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WI draw with Ireland for W/Cup qualifiers
The Windies have been grouped with Ireland for the ICC 2019 World Cup qualifiers that takes place in Zimbabwe from next month.
The two-time World champions did not make automatic qualification as a full member and has been placed in the qualification phase. They did not finish in the top-eight in the ICC ODI rankings by the cut off date of September 30, 2016. As a result they will now battled with ten teams for the remaining two places in the game’s show piece which takes place in England in 2019.
The West Indies will leave for Zimbabwe in mid-March where they play two warm-up games against Afghanistan and World Division II winners (yet to be determined). They then moved into action on March 6 with their first game against the same World Division II winners.
Two days later they play Papua New Guinea and on March 10 they face their biggest test against Ireland. Their fourth game is against the Netherlands before the Super Sixes start. The finals of the tournament is carded for Sunday, March 25 at Bulawayo.
Windies captain Jason Holder speaking on the event said, “We see this as a very important tournament. We all know the magnitude and importance of this event as we look to qualify for the World Cup in the United Kingdom next year.”
The 26-year-old has played 70 ODIs in a five-year international career.
“It will be a challenge and we sat down and have formulated plans as to how best to approach the tournament. It will be short and we will treat every match as a must-win game—with three teams from each group moving into the Super Sixes, and the top two moving to the final—thereby earning a spot at the World Cup, there is all to play for,” Holder concluded.
The last time the two sides met in an ODI during the 2015 World Cup in New Zealand, Ireland stunned the Windies by four wickets after remarkably chasing down 305. In the preliminaries, each side will play the other team in their group once, with the top three advancing to the Super Six stage. Each side will then play three matches against the teams they did not meet in the group stage.
All points won in the preliminaries will be carried over to the Super Six round, apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group.
Holder’s team, being the ninth ranked team in the world, has been placed as the top seed in the tournament.
March 6 - Windies vs Winner of WD II
March 8 - Windies vs Papau New Guinea
March 10 - Windies vs Ireland
March 12 - Windies vs Netherlands
Group A: West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, ICC World Cricket League Division 2 winners.
Group B: Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong, ICC World Cricket League Division 2 runners-up.
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