Claire Taylor and Goswami top women's ODI rankings
England's Claire Taylor has been ranked the No. 1 batsman and India's new captain Jhulan Goswami has topped the bowlers' list in the new ICC rankings for women's one-day cricket which was launched in Mumbai on Thursday.
Goswami is among the fastest bowlers in women's cricket and won the Player-of-the-Year award in 2007. England's fast bowler Isa Guha, who is the joint highest wicket-taker in ODIs this year, is in second place while Australia's left-arm spinner Shelley Nitschke is third.
Taylor is the highest run-scorer in ODIs this year and recently became only the 13th player with 100 ODI caps. "To be No. 1 batsman in the world means a lot to me. It's something that I've been aiming for since the World Cup in 2000, the point where I really thought I could have an impact on the game," she said. "However, it's not the most important thing this year. There are personal battles to be fought against great rivals, a World Cup to contest and perhaps win and an Ashes duel to finish off what promises to be an amazing 12 months."
She is followed by India's Mithali Raj and Australia's Lisa Sthalekar, who was rated as the world's best allrounder. "The rankings will give individuals an idea where they stand. It will bring about competition among the players, who will now not only fight for places in the same team, but also try to challenge top players from other teams," Raj told Cricinfo. "It's a big incentive. Also, those who follow women's cricket will now learn about players from countries other than theirs."
Sthalekar felt the rankings would add interest to the women's game. "Hopefully this will give greater exposure to women's cricket and perhaps provide more sponsorship opportunities as well." she said. Her team-mate Alex Blackwell, who was eighth in the batting list, also welcomed the new rankings. "I think it will generate quite a lot of interest. We are getting a bit more media coverage and growing interest on television," she said. "It will be another thing to strive for as you want to be ranked as high as you can and that will help generate some positive competition."