Cricket World Cup 2019: Ireland to play West Indies in qualifiers

Ireland skipper William Porterfield
Ireland's William Porterfield is hoping to qualify for his fourth World Cup

Ireland will play the Netherlands, West Indies, Papua New Guinea and a team yet to be decided in their group for the World Cup qualifying tournament.

The top three in each of the two pools go through to a Super Six competition, from which two will go through to the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

The qualifying matches will be played in Zimbabwe, starting on 4 March.

Ireland's unknown opponents will be the winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division Two.

They will be Canada, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Oman or the UAE.

Scotland, who won the qualifying tournament in 2014, are in Pool B with Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and the runners-up from WCL Division Two.

In the Super Six section, teams will play the nations they did not meet in the group stage.

Ireland are currently playing a tri-series with the UAE and Scotland, and plan further warm-up matches during training camps in Spain and South Africa.

"It is going to be a really hard-fought tournament with nearly all the sides in with a genuine chance of qualification," said Ireland skipper William Porterfield.

"It is a pity there are only two places up for grabs.

"We have got a good record against the West Indies, beating them in the 2015 World Cup, so we'll take confidence from that.

"The Netherlands have got some big players back in recent times, so they will be tough, while Papua New Guinea are improving all the time."

ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers 2018
Group A: West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, ICC World Cricket League Division 2 winners.
Group B: Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong, ICC World Cricket League Division 2 runners-up.

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