KARACHI: Azhar Ali and his men now have a daunting task to retain its ranking in the ´Top Eight´ after being pushed out of the elite club following annual update since only the top eight sides on September 30, 2017 will qualify directly for cricket´s biggest event World Cup.
If ninth placed Pakistan fails to squeeze into ´Top Eight´ by the cut-off date then it will have to join the top sides from the ICC World Cricket League along with three other bottom ranked sides in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 to fight for the two remaining positions.
West Indies has exchanged places with Pakistan after results from 2012-13 have been dropped, while results from 2014-15 have been reduced to a weighting of 50 per cent.
Although there will be another ODI team rankings annual update prior to this cut-off date, it is significant that from now on the results of all ODIs that will affect qualification will be weighted at 100 per cent whereas matches played between May 2014 and April 2016 will by then be weighted at only 50 per cent.
All the teams bunched together in the middle of the table will have to win as many matches as possible in the forthcoming season, knowing it will help ensure direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged from May 30 to July 15 in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand have retained the top two positions. Australia, which won its fifth World Cup title in Melbourne last year, is now sitting on 124 points after dropping two points to lead New Zealand by 11 points. South Africa has swapped places with India to move into third position.
Other sides to gain following the annual update include sixth-ranked England (103, up two), seventh-ranked Bangladesh (98, up one), eighth-ranked West Indies (88, up two), 10th-ranked Afghanistan (51, up four) and 11th-ranked Zimbabwe (47, up two).
Courtesy : TheNews