Race against time UBAI, United Arab Emirates, (CMC): West Indies’ hopes of an automatic World Cup spot suffered yet another blow when they slid even further in the latest ICC One-Day International (ODI) rankings released yesterday. The Caribbean side remained ninth in the rankings but lost four ratings points to slip to 79, falling further behind eighth placed Pakistan in their race for a top eight place in order to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in England. Hosts England and the next seven highest-ranked sides at the September 30 cut-off date will qualify for the showpiece. With their latest slide, the Windies are now nine points adrift of Pakistan who dropped two points in the latest rankings. The two sides met recently in a pivotal three-match one-day series with Pakistan emerging winners by a 2-1 margin. Two-time World Cup champions West Indies are running out of time to improve their ranking with series against minnows Afghanistan in June and England in September remaining. Should the Windies fail to qualify automatically, they will enter a 10-team qualification tournament in an attempt to secure one of the two remaining World Cup berths. South Africa and Australia, meanwhile, have remained top of the ODI rankings, with the Proteas gaining four points to move up to 123 and the Aussies remaining stagnant. India, meanwhile, have gained five points and replace New Zealand in third place with the Black Caps dropping to fourth. England lie fifth on 109 points, Sri Lanka are sixth despite dropping five points while Bangladesh are seventh on 91.
1 Celtic have announced the signing of Tyler Blackett on a season long loan from Manchester United.The 21-year-old defender has previously had loan spells at Blackpool and Birmingham and could be a replacement for Virgil van Dijk, linked heavily with a move to Southampton.The announcement was made on the Parkhead club’s website during their Ladbrokes Premiership game with St Johnstone.The England Under-21 cap was introduced to the home support at the interval to a rousing cheer and was photographed in traditional style, holding a Celtic scarf aloft. Tyler Blackett