LAHORE: Pakistan after clinching the three One-day International matches series to the West Indies 2-1 has gained one ranking point to make it 90, strengthening their chances of qualifying for the ICC World Cup-2019, directly.

However, Pakistan’s position in the ICC ranking is unchanged as it is still at the eighth spot behind Bangladesh. However, after losing the series to Pakistan, the chances for the West Indies to directly qualify for the World Cup-2019 have further dented as it now has only 83 points to its name.

According to the ICC, host England and seven other countries have to qualify for the World Cup directly on the basis of their ICC world rankings, for which the cut-off date is Sept 30, 2017. The remaining four teams will come through a qualifying round to make it a 12-team event.

Meanwhile, upcoming stylish middle-order batsman Babar Azam, who aggregated 154 runs in the ODI series against the West Indies, including a century (125 not out) has improved his ICC ranking remarkably to stand at his career-best 8th place. Top scorer from Pakistan, Muhammad Hafeez (201 runs) also move back in top-20 places in the ranking as a batsman and by taking three wickets in the series he also improved his ranking as bowler by 10 points to come at 27th place.

Shoaib Malik is the second best run getter with a total of 163 runs in three matches.

“This was the final series before the annual update is carried out on 1 May to ensure the table continues to reflect teams’ recent form with older results being discarded. This means that when the ODI team rankings are overhauled on 1 May, the table will reflect all matches from May 1 2014 with matches played from May 1, 2016 to carry 100 per cent weighing,” a ICC press release said on Wednesday.

ICC ODI team rankings: South Africa119 points; Australia118; New Zealand113; India112; England108; Sri Lanka 98; Bangladesh 92; Pakistan 90; West Indies 83; Afghanistan 52; Zimbabwe 48; Ireland 42.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2017

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