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October 24, 2011
England, the reigning World Twenty20 champions, have topped the ICC's inaugural rankings for the shortest format of the game. England batsman Eoin Morgan tops the batting ratings, Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis is the top bowler and Australia's Shane Watson the No. 1 allrounder.
England have 127 points and are ahead of Sri Lanka, who have 126 in the rankings, announced on Monday. If England win their T20 against India at Eden Gardens on October 29, they will have a four-point lead over Sri Lanka. If they lose, though, they will slip below Sri Lanka and India.
"The introduction of rankings for international Twenty20 cricket provides real context to the various series played between member countries on an ongoing basis," England's team director Andy Flower said. "Until now we haven't had the chance to play a large number of Twenty20 Internationals so this will offer a benchmark as to who is performing at international level."
The next four teams - New Zealand (117), South Africa, India and Australia - were separated by only six points. Pakistan, who won the World Twenty20 in 2009, were ranked seventh followed by West Indies, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh, along with Associate Members Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland, which have T20 international status, will join the table as soon as they have played sufficient matches (at least eight T20s since August 2009) to qualify for a ranking.
Since August 2009, England played 20 T20s, winning 12, losing six and two no-results. Pakistan played the most matches (24) during the same period, but lost more than 50% of its matches, which contributed to its low rating.
Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen were No. 2 and 3 behind Morgan in the rankings for batsmen, while spinners occupy seven of the top ten spots for bowlers. "I believe spin bowlers have adapted to T20 cricket better than most," Daniel Vettori, who has retired from T20s, said. "To see spinners succeed in a tough environment is great for the game and means bowlers can enjoy Twenty20 cricket, most of the time!"
Watson, the No. 1 allrounder, is followed by Shahid Afridi, David Hussey and Mohammad Hafeez. Abdul Razzaq, at No. 10, is the third Pakistan player among the top ten allrounders.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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