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Ireland, Afghanistan handed qualifying boost for 2019 World Cup

The ICC have confirmed that Ireland and Afghanistan will have the opportunity to qualify directly for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

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The International Cricket council (ICC) has confirmed that Ireland and Afghanistan will join the 10 Test-playing nations in a rankings-based qualification system for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The top eight teams from the ICC One-Day International Team rankings as of September 2017 will qualify automatically for the 2019 showpiece, which is being held in England and Wales.

The bottom four will then make up part of a 10-team qualifier in 2018 that will determine who takes the last two places in the 10-team World Cup.

Ireland and Afghanistan will now no longer have to play in the World Cricket League (WCL), an ICC tournament for non-Test playing nations.

The WCL will resume later in 2015 and take place over the next two years, comprising of Hong Kong, Namibia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Nepal.

Teams featuring in the WCL are all vying for places in the World Cup qualifier.

Warren Deutrom, chief executive officer of Cricket Ireland, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the opportunity to qualify directly to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

"Ireland has worked very hard over recent years to prove itself as the leading associate side and has beaten a number of full members over the years.

"We are confident that we can now accelerate our progress as part of this qualification structure with the full members, while this is also an excellent boost as we put our finishing touches on our preparations for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup."

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