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REGIONAL: Automatic World Cup spot slipping away for Windies

By Antigua Observer

4-samuels-customLONDON, UK – West Indies’ chances of an earning automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup took another damaging blow when they dropped two rating points in the latest ICC One-Day International rankings released on Tuesday.

The Caribbean side dropped from 79 points to 77 following their stunning 63-run defeat to minnows Afghanistan last Friday, in the opening ODI of the ongoing three-match series currently locked at 1-1.

Even if West Indies win Wednesday’s decider at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia, they will gain only one point, with ODI series remaining against powerhouses India later this month and England in September.

Hosts England, along with the next top seven-ranked sides in the world, will earn automatic qualification for the World Cup, with the remaining sides entering a qualifying tournament to determine the last two available berths.

West Indies are currently ranked number nine and to add insult to injury, number eight-ranked Pakistan have gained three points to move to 91, following victories over the highly-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka in the ongoing Champions Trophy in England.

Pakistan’s lead over West Indies is now 14 points leaving the former World champions with a huge gap to make up by the World Cup qualification cutoff date of September 30.

The embattled Windies are expected to face a stern challenge when they take on India from June 23 to July 6 in a five-match series in the Caribbean.

They also travel to England for a similar five-match series from September 19-29.

Top-ranked South Africa, meanwhile, dropped three points but remained in pole position while Australia and India continued second and third respectively.

England have gained two points and moved into fourth place, overtaking New Zealand who dropped three points into fifth.

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