Two days ahead of Women's World Twenty20, the ICC has launched T20I players' rankings for women in Colombo, with Australian allrounder Lisa Sthalekar and England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor heading the bowling and batting rankings respectively. The top spots are dominated by Australian and English players, with at least half the spots among the first 20 in both categories claimed by players of the two countries.
West Indies' Stefanie Taylor also figures in the top five rankings for batsmen. Stefanie Taylor had won the ODI Player of the Year award, and Sarah Taylor the Twenty20 Player of the Year award, in the ICC Awards on September 15.
Taylor, also No. 3 in the ODI rankings, was pleased to find herself at the top. "I'm delighted to be No. 1 in the batting rankings and excited that [her team-mate] Charlotte Edwards is at No. 2. I'll be looking to extend my form into the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012.
Her captain, Edwards, who won the Women's Player of the Year award in 2008, pointed to the rising status of women's game.
"I'm pleased to know that players in the women's game are being recognised in the T20 format with the introduction of the Reliance ICC T20I Player Rankings for women. The rankings highlight how the women's game continues to develop across the world with more and more T20 cricket being played."
The ICC's general manager, Campbell Jamieson, said the time was right to introduce the T20I rankings keeping in mind the "quantum and quality" of women's T20I cricket.
The Women's World Twenty20 begins on Wednesday, with hosts Sri Lanka taking on South Africa in Galle.