How are teams ranked by the ICC in professional cricket?

Rankings in cricket are controlled by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The first ICC rankings for teams were released in 2002. However, the ICC has retrospectively ranked each team based on its current format since 1952.

A test match is eligible for ranking only if it is a part of a series that has more than two scheduled matches. No such qualification scenario applies for ODI and T20 matches.

Teams are ranked based on their performance in the last 3 and 4 years. The points earned in the first and second year of this cycle carry a weightage of 50%. The points in the more recent third and fourth year carry a 100% weightage.

The total points earned by a team depend on the rating gap between two teams and the eventual result of the match. If the ratings gap between the two teams is less than 40 points, then the winner gets 50 points more than the opponent’s rating, the loser gets 50 points less than the opponent’s rating and in case of a tie each team gets the points equivalent to the opponent’s rating.

If the ratings gap between the two teams is more than 40 points, then the scenario gets a bit more complicated. If the stronger team wins, then it gets 10 points more, whereas the weaker team loses 10 points. If the match is a tie, then the stronger team loses 40 points whereas the weaker team earns 40 points to its own rating. If the stronger team loses, then it loses 90 points whereas the weaker team gains 90 points. The total points scored by a team divided by the total number of matches that it played is its eventual rating.

Australia has achieved the highest rating in ODI cricket (140) whereas West Indies has achieved the highest rating in Test cricket (141).

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