The Proteas have jumped from fifth to second in the T20I ICC rankings.
Pakistan have consolidated their position at the top of the table, which has a wider spread of points to accommodate the additional teams. Pakistan, ICC T20 World Cup champions in 2009, are now on 286 points, while the next four teams are within two points of each other – South Africa (262), England (261), Australia (261) and India (260).
South Africa and India have swapped positions two and five in the expanded table, whose launch coincides with the annual rankings update where the series results from 2015-16 are removed, and outcomes from 2016-17 and 2017-18 are weighted at 50%.
The International Cricket Council unveiled an expanded ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings table on Friday with 80 teams who will now be able to gauge their progress in a format recognised by the world body as the vehicle for the growth of the game.
Teams such as Austria, Botswana, Luxembourg and Mozambique are among the sides figuring in the first men’s T20I rankings table, comprising all the members who meet the criteria of having played six matches against other ICC members since May 2016.
The move to expand the table follows ICC’s decision last year that all men’s T20 matches between members from 1 January 2019 will be classified as internationals. As with the ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings, which was launched in October 2018, teams will have needed to play six matches against other teams in the previous three to four years to remain in the rankings table.
The qualification process for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup includes 58 T20I matches across five regional finals, and is likely to mean significant movements in the rankings over the coming months.
The first final was held in Papua New Guinea last month, while the Africa final in Uganda (19-24 May), the Europe final in Guernsey (15-19 June), the Asia final in Singapore (22-28 July) and the Americas final in the USA (19-25 August) are still to come.
Six of these teams will join hosts the UAE, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Zimbabwe in the global qualifier for more chances to improve their standings in the table as they try to qualify for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.
In other significant changes, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have moved up one place each to seventh and eighth positions respectively, with the West Indies going down to ninth position. In big news for their passionate fans, Nepal have moved from 14th to 11th position, while Namibia have grabbed 20th position.
Top 10 ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings (as on 3 May):
1 Pakistan 286
2 South Africa 262
3 England 261
4 Australia 261
5 India 260
6 New Zealand 254
7 Afghanistan 241
8 Sri Lanka 227
9 West Indies 226
10 Bangladesh 220
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