Dubai: Oct 24, 2011
Reigning ICC World Twenty20 champion England was unveiled as the number-one ranked side in the shortest format of the game as the ICC Twenty20 International (T20I) team rankings were launched at the ICC headquarters in Dubai on Monday.
England, which is also the top ranked Test side, has a rating of 127 points and leads second-placed Sri Lanka by just one rating point.
Only six ratings points separate the next four sides with New Zealand occupying third position on 117, followed by South Africa, ICC World Twenty20 2007 winner India, and Australia.
ICC World Twenty20 2009 champion Pakistan is in seventh position, 14 ratings points behind Australia, with West Indies, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe to follow.
Teams that have played eight or more T20Is since August 2009 have been included on the table. Bangladesh, along with Associate Members Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland, which have T20I status, will all join the table as soon as they have played sufficient matches to qualify for a ranking.
Since August 2009, England has played 20 T20Is, winning 12, losing six and with two ending in no-results. Its victories include four against Pakistan, two each against South Africa and Australia, and one each against Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand and India.
In contrast, Pakistan has played the highest number of matches (24) during the same period, but at the same time it has lost more than 50 per cent of its matches which explains its current seventh position.
One of the main objectives of introducing the T20I team rankings is to give context to bilateral matches. And this will be evident as soon as Saturday when England will put its number-one ranking on the line when it goes head to head with India in the only T20I match of the series at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
While an England victory would increase its advantage over Sri Lanka to four ratings points, in case of a defeat it will slip to third position behind Sri Lanka and India.
An India victory would give fresh impetus to the one-off Pakistan-Sri Lanka T20I in Dubai on 25 November as Sri Lanka would need to win that match to hold on to number one spot. Defeat to Pakistan would see Sri Lanka fall to joint third position alongside South Africa and India would take over as the top ranked side.
ICC General Manager - Cricket, David Richardson, speaking at the launch ceremony, said: "The ICC is delighted to announce the team and player rankings for Twenty20 international cricket.
"The launch of T20I rankings will generate even more interest in the shortest format and will help to give more context to bilateral T20Is.
"Despite the fact that not as many T20Is have been played as Tests or ODIs, the ICC believes these rankings add context to nation versus nation contests in the shortest of cricket's three vibrant international formats."
England's T20I captain Stuart Broad said: "It's great to see the introduction of Twenty20 International team and player rankings in line with the other formats of the game.
"The England team is delighted to be the number-one ranked international Twenty20 team in world cricket at this time but we're certainly under no illusions that we must continue to work hard and improve if we're to stay on top of the tree.
"We relish the chance to represent our country in the shortest form of the game and I know the England players are already looking forward to the challenge of defending our ICC World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka in less than 12 months time."
England's coach Andy Flower, who also masterminded England's rise to the number-one ranking in Test cricket, said: "The introduction of rankings for international Twenty20 cricket provides real context to the various series played between member countries on an ongoing basis.
"Until now we haven't had the chance to play a large number of Twenty20 Internationals so this will offer a benchmark as to who is performing at international level.
"The competitiveness of Twenty20 International cricket is quite clearly matched by the closeness of the team rankings with several teams within touching distance of each other. These rankings will chart every team's progress as they build to the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka next year for what promises to be an exciting event on the cricketing calendar."
ICC media release