Pak players gain in ICC ODI rankings

Dubai: It might have been an acrimonious tour marred by allegations of match-fixing against them but some of Pakistan’s cricketers on Thursday gained substantially in the ICC ODI rankings despite the 2-3 series loss to England.

Pakistan, hit by allegations of spot-fixing that led to the suspension of three of its cricketers, lost the five-match series 2-3 after going down by 121 runs in the decider last night.

But some of their players went up in the rankings.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal moved into 13th position after climbing four places following his nine wickets in the series while the pace duo of Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar also improved their rankings significantly.

Umar, who finished the series as the leading wicket-taker with 12 wickets, rocketed 18 places to 23rd spot while Akhtar’s eight wickets in the series helped him rise 14 places to 45th.

Akhtar was accused of tampering with the ball in the final match of the series.

The gains were there for the Englishmen as well with off-spinner Graeme Swann reaching a career-best third in the rankings for ODI bowlers after picking up 11 wickets in the series.

He was rewarded with a jump of 15 places.

The other England bowler moving up the order is fast bowler James Anderson who has jumped four places to 12th position after a series haul of six wickets.

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, however, has dropped out of the top 10 by slipping six places to 16th position after managing just four wickets in the series, the ICC said in a statement.

In the rankings for batsmen, Eoin Morgan has achieved a career-best 13th position which has made him the highest-ranked England ODI batsman.

Morgan totalled 225 runs in the series, including a match-winning 107 not out at The Rose Bowl which earned him the man of the match award, has jumped six places to 14th position.

The only good news for Pakistan is the improvement in the batting ranking of wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal who has moved to 44th position after rising eight places following his series contribution of 201 runs.

The batting table is headed by AB de Villiers of South Africa with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in second position.

In the rankings for all-rounders, Afridi has fallen from the top position to give Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan the number-one spot.

Afridi took four wickets and scored 99 runs in the series and dropped two places to third spot.

In the ODI Championship, both the sides have retained their pre-series rankings though a 3-2 series result means England has dropped a rating point while Pakistan has gained a ratings point.

England has now joined New Zealand on 112 ratings points but is ranked higher when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point while Pakistan has moved to 99 ratings points.