The International Cricket Council (ICC) is a global governing body of international as well as domestic cricket. It is responsible for organizing and regulating all major international tournaments such as the World Cup 2019. ICC is also responsible of keeping record of team rankings based upon rating scheme. The council regularly observes bilateral series taking place all over the world. After each match, both teams involved in the match receive points based upon a preset formula. Each team’s points are divided by total number of matches played to give them a rating. The team with higher ratings is higher on the ranking table.
The ICC ODI Rankings system was introduced in 2002 in order to judge which teams are performing better than the rest of the teams. The ODI rankings are notional in a sense that points are accumulated through all the matches played. The most successful team in ODI rankings is Australia who have been on the top for 141 months in their entire history.
Current ODI Rankings:
There are a total of 16 nations that play ODI cricket on regular basis. As such, the rankings include 16 teams but we will only focus on the top 10 nations because they’ll be competing in this year’s WC. As of 16th March, 2019, England is on top of the food chain with 123 ratings. The full ODI rankings are given below:
- England (123 ratings)
- India (120 ratings)
- New Zealand (112 ratings)
- South Africa (112 ratings)
- Australia (103 ratings)
- Pakistan (102 ratings)
- Bangladesh (90 ratings)
- Sri Lanka (76 ratings)
- West Indies (76 ratings)
- Afghanistan (64 ratings)
A point to note here is that some teams have the same ratings but they are ranked differently. This is because some teams have played more matches than the other so the team which has played more matches is lower on the table.
Impact on World Cup:
The impact of these rankings on World Cup is more psychological rather than physical. We all know that teams who performing well on the day prevail. Rankings are just a way of ascertaining which teams are currently more dominant in terms of strategy and performance. An evidence of this is the Champions Trophy 2017 in which Pakistan were the last team to qualify and lost their first match to India. They however came back strongly and defeated India in the final to become champions. It’s all about giving your best on the day and taking advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. If a team can focus on the match instead of dwelling in the past, they can defeat even the strongest teams regardless of these rankings.
Each team that has qualified for the World Cup has all the potential of winning this event. Many top ranked teams lose their form during mega events e.g. South Africa. Although the top ranked teams are most likely to win it all, the smaller teams need to perform well to give these cricketing giants a run for their money.