South Africa, West Indies or Sri Lanka: Who will Qualify for World Cup 2023?
Sri Lanka will next play ODIs against New Zealand (Twitter)
After a disappointing 0-2 drubbing in the Test series, the Sri Lankan Men's cricket team will now lock horns with hosts New Zealand in a three-match ODI series, starting Saturday (March 25), in a bid to salvage a top-8 spot in the ongoing ICC ODI Super League.
Sri Lanka are currently in the 10th spot with 77 points in 21 fixtures. 7 teams, including hosts India, have already booked their spot for the 2023 World Cup.
Only 1 automatic spot is up for grabs, and there are three contenders for the same. Apart from Sri Lanka, two-time winners West Indies (88 points in 24 games) and South Africa (78 points in 22 games) are the other contenders.
How can SL gain an automatic World Cup 2023 spot?
For Sri Lanka to gain the elusive 8th spot, they will need to ensure they clean-sweep the BlackCaps.
If Lanka win 3-0, it will take their tally to 107 points, and even if the Proteas manage to win their remaining two games against the Netherlands, it won't be enough for them to overhaul the 1996 champions as they can only reach as far as 98 points.
Even a 2-1 win over New Zealand won't be enough for Sri Lanka as that would mean them at risk of being overhauled by South Africa, should the latter win both their games against the Dutch.
That said, the task in front of the Lankans is extremely arduous given their track record in New Zealand and the hosts' imperious record in their backyard.
New Zealand haven't dropped a single ODI on home soil since their 35-run defeat to India way back in February 2019.
The 1st ODI will take place at Eden Park in Auckland on March 25.