Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has climbed 16 places to occupy third position in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) player rankings for One Day International (ODI) bowlers.
The latest player rankings see the 33-year-old, who took six wickets in the recently-concluded series between West Indies and Pakistan, breaking into the top three for the first time in his career. Ajmal’s rise means the top four spots are now occupied by spinners with New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori leading the field and England off-spinner Graeme Swann sitting in fourth position.
Captain Shahid Afridi paid for a poor show against the West Indies, dropping out of the top 10. Afridi, who managed just two wickets, has slipped five places to 14th position. All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has also improved his ranking after claiming six wickets in the series at 23.50. The 30-year-old moved up seven places to 27th. Hafeez also improved in the all-rounders’ standings and now occupies the sixth position.
In the rankings for ODI batsmen, Misbahul Haq’s tally of 184 runs helped him move up three places to 31st while Umar Akmal has achieved a career-best ranking of 23rd after climbing four places.
In the ODI Championship table, Pakistan’s failure to win comfortably against the West Indies meant the team dropped three rating points, while still occupying the sixth position. West Indies earned four rating points which puts it five points clear of ninth-ranked Bangladesh.
Australia continue to occupy the top spot, while World Champions India are in second place.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2011.