Windies lose out on automatic World Cup qualification after loss to England


The West Indies slim hopes of securing automatic entry to the 2019 ICC World Cup evaporated completely after losing the first of five One Day Internationals (ODIs) to England on Tuesday.

On the back of an unbeaten ton from Johnny Bairstow, at Old Trafford on Tuesday, England secured a comfortable seven-wicket win over the Windies, with 67 balls remaining. The result officially eliminated the team from contention for the automatic spot at the very first hurdle.

Heading into the series the Windies were listed at 9th in the ICC world rankings, eight points behind eighth-place Sri Lanka who occupy the final automatic qualification spot. The cutoff date to be listed in the top eight in order to qualify automatically for the tournament is September 31st.

With an earlier scheduled ODI against Ireland washed out the team needed an unlikely 5-0 or 4-0 win over England to overhaul the Asian team and secure the final spot.

The West Indies got off to a fast start in the rain-affected fixture, which saw the match reduced to 42 overs, but never maintained momentum following the dismissal of openers Evin Lewis (11) and Chris Gayle (37). The team was eventually restricted to 204-9. In response, Bairstow and Joe Root, who had 54 off 77 before being bowled by Kesrick Williams, ensured there was no great difficulty in the runs chase for the English.

The West Indies must now advance from the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier in order to secure progression to the tournament. The qualifier will feature the bottom four sides from ICC ODI Team Rankings, the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the top two sides from ICC World Cricket League Division 2. The top two sides from the World Cup Qualifier will complete the 10-team line-up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.