Dubai: Zimbabwe are all set to return to the ICC Test Team Rankings Table for the first time since May 2007 and will be placed ninth irrespective of the result of their two-match series against fourth-ranked Pakistan starting in Harare from Tuesday.
Zimbabwe pulled out of playing Test cricket in January 2006 and, since their return in August 2011 after a gap of five years, the team has been unranked, having not played the requisite eight qualifying Tests to be part of the rankings table.
But at the end of the two-Test series against fourth-ranked Pakistan, scheduled to start in Harare on Tuesday, Zimbabwe will return to the table ahead of Bangladesh in ninth position, irrespective of how the series pans out, the ICC said in statement.
Apart from the incentive of returning to the Test Team Rankings table, Zimbabwe have an opportunity to collect a few points to help them narrow the gap with eighth-ranked New Zealand.
Zimbabwe can return with as many as 47 points, but, to achieve this, the side will have to win the series 2-0. A 1-0 series victory will put Zimbabwe on 43 ratings points, while, in the case of a 0-0 or a 1-1 result, Zimbabwe will re-enter with 34 ratings points.
For fourth-ranked Pakistan, the series offers an opportunity to gain two ratings points if it wins both matches. In this scenario, Pakistan would move to 104 ratings points, 12 behind third-ranked India and three ahead of fifth-ranked Australia.
A 1-0 scoreline will not see any gain for Pakistan, but will help it retain its pre-series rank of fourth.
The Test Championship table, unlike the ODI Championship table, is updated only after the conclusion of the series. To find out exactly how the forthcoming Test series will affect the Championship table, please click here.