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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

The players from the World Cup Qualifier who will be missed at the 2019 World Cup in England

With the West Indies and Afghanistan taking the two spots to play in the 10-team competition, Paul Radley looks at some of the talent that will not be in action

Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane is among Paul Radley's list of best players from the World Cup Qualifier who are not going to be competing at the 2019 World Cup. Image courtesy of ICC
Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane is among Paul Radley's list of best players from the World Cup Qualifier who are not going to be competing at the 2019 World Cup. Image courtesy of ICC

West Indies and Afghanistan meet in the final of the World Cup Qualifier on Sunday, safe in the knowledge that the most important business has already been taken care of as they have qualified for the 2019 World Cup.

It is disappointing they are the only two sides who will be travelling to England to play in the main event in 2019 with the tournament having been reduced to 10 sides from the 14 that played in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Here is an XI of players that will be on the outside looking in next year, whose presence would surely have made it a better event.

Ireland's Paul Stirling. Image courtesy of ICC
Ireland's Paul Stirling. Image courtesy of ICC

1 Paul Stirling (Ireland)

Eoin Morgan said Stirling’s talent deserved worldwide exposure when his teammate won the T10 League for Kerala Kings in December. And yet the door is shut to him playing in the top 50-over event.

Ireland's captain William Porterfield. Image courtesy of ICC
Ireland's captain William Porterfield. Image courtesy of ICC

2 Will Porterfield (Ireland)

When he hit a ton against Papua New Guinea, it was Porterfield’s 11th one-day international century. He got to that number quicker than any of Viv Richards, Kane Williamson – and even former teammate Eoin Morgan.

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Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor, centre. Image courtesy of ICC
Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor, centre. Image courtesy of ICC

3 Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe)

The fourth highest run-scorer at the 2015 World Cup, behind just Martin Guptill, Kumar Sangakarra and AB de Villiers. The Zimbabwe wicketkeeper was out on his own for runs in the Qualifier.

UAE's Rameez Shahzad. Image courtesy of ICC
UAE's Rameez Shahzad. Image courtesy of ICC

4 Rameez Shahzad (UAE)

Averaged 89.5 in the three ODIs he played in the Qualifier. The UAE’s fortunes might have been far different had Rameez not been cut down by serious illness for half the event.

Scotland's Calum McLeod. Image courtesy of ICC
Scotland's Calum McLeod. Image courtesy of ICC

5 Calum MacLeod (Scotland)

The third highest run-scorer at the Qualifer, and he played the innings that set the competition alight, a remarkable ton in the opening day win over tournament favourites Afghanistan.

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien. Image courtesy of ICC
Ireland's Kevin O'Brien. Image courtesy of ICC

6 Kevin O’Brien (Ireland)

Three World Cup appearances, and provided one of the tournament’s most luminous performances in stunning England in 2011, but he will be 38 by the time Ireland try to qualify for another.

Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza. Image courtesy of ICC
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza. Image courtesy of ICC

7 Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe)

The off-spinning allrounder has been arguably the stand out player at the Qualifier. He has scored the second highest amount of runs, while his haul of 15 wickets is just two short of top spot in that chart.

UAE's Mohammed Naveed. Image courtesy of ICC
UAE's Mohammed Naveed. Image courtesy of ICC

8 Mohammed Naveed (UAE)

The No 10 ranked bowler in the world in Twenty20 international cricket, Naveed took his first ODI five-wicket haul against PNG in the Qualifier, then broke Zimbabwean hearts in UAE’s last game.

Ireland's Tim Murtagh. Image courtesy of ICC
Ireland's Tim Murtagh. Image courtesy of ICC

9 Tim Murtagh (Ireland)

How he would have relished playing a World Cup in England, given the years of service he has given to county cricket with Middlesex. The reliable seam-bowler took 13 wickets in the Qualifier.

Scotland's Safyaan Sharif. Image courtesy of ICC
Scotland's Safyaan Sharif. Image courtesy of ICC

10 Safyaan Sharif (Scotland)

Took five wickets in Scotland’s tie with Zimbabwe, and bowled the ball of the tournament when he dismissed Chris Gayle with the first ball of the game against West Indies.

Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane. Image courtesy of ICC
Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane. Image courtesy of ICC

11 Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal)

At least he has the avenue of the Indian Premier League to show his class. The teenage leg-spinner will play for Delhi Daredevils next month – but not the World Cup next year.