Top T20 Rankings at stake as leading stars return to action post COVID-19
International cricket returned back to action when Germany toured Austria in a five-match T20I series last month. But for the first time leading players of the world will be in action since the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, as two high profile series gets underway in different parts of the world.
Australia, who retained the T20 World Cup title on International Women’s Day (March 8) with a record 86,174 spectators watching the final against India at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, will take on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in a three-match series from next Saturday (September 27).
However, the action starts on Monday with reigning 50-over World champions England taking on former T20 World Champions West Indies in a five-match T20I series at home as the sides try to put behind their disappointments in Australia.
While England had their semi-final against India washed out paving the way for the Asian side to the final due to their 100 per cent winning rate in the Group Stages, 2016 champions West Indies could only notch a solitary win over first-time entrants Thailand.
All eyes will be on Beth Mooney in Brisbane as she will try to hold onto her top spot in batting in the T20I Player Rankings –one the left-hander grabbed with the Player of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup. New Zealand’s Suzie Bates who is adrift by 12 points in the second place will also fight for the coveted position.
The positions from four to six are occupied by New Zealand captain Sophie Devine and the Aussie pair of Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning. West Indian captain Stafanie Taylor is at eighth while England star Natalie Sciver (10th) completes the top 10. Devine also enjoys a healthy lead at the top of the all-rounders’ list.
Among the bowlers, English left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone will put her best foot forward in holding her top position while former no.1 Megan Schutt of Australia aims to return to her favourite place. New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr (fourth) and West Indies’ Hayley Matthews (24th) of the West Indies are the top-ranked players from their sides, again featuring in different series.
The upcoming series could also impact in the T20I Team Rankings. Though top-ranked Australia will retain their top spot irrespective of the outcomes of these two series, second-ranked England can be overtaken by New Zealand.