The International Cricket Council today launched a global MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Team Rankings as it continues to drive the growth of the game through the shortest format.
Three-time ICC Women's World Twenty20 champions Australia lead the inaugural 46-team table, which follows the decision earlier this year to award international status to all T20 matches between Member countries. Scotland are the top ranked Associate Member in 11th, while Thailand take 12th place in the first table following some good performances of late, including a win over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup earlier this year. All women's T20 matches between Members have international status since the Asia Cup in June and the new rankings system will help teams gauge where they stand in the shortest format of the game. Teams will have to play six T20I matches in the previous three to four years to remain on the rankings table.
The system moves away from the combined rankings in place earlier and there is now a separate MRF Tyres ICC Women's ODI Team Rankings table with 10 teams, in line with the men's rankings, which are separate for each format.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, "We are committed to growing the game and T20 is the vehicle through which we'll do this. Global rankings and international status for all T20 games between Members is a huge step forward and will contribute to our efforts to accelerate the growth of the women's game. The new rankings will provide incentive for teams to play regularly and mark their progress globally. I wish teams all the best." Australia, who were top-ranked in the combined rankings system, are now ranked number one in both forms of the game and lead trans-Transman rivals New Zealand by three points in the T20I rankings table. Australia are on 280 points, New Zealand on 277 while England are just a further one point behind with 276 points.
Australia, will however, have to win their upcoming three-match T20I series from October 25 to 29 against Pakistan in Malaysia by a 3-0 margin to retain their top ranking. Pakistan will be unable to overtake sixth-ranked South Africa even if they pull off a shock 3-0 win.
The Windies, who will defend their ICC Women's World T20 title at home from November9-24, are ranked fourth with 259 points and India are a further 10 points behind in fifth place. The next five teams on the table South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ireland complete the lineup for the West Indies event.
The list includes nine sides from Europe, 14 from Asia, 13 from Africa, four each from East Asia Pacific and the Americas, apart from Australia and the West Indies.
Both old and new teams on the rankings table have welcomed the global rankings, which coincide with the annual update and have been introduced with less than a month to go for the ICC Women's World T20 2018 in the West Indies.
Australia captain Meg Lanning said, "Being named the top-ranked country in the ICC T20I rankings is nice recognition for the consistent style of cricket that we've been playing over the last year or so."
"I welcome the new teams on the table and wish them all the best on behalf of the Australian team. The women's game has been on an upward move and I am sure this will further help spread the game worldwide," she said.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur said, "The global women's T20I rankings is a welcome move as such an all-inclusive list will only help spread the game worldwide." "I'm sure these rankings will encourage more countries to play the game regularly and teams will get a good idea of where they stand in the global context. Players always take interest in the ICC rankings as they are a true reflection of where teams and players stand," she said.
Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce said, "We are all delighted and I think it shows what a great direction the women's game is moving in. I think it will make a huge difference to Scottish cricket as it will open up opportunities to play against high quality nations more often." "I think having ranking points will make it more appealing for other nations to play against us, and hopefully with the increase in highly competitive matches, with something at stake every time, will improve the standard of women's cricket across the board," she said.
Thailand captain Sornnarin Tippoch said, "The global rankings come as a welcome expansion and will help in the growth of the game as they will reflect where the teams stand." "We have been doing well and even pulled off a victory over Sri Lanka in this year's Asia Cup. The rankings will provide teams like ours further incentive to do well," she said.
"Now cricket fans the world over will know how the game is expanding and how teams are faring in international cricket." Tippoch added.
Chinese Cricket Association Director Song Yingchun said, "So far, everyone only knew about the leading teams and their performances but these rankings will also get other teams in the news. With a clear structure of the competition, we could understand better about our position and direction going on forward." "This is also a common practice for most of the professional sport around the world. This would be a really good chance for national cricket bodies like CCA to build their cases with governments and sports bodies," Yingchun said.
"This can lead to better promotion and enhanced support from various stakeholders,"Yingchun added.
Meanwhile, former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates, Australia fast bowler Megan Schutt and West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor top the MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Player Rankings which include new players from Southern African and South American teams.
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0214-1549077.Xml