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2022 ICC Rankings Update: Not Many Changes Expected

It is that time of the year when ICC Team Rankings changes overnight. A time when ICC applies annual update formulas on Test, ODI and T20I Team Rankings to maintain its efficacy to reflect the recent form of teams in each format. On 1st May every year, the points earned earlier than the last 36 months (since 1 May of 3 years ago) are discarded and weightage of all points earned between the last 13 to 36 months (between the May of 3 years ago to April of previous year) is set to 50%.

In the past, this annual update often brought about the changes in rankings of the team, even emergence of new number one ranked side of the format. This year’s annual update of ICC Team Rankings is going to be an exception, in that context; yielding only rare changes in the ranking tables. The primary reason here is lack of Cricket played during the coverage period, May 2019 onwards, due to COVID-19 outbreak. Lesser amount of Cricket meant lesser amount of points awarded, and that means lesser impact on ranking tables due to the quantum of awarded points.

Test and ODI Rankings will remain almost the same. The only change would be Pakistan rising from number 6 to number 5 in both ICC Test and ODI Team Rankings. The changes in Rating Points of the teams would not be sufficient enough to incur changes in Team Rankings. No major shuffle is expected in T20I Rankings either that would see New Zealand and Afghanistan sliding down a couple of spots.

Test Rankings

As part of the annual update process, all points earned before 1 May 2019 shall be dropped and the weightage of points earned between 1 May 2020 and 30 April 2021 shall be decreased to 50%. This application will cause the biggest dent on England’s Test Ranking. England had earned 116 Rating Points during 2018-2019 period, their highest rating in any of the last four ranking years, that will be discarded. They earned 106 and 107 Rating Points in the following years that will be reduced to 50% weightage leaving only the Tests played after 1 May 2021 with 100% weightage. England played 13 Tests in this period and their Rating Points were just 66. This will result in reduction of more than 9 Rating Points in England’s Test Ranking – that will be sufficient for them to slide to number 6 below Pakistan.

Pakistan swapping places with England at 5th and 6th spot are the only changes expected in this year’s annual update. Test Team Rankings of all other teams are expected to remain the same albeit with some fluctuation in Rating Points.

Australia are currently at the top of the Test Rankings, only 1 Rating Point ahead of India. This year’s annual update will yield Australia a net gain of more than 9 Rating Points. They had earned only 97 points in 2018-2019 cycle that will be discarded. They earned 129 and 94 Rating Points respectively in the next 2 cycles. Although the weightage of 94 points earned in 2020-2021 shall be reduced to 50% but its overall impact on Australia’s Rating shall be minimal as those 94 points came off only 5 Tests. Australia had phenomenal 2021-2022 cycle where they earned massive 136 Rating Points from 10 Tests.

ODI Rankings

Quite a bit of fluctuation is expected in ODI Rating Points of the teams after this year’s annual update, but without affecting many changes in the Rankings.

The only change would be Pakistan replacing South Africa at the 5th spot, after yielding a net gain of more than 5 Rating Points after this year’s annual update.

Pakistan would mainly benefit from the expunge of 2018-2019 cycle where Pakistan earned only 89 points in 11 ODIs. 2019-2020 was Pakistan’s best cycle of the last four where they earned 105 Rating Points from 7 ODIs. The impact of reduction in weightage of 2020-2021 ratings would be minimal for Pakistan as Pakistan had played only 3 ODIs yielding 101 Rating Points. Although Pakistan performed only at-par during 2021-2022 cycle (yielding 100 Rating Points), their Rating will still see a positive effect due to exclusion of their worst cycle, 2018-2019.

South Africa, on the other hand, will lose their best cycle in the last four years. South Africa had earned 111 Rating Points from 21 ODIs in 2018-2019 cycle, that will be expunged from the calculations this year. Their next best cycle was 2019-2020 with 110 Rating Points that is already weighed at 50%. South Africa earned only 84 Rating Points from 3 ODIs in 2020-2021 cycle, that will be reduced to 50% weightage. During 2021-2022 cycle, the only cycle to be counted with 100% weightage, South Africa earned 94 Rating Points. Thus their Rating Points see a net loss of more than 3 Rating Points, leaving enough space for Pakistan to replace them at the 5th spot.  

T20I Rankings

T20I Rankings would see more changes than ODI or Test Team Rankings but still, not so significant ones. While, there are no changes expected in the top 3, New Zealand, currently ranked number 4, are expected to drop to number 6. South Africa and Australia, currently ranked 5th and 6th will rise one spot each in the process. Similarly, Afghanistan, currently ranked 8th, are expected to slide down to number 10, enabling Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, currently ranked 9th and 10th respectively, to rise one spot each.

ICC expanded ICC T20I Team Ranking table to more than 80 teams back in 2019. Since then a lot of teams have played OFFICIAL T20I but since they are yet to complete four years in ICC Rankings Cycle, the official Rankings may reflect variations from the above calculations. It would be appropriate to take them for indicative purposes only.  

Among the ICC Full Members, New Zealand and Afghanistan will lose most – more than 5 – Rating Points in this year’s annual update. On the other hand West Indies will gain more than 4 points. England and Pakistan are also expected to lose more than 3 Rating Points but that will be insufficient for either of them to lose their current spots, number 2 and number 3, respectively.


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