Pakistan has vaulted into third position in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings, its best Test ranking in seven years, following the conclusion of its series against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Pakistan, which defeated Australia for its first series win in 20 years, has leapfrogged England, Sri Lanka and India into third position after the feat earned it seven ratings points. This is Pakistan’s best Test rankings since it claimed third position in January 2007 following the series in South Africa, which the home side won 2-1.
In contrast, Australia has retained second position on the Test table, but, after conceding six ratings points, the gap with number-one ranked South Africa has opened to seven ratings points. Australia had entered the series in second position on 123 ratings points, while Pakistan started in sixth position on 96 ratings points. As the rankings system is weighted to reflect this difference, the 2-0 series results means Pakistan has benefitted and Australia has suffered.
Pakistan will now take on New Zealand in a three-Test series, which starts on 9 November in Abu Dhabi, while Australia will lock horns with India in a four-Test series, which begins in Brisbane on 4 December. As per a January 2012 decision of the ICC Board, which was aimed at promoting Test cricket, US$1.34 million will be distributed among the sides that claim the top four positions at the annual cut-off date of 1 April 2015. With 2015 being the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 year, an event that will be staged from 14 February to 29 March, the cut-off date for 2015 will be 7 January, when the final scheduled Tests finish in Sydney and Wellington.
As such, the side that tops the Test table as on 7 January will receive USD$500,000 as well as the iconic mace. The side that finishes second will collect USD$390,000, while the sides finishing third and fourth will get richer by USD$280,000 and USD$170,000, respectively.