DUBAI: Pakistan witnessed a considerable improvement in its annual T20 international rankings released by the ICC, with the team climbing to the third position from seventh spot last year.
New Zealand, meanwhile, held on to top spot despite losing two points, and England at number two while India and South Africa slipped down the table.
England gained seven points and climbed up three places on the table to second, while Pakistan, who were ranked seventh last year, climbed to third place after gaining five points. Both teams had 121 points but Pakistan were ranked behind England by a fraction of a point. India and South Africa both lost six points and dropped to fourth and fifth on the table respectively.
Pakistan had consistent results over the last year. They beat West Indies by margins of 3-0 and 3-1 in the UAE and the Caribbean respectively, while also winning a one-off T20I against England.
The rankings bear importance for qualification for the 2020 World T20. Australia, hosts for the tournament, and nine other top-ranked teams as on December 31, 2018 will gain automatic qualification. The bottom eight sides will join regional qualifiers in the 2019 World T20 Qualifier. Six sides from the qualifier will then join the 16-team World T20 pool.