Sri Lanka gain automatic qualification for 2019 World Cup

Sri Lanka will be the eighth team to gain an automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup
Sri Lanka will be the eighth team to gain an automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Sri Lanka have gained an automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup to be played in England.

The confirmation follows after West Indies lost the first One-Day International of the series against England at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

West Indies entered the series placed ninth with 78 rating points and were required to win the five-match series against England either 4-0 or 5-0 to surpass Sri Lanka, who are at eighth with 86 points.

However, Jonny Bairstow's unbeaten century saw England chase down 205 runs in just 30.5 overs in rain-reduced 42 over game which means the Caribbean team will have to feature in the Qualifiers to secure a place in the 2019 showpiece event.

The top seven teams along with host England as on 30th September cut-off in the ICC ODI rankings have been confirmed an automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup while the remaining two spots will be decided by the Qualifiers.

Sri Lanka skipper Upul Tharanga expressed relief over the automatic qualification as they seek a turnaround following a poor home season.

"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.

"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."

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