Pakistan, Bangladesh eye Champions Trophy qualification
Pakistan and Bangladesh will be eyeing qualification for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy in their upcoming One-Day International series against Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively.
Bangladesh currently have 93 points after their remarkable series victory against India, which saw them edge past West Indies to claim the seventh spot in the ICC ODI Rankings.
They now need to win just one game out of the three ODIs against South Africa to maintain their position whereas they will drop three points if they fail to win a single game.
A series victory for Bangladesh will all but confirm their qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy as a 2-1 victory will push them to 96 points, while a 3-0 clean sweep will see them go as high as 99 points.
South Africa, who are placed at fourth with 112 points, will need nothing less than a 3-0 victory to move higher in the table.
Pakistan are currently seated in the ninth position with 87 points, but will edge ahead of the eighth placed West Indies with a 3-2 series victory against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan can gain seven points, if they manage to win all the five matches in the series, while they can lose three points, if they fail to win a single game.
Fifth placed Sri Lanka, who have 106 points, will need a 5-0 clean sweep to gain two points, while they can lose six points if they fail to win a single game.
With 30th September 2015 set as the cut-off date for qualifications, Pakistan and Bangladesh will be rearing to make their chances count, in order to feature in the mega-event which will be hosted by England from 1st to 19th June in 2017.
With West Indies currently not scheduled to play any games, both the teams from the subcontinent have excellent chances to stake their claim for qualification.
Both Pakistan and West Indies have featured in every edition of the ICC Champions Trophy, with the team from the Caribbean winning it in 2007, whereas Bangladesh last featured in the 2006 edition.
Title holders India, who are currently ranked second, will need to beat 11th placed Zimbabwe 3-0, if they have to consolidate their position, as even a 2-1 series victory will see them drop two points.
South Africa on the other hand will gain only a point if they win the series against Bangladesh 3-0, whereas even a 2-1 series victory will see them drop a point.
In the Individual ICC Players’ rankings, AB de Villiers continues to be the leader in the ODI batting rankings, whereas Kumar Sangakkara features in the second position.
However, with Sangakkara’s retirement and de Villiers’ unavailability for the Bangladesh ODIs, third ranked Hashim Amla will be the highest ranked batsman in the South Africa – Bangladesh Series.
Among the bowlers, Mitchell Starc continues to dominate the list, maintaining a 49 point lead over the second placed Imran Tahir.
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is the only bowler from his team to feature in the top ten, also he is the leader of the pack of all-rounders in ODIs.
© Cricket World 2015