September 8, 2012

Saeed Ajmal becomes number one ODI bowler

KARACHI: Just days after getting snubbed by the ICC over the shortlist for world player of the year award, Saeed Ajmal has grabbed the top position on the list of ODI bowlers.

The off-spinner on Thursday moved up two places to replace teammate Mohammad Hafeez as the number-one ranked bowler in One-day Internationals.

The latest ICC Player Rankings incorporate both the Pakistan-Australia and England-South Africa ODI series.

Ajmal was the highest wicket-taker in the series against Australia. He picked 10 wickets at an economy rate of 3.41 with an average of 9.9 in the series. His overall rating of 759 is his career-best.

Ajmal is at the centre of a dispute between Pakistan Cricket Board and ICC after the bowler was ignored in the shortlists for ICC awards in spite of his brilliant performances during the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, Hafeez – Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain — has slipped to second position in the bowlers’ table. The allrounder achieved his career-best rating of 762 during the series, but finally ended at 747. However, Hafeez has moved up a place to second in the ICC Player Rankings for allrounders with a career-best rating of 413.

South Africa paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who headed the bowlers’ table before the two series began, is now ranked third.

Other bowlers dropping down the rankings include Morne Morkel in fifth (down by one), Steven Finn in sixth (down by one), Shahid Afridi in 19th (down by three) and Sohail Tanvir in 56th (down by nine).

South Africa paceman Dale Steyn has re-entered the top 10 in the bowlers’ table. He has moved up four places to 10th.

The other bowlers to make upward movements include Mitchell Johnson in 18th (up by one) Wayne Parnell in 44th (up by 16), Abdur Rehman in 61st (up by 12), Mitchell Starc in 76th (up by 55), Jade Dernbach in 79th (up by 10), Ravi Bopara in 80th (up by 27) and James Pattinson in 87th (up by 47).

South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who was the highest run-getter on either side in the series against England with 335 runs, has consolidated his position as the number-one ranked batsman, followed by Virat Kohli in second position and AB de Villiers in third.

Jonathan Trott in fifth (up by two) and Michael Clarke in seventh (up by one) have also made gains in the top ten of the latest batting table. Michael Hussey, meanwhile, is now tenth in the table, moving up four places.

The other batsmen to make upward movements include Mohammad Hafeez in 42nd (up by one), George Bailey in 49th (up by 21), Azhar Ali in 52nd (up by 21), Asad Shafiq in 55th (up by seven) and Nasir Jamshed in 78th (up by 35).

Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal has re-entered the rankings at 78th.

The ICC Player Rankings for allrounders is still headed by Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan.

Meanwhile, there has been no change in the ICC ODI Championship table, with England retaining the number-one position. England will hold the position until at least January 2013, when it travels to India for a five-match ODI series.

Australia’s 2-1 series win over Pakistan has gained them one rating point to retain fourth position in the table. Pakistan stay at sixth after losing one rating point.



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