Pakistan's one-day skipper Azhar Ali is confident that his team is well placed to qualify directly for the 2019 World Cup. Pakistan completed a clean-sweep against the West Indies with a convincing 136-run win in the third and final one-dayer on Wednesday at Sharjah.
The series win lifted Pakistan one place to eighth in the current rankings and relegating the West Indies to ninth in the fight for a direct berth at the World Cup finals in three years' time.Hosts England and the top seven teams in the one-day rankings on September 30 next year will get a direct place in the World Cup.
The bottom four teams in the standings will be joined by six Associate sides in a 10-team qualifying round in 2018 from where only two teams will qualify. Ali said the win over West Indies was important in the quest for a World Cup place.
"It was an important series and it's just the start of more challenges," said Ali. "We have to keep this improvement with one year to go for the (World Cup 2019) deadline." Since the 2015 World Cup, Pakistan had slumped to ninth after being routed 3-0 in Bangladesh and suffering defeats against England (in the United Arab Emirates last year and in England) and New Zealand.