World Cup 2023: What South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Ireland need to automatically qualify
With the 2023 World Cup just seven months away, there are still four sides vying for the final automatic qualification spot in the World Cup Super League
India, being the hosts, qualify automatically for the event, while England, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan have made the tournament after each winning 11 or more of their games.
The final automatic qualification spot in the league will be contested by West Indies (the current occupiers), Ireland, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe and the Netherlands currently sit in the final two positions in the league and have already been ruled out of the running for the final space. They, along with the ninth and tenth placed sides at the end of the league, will compete in the qualifier tournament in June, with two teams advancing to the main World Cup.
Here’s what each of the four side’s still in contention needs to qualify automatically for the 2023 World Cup.
While they currently occupy eighth place in the table, the West Indies would need something of a miracle to stay there for the rest of the Super League.
They have played all of their 24 games and won just nine, leaving them with 88 points after being deducted two for a slow over rate.
To stay in the automatic qualification places, they will need Sri Lanka to lose their series with New Zealand 2-1 or 3-0, South Africa to lose the final two matches of their postponed series against the Netherlands (or draw, 1-1 but lose heavily enough to finish with a worst run rate than the West Indies), and Bangladesh to avoid a whitewash against Ireland in their remaining series set to take place in May.
South Africa currently sit ninth in the table but have two games left to play against the Netherlands, who are last in the league after winning just three of their 20 games so far.
Winning one would put South Africa level on points with the West Indies and would likely seem them finish above them with a better net run rate, but they would still need Sri Lanka to win no more than one game against New Zealand and Ireland to only win two of their three games against Bangladesh and maintain a worse net run rate.
If they can win both games, South Africa will be much more likely to qualify as both Sri Lanka and Ireland would need to win all of their remaining games to have any chance of finishing above them.
Of the sides who can still qualify, Sri Lanka face the toughest run-in with a three match away series against second placed New Zealand still to play.
They are also the only side with destiny still in their own hands though, as a 3-0 win in the series will see them qualify with 107 points regardless of other results.
Losing 2-1 will keep them behind West Indies and out of qualification, while a 2-1 win would leave them needing South Africa to lose at least one game against the Netherlands and Ireland to only win once against Bangladesh.
Ireland also face a tough run-in, and will likely need to win all three of their ODIs against Bangladesh to make the top eight.
A whitewash would not guarantee them a spot, though. If South Africa were to win both games against the Netherlands the position would come down to net run rate, and Sri Lanka would still finish nine points ahead of Ireland with a 3-0 win in New Zealand.
If Ireland win the series 2-1, they will have a slim chance of qualifying if they can maintain a better net run rate than the West Indies. But, they would need South Africa and Sri Lanka to only win one game each.
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