International Cricket Council (ICC) has expanded men's T20I team rankings table with 80 teams who will now be able to gauge their progress in the format recognised by the global governing body.
Teams like Austria, Botswana, Luxembourg, and Mozambique are among the sides that will feature in the first men's T20I rankings table with all members meeting the criteria of having played six matches against other ICC members since May 2016.
The move to expand the table follows ICC's decision last year that all men's T20 matches between members from January 1 onwards will be classified as internationals. As with the ICC women's T20I team rankings is concerned, which were launched in October 2018, teams will need to play six matches against other teams in the previous three to four years to remain in the rankings table.
The qualification process for the ICC men's T20 World Cup underway includes 58 T20I matches across five regional finals, which will have significant movement on the rankings in the coming months. The first final was held in Papua New Guinea last month whilst the Africa final in Uganda from May 19 to 2, the Europe final in Guernsey from June 15 to 19, the Asia final in Singapore from July 22 to 28 and the America final in the USA from August 19 to 25 are still to come.
Six of these teams will join hosts UAE, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Zimbabwe in the global qualifier, which will offer another chance to improve their standings on the table as they try to qualify for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.
Meanwhile, Pakistan have consolidated their position at the top of the table. The ICC T20 World Cup champions 2009 are now on 286 points while the next four teams are within two points of each other -- South Africa (262), England (261), Australia (261) and India (260).
South Africa and India have swapped positions two and five in the expanded table, whose launch coincides with the annual rankings update in which series results from 2015-16 are removed and outcomes from 2016-17 and 2017-18 are weighted at 50 percent.
In other significant changes, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have moved up one place each to seventh and eighth positions, respectively, with the West Indies going down to ninth position. Nepal have moved from 14th to 11th position while Namibia have grabbed the 20th position.
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