ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan is in serious danger of failing to qualify directly for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Cup 2019 in the United Kingdom as it currently sits on 8th position in the ODI Team Rankings.
Pakistan is at 8th position with 89 points two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies, said an ICC press release issued on Wednesday.
However former World Champion Pakistan sets its sights on direct qualification for the World Cup 2019 when it takes on the in-form reigning World Champion and number-one ranked Australia in a five-ODI series starting in Brisbane on Friday.
To, at least, maintain its pre-series ranking points, Pakistan needs to win one match of the series while victories in more than one match will earn it crucial points.
If Pakistan wins two matches, then it will join Bangladesh on 91 points but will be ranked behind its Asian rivals by a fraction.
In the scenario of Pakistan winning the series, it will move ahead of Bangladesh and, as such, will enhance its chances of qualifying directly for the event it won in Australia in 1992.
On the other side of the coin, Australia will retain its pre-series points if it wins the series 4-1 while it will concede one point if it wins 3-2. Australia can fall from the top pedestal but to make it happen, Pakistan will have to win by 4-1 or better.
However, considering that Australia leads Pakistan 33-16 on a head-to-head in its backyard including 15 wins in 19 ODIs this decade, this looks highly improbable.
Current ICC ODI Rankings:
Host England and the seven highest-ranked sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings as on September 30, 2017 will qualify directly for the event proper to be held from May 30 to July 15, 2019.
The four bottom-ranked sides will be joined by six teams from the ICC World Cricket League in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 and the top two sides will complete the 10-team World Cup line-up.
Meanwhile, 3rd-ranked India takes on 5th-ranked England in a three-ODI series starting in Pune on Sunday (January 15). While India will be aiming to narrow the gap with 2nd-ranked South Africa, England will be targeting an upward movement.
India can rise to as high as 114 points if it sweeps the series but if the series result is reversed, then England can move up one place to 4th and India can slide to 5th.