dominating the ODI series 4-0 after brutally hammering them in the Test series.
The Sri Lankans are currently at the 8th position in the ICC ODI world rankings with 87 points. In order to qualify directly for the 2019 WC, they needed to win at least two games out of five as these are the only limited overs matches they are scheduled to play before the cut-off date of 30th September 2017. However, they lost the first four games and are left with no other option but to hinge their future on the upcoming series between England and West Indies.
What are the chances of direct qualification to WC for Sri Lanka?
Almost all the doors for a direct qualification are closed for Sri Lanka. They are fully dependent on the West Indies’ performance in order to avoid playing for the qualifiers. However, the Lankans could enter directly into the world cup if:
- West Indies lose only one ODI against England out of 5 or the one-off against Ireland and Sri Lanka wins the last ODI against India
- West Indies lose more than one ODI against England and Ireland
However, if West Indies manage to win the series against England by 4-1, they will directly qualify while the Lankans would have to play the qualifiers in order to go ahead. The odds are still in favour of Sri Lanka as it will be tough for West Indies to compete against England at home.
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