India dropped three places to fifth spot in the newly-expanded men’s T20 International team rankings while Pakistan have consolidated their top spot, according to the latest rankings issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The ICC on Friday unveiled the new T20I team rankings table with 80 teams, who will now be able to gauge their progress in a format recognised by the world body as a vehicle for the growth.
Pakistan 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). SA and India have swapped positions two and five in the expanded table, whose launch coincides with the annual rankings update in which series results from 2015-16 are removed and outcomes from 2016-17 and 2017-18 are weighted at 50 per cent.
In other changes, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have moved up one place each to 7th and 8th positions, respectively, with the West Indies slipped down to ninth.
Nepal were one of the biggest gainers, moving from 14th to 11th position while Namibia have grabbed the 20th position. Teams like Austria, Botswana, Luxembourg and Mozambique are among the sides figuring in the T20I ranking table that has all members meeting 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 January 1 2019 will be classified as internationals.
The qualification process for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup, which is underway, includes 58 T20I matches across five regional finals is likely to mean significant movements in the rankings table 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) will follow.
Six of these teams will join hosts UAE, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Zimbabwe in the global qualifiers.