Missing qualification for the 2017 International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy has come as a major embarrassment for West Indies cricket and now the next two years will prove to be very crucial if they are to make the World Cup.
The regional team is currently ninth on the ICC's official ODI rankings and will miss the Champions Trophy in 2017 in England, as it is reserved for the top eight sides.
The next important qualification date in the diaries of the 12 teams on the ICC ODI Team Rankings will be September, 30, 2017.
That is the date when the top eight ranked sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings will earn direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be hosted by the ECB. The bottom four sides will get a second chance to complete the 10-team line-up in the ICC Cricket World Cup when they will be joined by teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the ICC World Cricket League Division Two in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
As such, all bilateral ODI cricket in the lead up to September, 30, 2017, including the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, will now have greater importance.
The West Indies team has been inflicted with all kinds of problems which has affected their on field performance. They begin their bid back into the Top Eight against Sri Lanka from November 4 in Sri Lanka. They are carded to play three ODIs which if they win will give them valuable points because the Sri Lankans are rated higher than the West Indies.
If they win the series against Sri Lanka by a 3-0 margin, they will go to 92 points and climb ahead of Pakistan and into eight spot. It they win the series 2-1, they gain two points to move to 90 which will equal Pakistan's tally and put them in eight spot as well. If they lose the series 1-2, they will still gain a point and move to 89 from their current 88. If however they are 'whitewashed' they then lose a point and go to 87.
After the Sri Lankan series the West Indies tour Australia but there are no limited overs matches on the itinerary. Next year however is a big year for the West Indies in terms of ODI cricket, as they will host the mighty South Africans and Australians in a tri-series. If they can pull wins against these top ranked sides, they can impact their rankings in a positive manner and look to put themselves in a healthy position within the top eight.