October 24, 2011 07:56 GMT
The International Cricket Council released its first set of international Twenty20 rankings, with reigning World T20 champions England topping the list in the team rankings and Eoin Morgan of England and Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka topping the batting and bowling rankings respectively. Shane Watson of Australia was the highest ranked all-rounder.
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. Rather surprisingly, Pakistan are ranked 7th. The finalists of the 2007 edition, winners of the 2009 edition and semi-finalists of the 2010 edition could have justifiably expected a higher rank. In response to numerous questions about the same on Twitter, the ICC clarified that rankings were based on results from August 1, 2009 and that World Cup results didn't carry extra weight while assigning ranking points. In the period in question, Pakistan have lost more than 50% of their International T20s - hence their lower than expected rank.
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.
The methodology behind ranking sides in Twenty20s is similar to the one used for ODIs, with the purpose too being the same - giving context to bilateral matches and series. For instance, if India defeat England in the one-off T20 after the current ODI series, England will slip to third from their top spot, with India rising to 2nd from 5th.
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."
The new system is not without its detractors or shortcomings, though most players have expressed support for it. Among the major shortcomings of the system are that it does not differentiate between a win in a dead-rubber T20 International versus, for example, the semi-final or the final of the T20 World Cup. It also gives no weightage to wins at home or wins away.
Among the positive aspects of the ratings are undoubtedly the fact that recent results are given greater weightage than past results on a diminishing scale.
The ICC T20 ratings:
Teams: 1.England (127 points) 2.Sri Lanka (126 points) 3.New Zealand (117 points) 4.South Africa (113 points) 5.India (112 points) 6.Australia (111 points) 7.Pakistan (97 points) 8.West Indies (89 points) 9.Afghanistan (75 points) 10.Zimbabwe (54 points).
Batsmen: 1.Eoin Morgan (England) 2.Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) 3.Kevin Pietersen (England) 4.Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) 5.Suresh Raina (India)
Bowlers: 1.Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka) 2.Graeme Swann (England) 3.Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) 4.Nathan McCullum (New Zealand) 5.Johan Botha (South Africa)
All-rounders: 1.Shane Watson (Australia) 2.Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) 3.David Hussey (Australia) 4.Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan)