The big-3 flex their muscles; ratings 27th July
Russell Degnan

1st TestWest IndiesvIndia
Pre-rating848.11160.9
Form-10.0+39.8
Expected MarginIndia by 106 runs
Actual MarginIndia by an innings and 92 runs
Post-rating831.81185.3

Australia's miserable second day collapse leaves the extent of the big-3 flexing a matter of conjecture for now, but India made up for any shortfalls with a dominant display in Antigua. West Indies were in it at 4/236 with Kohli and Ashwin at the crease, and not much below, but they were effectively gone when the former was dismissed for an even double ton 164 runs later. Ashwin faced almost as many balls as his captain making 87 fewer runs, but he ground down the home team, effectively asking them to bat for three days to save the Test.

They lasted less than two, firstly falling to Shami and Yadav's probing line outside off stump with a series of frankly abject prods to balls they ought to be either getting behind or leaving. Following on was little better. Ashwin's 7/83 the highlight as they fell to a series of classical off-spinning dismissals. With Holder and Braithwaite at 8 and 9, the West Indies have plenty of batting width but no depth to speak of. It is telling that only Bravo and the Braithwaites have (marginally) higher averages than Ashwin with the bat, and you'd not be surprised if that group is only Bravo by series end. Three more Tests like this could be a couple too long.

2nd TestEnglandvPakistan
Pre-rating1133.11161.8
Form+3.0+46.8
Expected MarginEngland by 36 runs
Actual MarginEngland by 330 runs
Post-rating1145.11140.4

Pakistan began this Test in second place on the rankings and in the series lead. They end it in fourth place, the series tied, and their confidence dented after suffering a significant defeat. It would be easy to point to Cook and Root's 500 odd runs for two dismissals and say that was the difference, but the larger problem for Pakistan was their collapse to Woakes (4/67) in the first innings and to Anderson (3/41) in the second. They'll not beat England with 432 runs for the match, and they are effectively playing with two batsmen (Misbah and Shafiq) given the limited contributions of Younis Khan and Hafeez.

Pakistan's bowling was significantly worse than at Lord's, especially as Yasir Shah failed to provide either control or danger. But that aspect of their game has the ability to challenge England, and Root won't score a double ton in every innings. Their batting doesn't look capable of doing the same, and even at Lord's it limped to a defendable total rather than doing so with any confidence.

2 TestsZimbabwevNew Zealand
Pre-rating559.81024.9
Form-6.4-19.9
Expected MarginNew Zealand by 183 runs

It seems hard to believe that it has been four years since the last New Zealand tour to Zimbabwe, as the hosts have played so few matches in between times. That will go down as a forgotten classic, as Brandan Taylor and Taibu got Zimbabwe to within striking distance, only to collapse to Bracewell's new-ball spell and a 34 run defeat. Since then Zimbabwe have lost both those players and many more besides, putting out progressively weaker sides, though their ranking is yet to reflect it, for lack of data. New Zealand, by contrast, are 200 ranking points improved, and roaring favourites. Their bowling is stronger, their batting more mature - especially Williamson - though the recent loss of McCullum is yet to be felt. They should win this series comfortably, though the disparity in matches played means that it will be Zimbabwe's rating that moves (or doesn't). Nominally, they are trying to move ahead of Afghanistan and Ireland.


Rankings at 27th July 2016
1.Australia1230.4
2.India1185.3
3.England1145.1
4.Pakistan1140.4
5.South Africa1121.5
6.New Zealand1024.9
7.Sri Lanka941.5
8.West Indies848.1
10.Bangladesh613.3
12.Zimbabwe559.8

9.Ireland637.1
11.Afghanistan606.0
13.Scotland408.0
14.Namibia306.5
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.221.0
17.Papua New Guinea228.1
18.Netherlands189.0
19.Hong Kong183.6
20.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don`t play each other.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 28th July, 2016 00:23:42   [#] [0 comments] 

Fears for Tiers
Russell Degnan

"I can't stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision"

There is a point in the timeline of any policy decision when an organisation has to switch from consulting to selling. Where the process of ensuring that the decision is robust to challenge and has broad support gives way to garnering acceptance. It needs to be timed. Too late and the policy looks like and ill-thought through. Too early, and the problems settle into outright opposition. The consulting phase fails to inform the decision and becomes an exercise in marketing instead.

The growing opposition to the proposed two-tier Test proposal would indicate that the ICC settled on their plan too early.

While there was much talk of consultation and planning throughout the first six months of the year, there is little to no sign that the plan has changed from that leaked in late February. Indeed, there is little sign that the planning has moved much beyond what was proposed some twelve years ago. A little tinkering with the number of teams, some discussion over the financial model, but still essentially a two-tier system.

Inadequate consultation is a long-running problem throughout Richardson's tenure at the ICC. The DRS was proposed by Richardson as a way to fix "clear mistakes", but the proposal was pushed forward without a decent understanding of the uncertainty of the technology, the technical requirements of the host broadcaster, the likely expense, the way it would change players behaviour and umpiring decisions. The shambolic implementation riled the Indian players and board, and it lies in a half-completed stasis almost a decade on.

We've seen similar thought-bubbles rise and pop from the offices of the ICC throughout the period, from super-subs, and super-series, to the previous aborted incarnations of the Test championship, and the muddle over World Cup places, qualification and formats. The big questions, over financial stability, context, development pathways and the split of domestic and international cricket have been left for trivialities like the Test championship mace.

The failure to properly consult on or implement trivialities well isn't really a problem. The failure to properly consult on the Test championship is a problem. The ramifications of these changes matter to Test cricket and could do so for decades. The proposal needs to address a very real problem with exposure, when playing cricket in the second tier. Financial inducements and "context" are not sufficient to make up for a lack of star power - the currency on which major sport runs. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the less vocal dissenters are right to complain, and the ICC risks failing to make any reforms if they don't make changes that address their concerns.


While the proposal has its dissenters, the ICC is at least working from sound principles. Richardson outlined four of them at the ICC Annual Conference.

"We want to provide fair opportunities to all members based on merit rather than necessarily on membership status"

Promoting teams on merit, rather than status, is about as fundamental change as can be made to the ICC full member structure. It is a view that has widespread support amongst fans. In the recent survey I conducted, only seven percent wanting the system to stay as hierarchical or more than the status quo. Questions relating to the importance of "opportunity" and to "expansion" expressed similarly high levels of agreement. The downgrading of member entitlements is a necessary decision in order to create a meritocratic system, but it means some full members won't have opportunities they currently do. Something will be lost, and how significant that loss is matters, to players, to administrators and to fans.

"We need to put in place more meaningful cricket competition structures"

Even moreso than a meritocracy, adding meaning to the competition changes the fundamental nature of Test cricket. From the start of international competition, nations have organised tours, with no more context than the historical memory of previous match-ups. The ubiquity of competition structures in other sports entices, rather than repels, most fans, with almost three quarters of respondents considering it either important or essential. The ICC needs to convince few people that schedule reform will improve the sport. But it does need to pick the right approach.

"It’s impossible for India to play everyone, like people expecting (sic) in the past."

The inevitable consequence of more opportunity for more teams is fewer opportunities to play specific teams. This is a hugely important admission from the ICC, as the longstanding aim of the FTP was to provide exactly that. Loosening this restriction is essential if cricket is to expand its (Test) frontiers, and it needed to be stated.

Nevertheless, it throws open issues the FTP was also designed to prevent. While for Australia and England this largely manifests itself as a concern about the Ashes not being played, for most full members the concern is over their budgetary need to sell television rights to tours from India. The proposal for members to pool TV rights earnt outside the host nation would mitigate the financial impacts, as that benefit is (very broadly) shared under the current arrangement. The impact of touring opponent on promotion, crowds and the prestige of the sport is another matter. And it is here that Richardson is both right, and wrong.

"It’s impossible for everyone to play everyone in a first division of Test cricket."

The fourth point, though stated prior to the third above, is the logical conclusion of those prior: growth combined with a competition structure that limits the available time to play, ensures that not all teams can play each other, and not all teams will have access to the best teams. It is at this point that the concerns of fans over relegation become salient: their primary concern was the absence of popular or key fixtures, combined with a lack of prestige that would flow onto players, crowds, and from an administrative perspective, finances.

The original aim to construct a Test championship that would add value to fixtures is undermined if those fixtures that most need value - those between the bottom ranked full members - are regarded as second-rate. Though the point made by Richardson is obviously correct.

Under current arrangements, Test cricket operates in something like a four tier system: the Big-3 who play roughly half of their cricket amongst themselves; the five middle income full members who receive shorter, less prestigious tours; Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, who have played only 16 matches at Big-3 venues in the past 16 years; and the Intercontinental Cup, which serves as an eight-team division for associate nations.

The problems that concern Sri Lanka and other dissenters are manifest in the current structure. Associate nations, unable to play the full members, also find it difficult to promote a competition that is perceived as (and is) second-rate, to attract even local media to report on nations without an obvious cricketing pedigree, and to generate money to fund their local structures. Sport runs on star power - Steph Curry, LeBron, KD, Russ, Dirk; there are a limited number of star players, and most are in the top few sides. One star is enough to generate a crowd and always has been - read any contemporary report on WG Grace, Bradman or Sobers - but they need to periodically appear to build interest, and help nations establish their own stars in comparison.

Despite itself, this informal arrangement broadly reflects the number of fixtures teams in different tiers ought to play. The issues (though numerous) lie in the unstructured context-free schedule, and the rigidity of the tiers that prevents both associates and full members finding their correct level.

The proposed two leagued Test structure, while adding some context, dispenses with fixtures that many fans would like to see play. Between tiers, the proposed promotion and relegation playoffs provide a structure almost as rigid as that it is meant to replace. While it is true that not all teams can play in the top tier, the proposed league structure is far from the only arrangement of tiers that could be made. And others are undoubtedly better at addressing the concerns of the members likely to face relegation.


Eventually, every competition does have a "first division". But much emphasis should be placed on the word "eventually". The more important question that should be asked is how a team qualifies for the top tier. There are five broad categories of qualification to any stage of a competition structure

  • A bye - meaning a team does not need to play in that tier
  • Automatic entry - based on status or entitlement
  • Qualification based on ranking prior to the draw
  • Qualification based on performances at the previous running of the competition
  • Qualification based on performance in the previous stage/ lower tier

Cricket, indeed all sports, use each of these methods in their competition structures. The World T20 combines three tiered regional qualifications with a global qualifier to which six entrants qualify on past performances, and the four tier WT20 itself. The first division in this sense is the final, to which two teams qualify. The exact nature of the qualification pathway for the next World Cup is still to be announced, but it will be broadly similar to previous editions. Deeper but narrower and more rigid, with a three team competition, built on top of seven tiers of world cricket league events.


The ICC World Cup and ICC World T20. The shades vary from light to dark in the list above, with the darkest representing team who qualified via the previous stage.

The striking feature of ICC competitions is the limited opportunity to qualify for subsequent rounds - normally either one or two sides out of six - and the large number of teams with byes to subsequent rounds. By contrast, the FIFA World Cup exhibits a broad structure with relatively few byes and many opportunities - though early rounds in some confederation are two-leg playoffs.

The structure of the entire football World Cup does not preclude the points made by Richardson. The top tier (whether the final, or the 32 teams in the World Cup) is restricted to the best teams, and not every team can play every other, separated as they are by geography and group divisions. However, unlike the cricketing equivalents, the inclusion of top-tier nations in qualifying ensures that teams have the opportunity to play a select number of top tier teams on a semi-regular basis.

The rigid and limited structure of the proposed Test championship is revealed starkly in the chart below. Both for its limitations on teams being able to progress upwards (or downwards) and for the long grey line of exclusion that represents the bulk of ICC members.

More importantly, it is unnecessarily exclusionary. Staged tournaments are standard practice at international level. Leagues are rare to non-existent outside of rugby union. The Test championship, run over two years, could easily incorporate a year of qualifying with a broad base of participants, and a shorter top tier operating in groups of three or four. Indeed, this was the format I proposed in 2010 and nothing has emerged to persuade me that a tiered league is a superior option. The repeated failures of the ICC to move forward with a format acceptable to their members is further proof that a tiered league is a limited an second rate plan.

Lest you demur, the proposal below isn't a free-for-all for lower ranked teams and uncompetitive matches. The total number of matches against associate opposition that the Big-3 would play over a four-year cycle (two years being set aside for bilateral contests) amounts to only four matches each. Not many, but importantly, not zero either. Nor is it the only possible format that a broad-based Test championship could take. A sixteen team tournament with four groups of four - playing two test series. Relaxing the requirement to play home-and-away (as the ICC does) allows a five-team top tier over a single season, still playing three-test series. Nevertheless, I believe the combination of regional championships, emphasising the close links between the nations involved, and the six-team top tier represents the best balance between inclusion, meaning and competitiveness.

The proposed Test championship may be accepted - most likely the smaller nations will be bought off with additional, if temporary, bilateral series - but that won't make it the best option. The associate nations have years of playing in a structure that is low profile and hard to market. Conversely, we see across many sports the benefits of broad based tiered structures that allow smaller nations to have their day in the sun - and just occasionally, as with Iceland and Wales at the European championships, a few more justly deserved days.

Rigid leagues make those stories less likely, ossifying the nations involved and churning a handful of others. Test cricket needs to change, grow and accept the benefits of meritocracy, but it can do that in better ways than those proposed by the ICC.

Cricket - Articles 26th July, 2016 20:26:51   [#] [0 comments] 

Something to prove; ratings 20th July
Russell Degnan

1st TestEnglandvPakistan
Pre-rating1138.01142.9
Form+17.0+36.2
Expected MarginEngland by 48 runs
Actual MarginPakistan by 75 runs
Post-rating1133.11161.8

Chris Woakes might console himself that the only player in test history to end up on the losing side with more wickets and more runs to his name was Hugh Trumble. But whereas Trumble was undone by the blistering hitting of Jessop, Woakes fate has more similarities with the last Englishman to take 11 wickets with fewer concessions than Woakes: Nick Cook. Also against Pakistan, and also undone by a leg-spinner, then Abdul Qadir, now Yasir Shah. Yasir Shah's 6/72 in England's first innings undid the work of the bowling on the opening day, and meant England were always unlikely to stage a comeback.

Pakistan were hardly dominant, with only Misbah and Shafiq passing fifty, and leaving a chaseable target in the fourth innings, but the combination of tight bowling and poor shots from England meant that the total was never challenged. England's batting depth was a major boon in South Africa, and it certainly wasn't detrimental here - if anything, it prevented a massive loss - but the selectors face a conundrum over whether a potential replacement bowler for Moeen Ali would add more than they lose in the batting. Likewise, with Anderson and Stokes to return, will they be better to replace Finn and Ball - further strengthening their weak batting - or Vince or Ballance. The former seems wiser, given they lose very little with the ball and none of the potential replacement batsmen seem capable of the type of innings they need. The feeling that a side is stronger with specialists has heavy sway though, even if those specialists aren't as good at their specialty as those they replace.

Pakistan have fewer selection questions, even if their performance could be much improved upon. They inch past India in the rankings, with the possibility of catching Australia (or dropping down to sixth) by series end as most of the full members are out on the field in the next month.

4 TestsWest IndiesvIndia
Pre-rating848.11160.9
Form-10.0+39.8
Expected MarginIndia by 106 runs

The least interesting of the trio of series being played this week, and the longest, which doesn't bode well if the West Indies play to recent form, and India decide to flex their muscles. India won their last away series in Sri Lanka, and their last tour to the West Indies in 2011, but their record of one win and fifteen losses in between times is reminiscent of the bad old days of Indian tours. The West Indies drawn series with England last year and the proliferation of draws in the last two tours by India indicate that they are capable of grinding out a result. Perhaps therefore, the most interesting element to watch of this match-up is the level of assertiveness by Kohli and his compatriots. As favourites, they ought to show the same aggression they do at home, but switching tacks outside your comfort zone is harder, and not always successful.

3 TestsSri LankavAustralia
Pre-rating941.51230.4
Form-22.5+22.6
Expected MarginAustralia by 94 runs

Australia's tours to Sri Lanka often seem to arrive at the beginning of a captaincy, or in a moment when the side is about to swing into change. Warne's arrival in 1992 and the end of the team that won back the Ashes, the last pre-Gilchrist tour that presaged the aggression of the Waugh years, the start of the golden run of Ponting in 2004, and the first series for Clarke in 2011. Here too, changes might be in the mix. Although Australia have found their way to the top of the rankings, it is a placeholder for a better team. The team that toured England last year is largely gone, with Harris, Watson, Johnson, Haddin and Clarke all making way. The next wave of batsmen are dominating the Shield scoring, and the bodies of the young pacemen are reaching maturity.

We won't learn if Australia is about to embark on a golden age against a weakened Sri Lanka, but we will get hints to who might be involved, and whose careers are imperilled by the talent at home. Herath awaits to test the skills of a team that has been more catastrophically bad than troubled by spin in recent years. Lyon has not always taken the lead in conditions that ought to be to his liking, but must do so here, or likewise, face threats from Zampa and others. It is a series Australia ought to win, and comfortably, but like those tours of the past, one that they won't have all their own way, and will be fascinating for it.


Rankings at 20th July 2016
1.Australia1230.4
2.Pakistan1161.8
3.India1160.9
4.England1133.1
5.South Africa1121.5
6.New Zealand1024.9
7.Sri Lanka941.5
8.West Indies848.1
10.Bangladesh613.3
12.Zimbabwe559.8

9.Ireland637.1
11.Afghanistan606.0
13.Scotland408.0
14.Namibia306.5
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.221.0
17.Papua New Guinea228.1
18.Netherlands189.0
19.Hong Kong183.6
20.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don`t play each other.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 20th July, 2016 14:29:56   [#] [0 comments] 

Misbah's Pakistan finally return to England; ratings 18th May
Russell Degnan

3rd TestEnglandvSri Lanka
Pre-rating1139.7939.2
Form+27.1-36.0
Expected MarginEngland by 150 runs
Actual MarginMatch drawn
Post-rating1138.0941.5
Series rating1222.1860.4

Somewhat fittingly, a series that never really inspired as a contest ended with a match pretty well set up for the final day, and one England would probably have won by close to the expected margin, ruined by fifth day rain. Bairstow continued his prolific form (with the bat at any rate) and England reaped the benefits of their long tail again with 189 runs coming in the last four wickets. The lead was extensive, but the second innings collapse meant the declaration was hopeful rather than aggressive. Not that it mattered.

Sri Lanka end the series with plenty of questions over their batting, and no clear answers before Australia tour in late July. England's own batting is deep but a bit fragile, though Hales is finding his feet at the top, and might finally settle as a partner for Cook if they keep faith in him. The ratings put the English fourth, but as has been the recent norm, their is little to choose between the top five.

4 TestsEnglandvPakistan
Pre-rating1138.01142.9
Form+17.0+36.2
Expected MarginEngland by 48 runs

Unlike the previous tourists, Pakistan represent a real threat to England winning, with both an upward trajectory in the ratings, and the tools to cause problems. They return to England a very different team to the mess of Salman Butt; unpretentious and tenacious but capable of sailing with favourable winds. Mohammad Amir might be lucky to be on the park, but if he is anything like the precociously talented bowler of swing at pace that he was five years ago he will precipitate at least one collapse. Pakistan have an old team that nevertheless seems to be getting better. Yasir Shah could cause problems on dry wickets, while unlike most tourists, we ought to expect Misbah and Younis to handle adverse conditions.

The absence of Anderson on the other side puts a lot of pressure on Broad to carry an otherwise potted attack. Finn is capable but the others are raw, and that holds true of much of the batting as well. The absence of Stokes (those 17 Tests last year are looking increasingly unwise) marginally reduces both the batting and bowling.

That said, England have plenty of talent in their youthful ranks, and at home they should always be strongly favoured. Expect Pakistan to challenge in at least a couple of Tests, without prevailing overall.

Rankings at 14th July 2016
1.Australia1230.4
2.India1160.9
3.Pakistan1142.9
4.England1138.0
5.South Africa1121.5
6.New Zealand1024.9
7.Sri Lanka941.5
8.West Indies848.1
10.Bangladesh613.3
12.Zimbabwe559.8

9.Ireland637.1
11.Afghanistan606.0
13.Scotland408.0
14.Namibia306.5
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.221.0
17.Papua New Guinea228.1
18.Netherlands189.0
19.Hong Kong183.6
20.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don`t play each other.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 14th July, 2016 01:37:26   [#] [0 comments] 

WCL5 and ICC Annual Meeting; Associate and Affiliate Cricket Podcast
Russell Degnan

After an extended break, Andrew Nixon (@andrewnixon79) joins Russell Degnan (@idlesummers) to discuss World Cricket League Division 5 (0:20) including interviews with Neil MacRae, Anthony Hawkins-Kay and Ben Kynman. Also reviewed are Ireland's matches against Sri Lanka (15:49), PNG's victories over Kenya in the WCLC (19:13) as well as various tournaments on the European continent (22:53) and in Africa. There is news of coaching appointments (25:21), the Ireland annual conference (28:45), the possible ramifications of Brexit (29:51), the return of USACA shenanigans (37:02) and a SACA-China partnership. The ICC conference had few tangible outcomes but we discuss them at length (42:10). Finally, there are previews of the women's qualifiers in Europe and EAP and Afghanistan's tour of Scotland and Ireland (59:20).

Direct Download Running Time 64min. Music from Martin Solveig, "Big in Japan"

The associate and affiliate cricket podcast is an attempt to expand coverage of associate tournaments by obtaining local knowledge of the relevant nations. If you have or intend to go to a tournament at associate level - men`s women`s, ICC, unaffiliated - then please get in touch in the comments or by email.

Cricket - Associate - Podcast 7th July, 2016 00:05:59   [#] [0 comments] 

England try, but fail to make a test interesting, ratings 9th June
Russell Degnan

2nd TestEnglandvSri Lanka
Pre-rating1129.7952.6
Form+28.5-37.3
Expected MarginEngland by 139 runs
Actual MarginEngland by 9 wickets
Post-rating1139.7939.2

A match that, for three days, threatened to repeat the previous one; albeit on a friendlier batting pitch, though you'd struggle to believe it aft Sri Lanka collapsed for 101 in their first innings. Woakes, Broad and Anderson shared the wickets, following on from Moeen Ali's 155, helped immensely by Sri Lanka seemingly batting for a declaration for much of day two. That they recovered from 3/100 to post 475, with both Mathews (80) and Chandimal (126) finally scoring some runs was something. It showed the fight we expect from them, though the speed of scoring hinted at a hit-out-or-get-out approach that will fail more often than succeed.

They move to Lord's with the series lost, their ranking tanking, but the barest glimmer of hope that their batting will make enough runs to push England deep into a match. A better first innings here and they might have set an intriguing target. Probabilistically though, the batting side we saw through the first three innings of the tour is closer to reality than the one that made 475. A dead pitch or rain aside, England ought to complete the sweep easily.


Rankings at 9th June 2016
1.Australia1230.4
2.India1160.9
3.Pakistan1142.9
4.England1139.7
5.South Africa1121.5
6.New Zealand1024.9
7.Sri Lanka939.2
8.West Indies848.1
10.Bangladesh613.3
12.Zimbabwe559.8

9.Ireland637.1
11.Afghanistan606.0
13.Scotland408.0
14.Namibia306.5
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.221.0
17.Papua New Guinea228.1
18.Netherlands189.0
19.Hong Kong183.6
20.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don`t play each other.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 9th June, 2016 20:25:04   [#] [0 comments] 

Sri Lanka are better than this, but not much better; ratings 26th May
Russell Degnan

1st TestEnglandvSri Lanka
Pre-rating1117.1969.4
Form+13.8-14.7
Expected MarginEngland by 124 runs
Actual MarginEngland by an innings and 88 runs
Post-rating1129.7952.6

Even after a first day where England tottered to 5/171 this was never an even contest. Sri Lanka, as expected, are poorly equipped for these conditions, and the help their bowlers - particularly Shanaka - received was far more-so for Anderson (10/45 for the match). Hales ground out 86 in the sort of determined innings he needs to prove he is more than a limited overs players, but it was Bairstow - 140, carrying on from his county form - who proved again the depth in this lineup. It was further underlined by the abject batting that followed as Bairstow added nine catches to his match tally and Sri Lanka folded twice for 210. Only 164 overs were played in the match - only rain preventing the mismatched being underscored by a two-day outcome.

England's victory didn't greatly improve their rating, but it was enough to slip above South Africa, and they could easily move into second place with a few good results. Sri Lanka's form (-37) indicates that they have a way to fall yet.

Rankings at 26th May 2016
1.Australia1230.4
2.India1160.9
3.Pakistan1142.9
4.England1129.7
5.South Africa1121.5
6.New Zealand1024.9
7.Sri Lanka952.6
8.West Indies848.1
10.Bangladesh613.3
12.Zimbabwe559.8

9.Ireland637.1
11.Afghanistan606.0
13.Scotland408.0
14.Namibia306.5
15.Kenya276.4
16.U.A.E.221.0
17.Papua New Guinea228.1
18.Netherlands189.0
19.Hong Kong183.6
20.Canada147.9

Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don`t play each other.

Cricket - Ratings - Test 28th May, 2016 14:36:54   [#] [0 comments] 

ICC governance with Tim Anderson; Associate and Affiliate Cricket Podcast
Russell Degnan

In this episode, Russell Degnan (@idlesummers) interviews Tim Anderson, Head of Global Development at the ICC, on a range of topics: reform of the WT20 qualifying process and affiliate cricket (11:10), the changes to World Cricket League, and restructure of regional pathways (24:02), the ascension of Ireland and Afghanistan and present focus on greater context for full member cricket (29:06), global tournaments, opportunity and status (35:00), changes to the funding scorecard (41:29), women's cricket (44:12), member suspensions and governance (47:32), changes to regional development programs (53:29), streaming and promotion of associate cricket (55:37), match fixing (58:58), Tim's legacy, USA, China and the Olympics (1:01:12). As always, Andrew Nixon (@andrewnixon79) is along to discuss news from Germany, Hong Kong, Rwanda, and the ICC (0:06), and to preview World Cricket League division five (1:13:48) and PNG vs Kenya (1:16:49)

Direct Download Running Time 79min. Music from Martin Solveig, "Big in Japan"

The associate and affiliate cricket podcast is an attempt to expand coverage of associate tournaments by obtaining local knowledge of the relevant nations. If you have or intend to go to a tournament at associate level - men`s women`s, ICC, unaffiliated - then please get in touch in the comments or by email.

Cricket - Associate - Podcast 20th May, 2016 01:13:50   [#] [0 comments]