In a good news for associate teams Ireland and Afghanistan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board approved that these two teams will join the 10 Full Members in the rankings-based qualification system for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.<p></p><p></p>In a report on ICC website, for the 2019 World Cup, the top eight-ranked sides on the Reliance ICC One-Day International (ODI) Team Rankings as at 30 September 2017 will qualify automatically. It is the bottom four teams in the rankings that will have to fight out to play in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 which will determine the final two teams in the line-up.<p></p><p></p>This means that both Ireland and Afghanistan will not play in the ICC World Cricket League Championship, the ICC's one-day competition for the leading Associate and Affiliate sides. Both these teams will be replaced by Nepal and Kenya.<p></p><p></p>The new structure introduced by ICC includes a promotion and relegation system for Associate and Affiliate Members, with a challenge series to take place between the lowest-ranked Associate Member on the Rankings table and the winner of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. The winner of the play-off will be included on the Rankings table for the next cycle, and the loser will compete in the ICC World Cricket League Championship.<p></p><p></p>ICC Chief Executive David Richardson applauded both teams performances and said, "Both Afghanistan and Ireland have excelled on and off the field in recent years, and this decision is a critical step forward to the ICC's aim of having more competitive teams in international cricket."<p></p><p></p>He added, "The decision also provides even greater context to One-Day International cricket, and provides a fully meritocratic pathway into ICC's Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy events. It also compliments the recent decision by the ICC Board to introduce opportunities for Associate and Affiliate Members to play Test cricket through the ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC Test Challenge."<p></p><p></p>On receiving the good news from ICC, Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom was more than happy and 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.<p></p><p></p>He added, "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 ICC Cricket World Cup 2015."