England on top of the world
England have been confirmed as the world’s leading Twenty20 team as the International Cricket Council launched its official rankings for the game’s shortest format.
Team director Andy Flower’s side, winners of the last World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and also the top-ranked team in Test cricket, have been awarded a rating of 127 points, one more than second-placed Sri Lanka.
India, England’s next T20 opponents in Kolkata on Saturday, sit fifth in the rankings behind New Zealand and South Africa, with Australia and Pakistan completing the top seven.
England T20 captain Stuart Broad said: “It’s great to see the introduction of Twenty20 international team and player rankings in line with the other formats of the game.
“The England team is delighted to be the number-one ranked international Twenty20 team in world cricket at this time but we’re certainly under no illusions that we must continue to work hard and improve if we’re to stay on top of the tree.”
Broad’s sentiments were echoed by Flower, who added: “The introduction of rankings for international Twenty20 cricket provides real context to the various series played between member countries on an ongoing basis.
“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.”
England’s players also fare well in the inaugural T20 player rankings.
Innovative middle-order batsman Eoin Morgan, currently sidelined by a shoulder injury, tops the batting charts ahead of New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and England team-mate Kevin Pietersen.
Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who tops the ODI bowling rankings, is second to Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis in the bowling list.