Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, Galle, 5th day July 23, 2010

Sangakkara questions ICC Test rankings

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Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's captain, has questioned the way the ICC Test rankings work. He was responding to a query whether the players take seriously a system that has India at No. 1 despite not having won a series in Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka since 1993, and whether that system needs a change.

"You should have asked that question of Haroon [Lorgat, ICC's CEO], who was here a while ago…" Sangakkara said. "If rankings can't be understood by the public, the players, or the administrators, what's the use of having rankings? If you want rankings, they should count towards playing a Test championship.

"Rankings need to be fairly done. A fair FTP is the first step towards having proper rankings. Once every two years each side should play each other at least once, home or away. That's how you get a fair deal when it comes to Test cricket."

Sri Lanka themselves were ranked No. 2 last year without having won a Test in India, Australia and South Africa, a spot they lost after their loss to India in India. About his own side's dismal record in the three countries ranked higher than them, Sangakkara said, "I don't think we have played enough Test cricket away. Two Test matches here, two Test matches there. I think that's not good. We need to play Tests regularly.

"We have a very good balanced attack, pace and spin. From 2006 to 2009 we have done well. We have won in New Zealand, in England, and in Pakistan. South Africa, Australia and India are the three places that we need to win. We need to play often in those places."

The Test rankings, as they stand now, don't give extra weightage to victories away from home, and run over a time of three years, including "all Test series completed since August more than three years ago". The rating points earned or conceded are calculated based on the difference between where the teams stood before the start of the series. For example, if in the ongoing series India beat Sri Lanka, they will gain fewer points than they will concede if they lose the series. Same goes for Australia, who are facing a much lower-ranked Pakistan. Even if Australia end the series 1-1, they will concede three rating points.

The system, though, stands to work well only if the FTP works evenly. For example, if a side spends a year playing only home series, and uses the home advantage to win series against competitive sides, its rating points will tend to misrepresent the strength and quality of the team.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan27721134 on July 30, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    @ mattress - When a person is genious enough to understand flaws in something, why should he keep silent ? Normally well educated people like Sangakkara don't keep silent in these kind of matters. That's how he normally behaves & never afraid to talk the truth against anyone....He's a class player & remains no.2 in ICC Test rankings consistently...Yeah, I can understand that when some people compare their captain with Sangakkara, sometimes they may get frustrate. Don't get upset, that's the life. Everyone is not equally talented and educated & we have to accept that.... Cheers !

  • dummy4fb on July 29, 2010, 21:52 GMT

    ONE THING WHICH I WOULD LIKE TO ASK EVERY1 INCLUDING THE CRICINFO...WHY PLAYING OUTSIDE SUB CONTINENT IS BEING MARKED AS THE BENCHMARK?

    IF PLAYING IN GREEN AND FAST PITCH IS THE BENCHMARK FOR QUALITY AND RANKING THEN PLS DONT HAVE ANY TEST MATCHES IN SUB CONTINENT.

    IF SUB CONTINENT TEAMS ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL IN FAST PITCHES ARE THE TEAM FROM DOWN UNDER AND SA AND OTHER PARTS HAVE BEEN REGULARLY SUCCESSFUL IN ASIA?

    DON'T SEPARATE SPIN FROM FAST BOWLING, THEY BOTH ARE THE PARTS OF CRICKET.

    ALSO, I BELIEVE THERE SHUD BE A PROPER SYSTEM WHERE IN ALL TEAMS SHOULD PLAY EQUAL NO. OF TEST MATCHES AGAINST EACH OTHER IN HOME AND AWAY SERIES TO DETERMINE WHO IS THE BEST......AND SPREAD IT IN A 4 YEAR CALENDAR.

    AND HAVE MERCY ON US BCCI AND SLC.....WE NO MORE WANT INDIA VS SL MATCHES FOR NEXT 2 YEARS, IF POSSIBLE NOT EVEN A GULLY CRICKET OR IN WC 2011.

    THANKS

  • yeshwanth007 on July 29, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    reply to PRAKRAMA MARALANDA and WickRAMSINGHE :The entire records of all the srilankan players puttogether cannot match the records of SACHIN TENDULKAR.don`t even dream to compare sangakkara with sachin,dravid and sehwag

  • mattress on July 29, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    sankaggara is a worst captain, he is questioning the icc, the main board of cricket. he is not a genious defeating india in 1st test match means to get a no. 1 position. good luck team india.

  • Rogue777 on July 29, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    Wow so many Indians have just read the topic and not the articles. The other who read the article dont seem to understand it. They have such fragile egos they have interpreted this article as anti-Indian because Sanga use them to highlight is much bigger point. Sanga's point IS NOT Indian do not deserve to be number 1 and Srl does. Sanga's point IS Srl and India both do not deserve such high ranks as they have not done well overall. He further goes to say that FTP should make sure every country is given the SAME chance the SAME number of tests! That is the only way a ranking system can be FAIR! West Indies, Pakistha, Ind all play 4 or 5 test series against SA, Eng and Aus! WHY DO THEY NEVER GIVE SRI LANKA A 4 OR 5 TEST SERIES!

  • fazil0412 on July 29, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    @ Ashish.iitkgp, nice joking

  • hari_rocks on July 28, 2010, 16:19 GMT

    hi i am basically from india and even i accept sanga's words........ moreover india dont deserve the no.1 spot in ICC test rankings they r not fit to be no.1 with bowlers like ishant sharma, ojha etc..... ICC should rethink

  • lords_cricket on July 28, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Parakrama Maralanda if india not backed Malinga, this time there is no malinga in the ground, he have been kicked of because of his action, and how many 100 and 200 sankkara scored away from Srilanka? what is the ratio compare to other player? how many one day and test srilanka have won away from Srilanka? funny is it ? first beat auz in auz and talk about the ranking

  • Ashish.iitkgp on July 28, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    First of all Mr. Sangakkara, beating India in ur own home in the first match doesn't mean that u r geniuos. Second, India didn't win series in Australia, South Africa, but other teams too didn't performed so well outside thr own country. Third, first see ur team's record.Forget about the Series, You didn't won even a single game in India ever. Don't give silly reasons that you didn't got much matches to play in India. If thats the case, then We too can give a reason that you won a critical toss in first Match and batted first. If it would have been India, then you would have lost like anything. So, first see urself, then think of putting questions on other eams. By the way, for ur kind information, in the Rating Slab, difference between the number of matches played between u and India is just 7 matches. India played 38, You played 31. So, think twice before saying.

  • poderdubdubdub on July 28, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    Pakistan is a country which has played the least number of test matches, even lesser than Bangladesh, including a whole year when they played not a single test match. How can you determine the real status of the Pakistan team's strength, so their ranking is not real. India, SA, and Australia play more test matches than any other team and hence these three teams are on the top.

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