West Indies, Pakistan agree dates with World Cup in mind

West Indies, Pakistan agree dates with World Cup in mind
Pakistani cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of the West Indies' batsman Leon Johnson (L) on the fourth day of the third Test at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on November 2, 2016. (FILE PHOTO: AFP)
Shukriya Pakistan

West Indies and Pakistan on Wednesday revealed plans to play three Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in the Caribbean between March and May.

The series is scheduled to start in Trinidad on March 31 and end in Dominica on May 14.

The one-dayers will be particularly key as September represents the cut-off for direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup where only the top eight nations are guaranteed a place in the 10-team tournament.

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A 10-nation qualifying event in 2018 will decide the remaining two spots.

Currently, Pakistan are eighth in the rankings with the West Indies one place behind. Both teams met in a three-Test series in Dubai last October with Pakistan winning 2-1.

Schedule of Pakistan’s tour of West Indies

Mar 31: 1st T20I, Trinidad
Apr 2: 2nd T20I, Trinidad

Apr 7: 1st ODI, Guyana
Apr 9: 2nd ODI, Guyana
Apr 11: 3rd ODI, Guyana

Apr 22-26: 1st Test, Jamaica
Apr 30-May 4: 2nd Test, Barbados
May 10-14: 3rd Test, Dominica

Pakistan face direct World Cup qualification threat

Pakistan is presently in serious danger of failing to qualify directly for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament in England as it is sitting in eighth position on 89 points.

With the holding of the ICC Test Championship mace an event of the distant past, Pakistan sets its sights on direct qualification for the World Cup 2019.

It takes on the in-form reigning world champion and number-one ranked Australia in a five-ODI series starting in Brisbane on Friday (tomorrow).

Read: Waqar expects better show from Pakistan in ODI series

Host England and the seven highest-ranked sides on the ICC 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 World Cricket League in the 10-team World Cup Qualifier 2018 and the top two sides will complete the 10-team World Cup line-up.

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.

— Additional input by AFP/ICC