OPINION: Are the new ICC rankings totally meaningless?

Earlier this month the ICC announced their new rankings system for women’s cricket, which combines results from all three formats of the game into one table, to produce the Definitive List of where each team sits in relation to the others.

As we pointed out on CRICKETher at the time, the fact that Australia lead the way is no surprise, but below that there are some quite interesting placings!

The new ranking system has been devised by David Kendix, the same statistician who calculates the men’s rankings. While his exact methodology has not been revealed, we are told that equal weighting has been given to the Test, ODI and T20 formats.

There has been a lot of scepticism about the merits of a system which combines all three formats, especially given the dearth of Test match cricket currently played in the women’s game.

In some ways, therefore, the new ranking system is not hugely meaningful. In fact, CRICKETher would strongly advise that you follow Martin Davies’ new ODI and T20 rankings available over on Women’s Cricket Blog – England are currently at the top of the T20 rankings, and Australia are heading up the ODI rankings. These will be updated after every game and are an excellent reflection of the true state of affairs in depth.

Having said that… the ICC should be given some credit here for what they are trying to do: promote the women’s game. Having a single rankings system simplifies this process. It gives meaning to matches like the recent Pakistan-West Indies ODI, whereby seventh-ranked Pakistan pulled off an unexpected and exciting win against fifth-ranked West Indies. And it gives some context to bilateral series’ which, unlike the women’s Ashes, often still go under the radar.

Giving the media something to latch onto, and helping them create coherent stories and narratives about the women’s game, can surely only help women’s cricket in the long-run. So, even if it is via an oversimplified methodology, CRICKETher think that there’s room for both the ICC rankings and the more sophisticated WCB ones.

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One thought on “OPINION: Are the new ICC rankings totally meaningless?

  1. Any system of ranking where the methodology remains secret is ….. well crap.

    On the face of it, mixing Tests, ODIs and T20s is bonkers. Without a published methodology we have only ‘on the face of it’ judgement to rely on.

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