Tuesday, 13 October 2015

WCB launches International T20 Team Rankings

A couple of  weeks ago the ICC launched their "innovative new multi-format" women's team rankings (more info here). The system "incorporates results in all three formats of the game into one rankings system". So what that means is they have combined all the results from the last four years for T20Is, ODIs and Tests into one completely meaningless table.

Or am I being too harsh? Surely the three formats are completely different games? What is the point of combining all the results into one table? Much better surely to have three separate team rankings for Tests, ODIs and T20s, as the men do.

The problem with Tests is that in the last four years there have only been five Tests, played by England (4), Australia (3), India (2) and South Africa (1). Given that India have won both their games we will suggest they should be top of the Test League. How can these results be included in any multi-format table when six of the top 10 teams have not played in this format of the game?

Perhaps I thought there is some magical mathematical formula used to iron out these wrinkles (more like large creases)? I have asked the ICC if they could share their secret calculations with us, the general cricketing public, but it seems they are not inclined to do so. Far be it from me to say, but you do wonder if India's recent Test successes, compared with their T20 and ODI failures, may have influenced the ICC's thinking. India are fourth behind Australia, England and New Zealand in the ICC Women's Team Rankings.

So instead of just bleating about the ICC's lack of judgement, as well as their lack of openness, I thought I'd have a stab at creating my own team standings table. For the time being ODIs appear to be covered by the ICC Women's Championship table, which is beginning to reflect current performance (take a look here). I may however turn my attention to ODIs at a slightly later date.

T20Is it is then. So I set about creating the WCB T20I Team Standings. I dug out all the results for the top 10 teams that took part in the last T20 World Cup for the last four years. I then tried various formats of points for wins, plus bonus points for wins against different opponents. In the end I came up with this relatively simple formula:-

  • 2 points for a win
  • 1 point for a tie
  • Bonus points based on team positions in the last T20 World Cup, so if you beat a team you get the following bonus points :- Australia 10, England 9, West Indies 8, South Africa 7, New Zealand 6, India 5, Pakistan 4, Sri Lanka 3, Bangladesh 2, Ireland 1
    (it is not ideal but I needed a starting point, and it will change from here on - see below)

I then decided that the recent games had to be given more weight, so I reduced the total number of points from games played over two years ago by half. It produced the following table.

Initially I was rather surprised that England came out on top, but actually they have a better overall win percentage than Australia, and in their last 12 encounters with Australia they have won 7 of them, so it seems accurate that they should be above them in the table. 

I will update the table after every T20I series - West Indies take on Pakistan at the end of this month and New Zealand host Sri Lanka in November - but with bonus points allocated on current positions in the WCB T20I Team Standings as at the date the series starts. So West Indies 7, Pakistan 4 for their upcoming series. 

If you have any thoughts on this table or would like to see the spreadsheet in more detail then please let me know, either via the comments below (with your email address if you want the stats), or you can email me at WCB@lawdox.co.uk.

Right I'm off to see what happens if I apply the same rationale to the ODI results over the last four years.



  1. Pleased to see someone is taking the rankings rather more seriously than the ICC! Mixing three completely different formats - meaningless and just lazy on someone's part.

  2. Anything to get England up in the top spot eh Martin?! ;) Seriously though it's a clever system that seems to reflect all the sides strengths quite well. A big improvement on the frankly weird new ICC system. Very interested to compare your ODI version vs. The women's Championship table.