Pakistan on top of ICC’s 80-team T20I rankings

The International Cricket Council on Friday (May 3) unveiled an expanded ICC Men’s Twenty 20 International Team Rankings table with 80 teams. In April 2018, ICC had granted T20I status to all the ICC members.
Only those teams that have passed the criteria of having played at least six matches against other ICC members since May 2016 feature in the rankings table.
The newly expanded list has Pakistan at the top of the rankings with 286 points, a spot they have retained, while six countries at the bottom-most are yet to open their account (0). South Africa (262) and India (260) have swapped positions, with the former moving up from fifth to second. Just one point separates them from the duo of England and Australia who are tied on 261 teams.
Pakistan, of late, have been the most consistent side in the shortest format. They won eleven T20I series on the trot starting September 2016 and the streak came to an end in their last series against South Africa, where they suffered a 1-2 loss.
Afghanistan (241) and Sri Lanka (227) have moved up one place each to seventh and eighth respectively. West Indies (226), the T20 World Champions, have gone down a spot to the ninth position. Bangladesh are positioned tenth with 220 points.
Zimbabwe (192), the Test playing nation, have hardly tasted success in the 20-over format and hence have been demoted to the 13th position. The African side hasn’t won a T20I series since February 2010 and hence are placed below lesser experienced teams – Scotland (199) and Nepal (212). Like Nepal, Ireland (182) too have moved up two places to claim the 15th spot.
With the qualification process for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup already begun, in the coming months there will be quite a few fluctuations in the rankings. A total of 58 T20Is will be played across the five regional finals. While the first final in Papua New Guinea is already completed (April), the remaining four – Africa final in Uganda (19-24 May), the Europe final in the Guernsey (15-19 June), the Asia final in Singapore (22-28 July) and the Americas final in the USA (19-25 August) – are yet to be played.
Six teams from these finals will join UAE (hosts), Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Zimbabwe in the global qualifier, where they’ll get another chance to boost their rankings and also try and qualify for the Men’s 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
According to the ICC media release, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Cameroon and Bermuda are not on the rankings list as they have not played a sufficient number of matches.