World champions England grab no.1 position in women's team rankings following annual update

Jamie Ramage
New Update
Following England’s road to the world cup title, they now sit on top of the world rankings by the slimmest of margins. They are now ranked 0.04 points ahead of Australia, who they will be playing against this month at the Women’s Ashes. England won important games by narrow margins, and it has been shown in the rankings. Only the day before the new rankings were announced, English captain Heather Knight said, “Australia are still the best team in the world.”


England has come through a period of rebuilding since the end of the last ICC World T20, that saw Charlotte Edwards replaced and a new style of play under coach Mark Robinson undertaken. England has thrived on an underdog mentality, playing down their role as favourites, and will find that hard to do now as they hold the world cup and the top ranking. The rankings include all formats of the game; points are awarded for tests, ODIs and T20s. The rankings are only updated once a year, at the start of October. This means that whatever the result of the series between England and Australia, England will stay the number one ranked side. While New Zealand failed to reach the semi-finals of the world cup they stay third, although India has closed the gap on them, and are currently ranked fourth. It meant that England and Australia who swapped places were the only sides that changed places in the ranking table.


With the increasing amount of bilateral series' taking place and an ever-increasing interest in the women’s game, it could be argued that rankings could and should be updated more often. With fewer test matches played, and India announcing that they will concentrate on the shorter forms of the game, it leaves just England and Australia as the only teams committed to playing test matches, albeit less often than in the past. With the Women’s World Twenty20 to take place next November, it will be too late to be included in next year’s ranking update. The ranking system has been in place for two years now, but does not take into consideration the different nuances of the different formats of the game, giving them equal weight. This means that teams like the West Indies who are the current Twenty20 world champions are not recognized as such in the rankings. It would benefit the increased interest in women’s cricket to have the rankings updated more often and consider the different formats, and even splitting these into separate rankings.