England dominates ICC women cricket rankings

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Mumbai, Oct 17 : England dominated the International Cricket Council (ICC) women cricket rankings, unveiled on Thursday.

England's Claire Taylor has been ranked the No. 1 batsman while India's new cricket team captain Jhulan Goswami topped the bowler's list in the ICC ODI rankings.

Isa Guha, England's fast bowler, who is the joint highest wicket-taker in ODIs this year, is in second place while Australia's left-arm spinner Shelley Nitschke is third.

England's' Sarah Taylor, 19, who became the youngest player to pile 1,000 ODI runs during the summer, is ranked the fourth best batsman behind Australia's Lisa Sthalekar and India's Mithali Raj, while Charlotte Edwards, the captain, is fifth.

ICC's general manager for cricket operations, David Richardson, felicitated Goswami and Edwards, who were present at the ceremony here.

"Claire's definitely been the outstanding batter for me over the last years, so it's no surprise that she has been taken as the top rank player. Lisa's been a good performer for Australia for number of years now and young Sarah Taylor who is definitely in the future going to be among the top rank players, without doubt. So I am behind four great players. So I just got to work hard now but for me ranking is very important, for me being captain of England it is important. These girls are still performing for us really well. We are still in the top five. I am sure we will have a very good year," said Edwards.

The first set of the rankings have been released ahead of the eagerly awaited women cricket series between Australia and India to be played in Sydney and Canberra from October 31 to November 9.

This will be the first time the biggest event in women's cricket will be played under the banner of the ICC following the merger of the International Women's Cricket Council in 2005.

Goswami, who won the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year award at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg last year, said that Indian men's team victory against Australia last year was a morale booster.

"Last year Indian men's team was playing against Australia. How they beat Australia that makes a good example for us. You have be to mentally strong, physically strong, you have to be in yourself. If we follow the same thing then definitely we can beat Australia in Australia. That makes a good example for us and hopefully we will win that series and come back," said Goswami.

The rankings have been introduced as part of the ICCs continued promotion of women's cricket. They will initially apply to ODI cricket only and will help identify where the leading players stand in women's international cricket to add further competition and context to their achievements.

The other series to be played in the run-up to the ICC Women's World Cup in March 2009 include the five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Sri Lanka from November 5 to November 12 and the traditional Rose Bowl series between New Zealand and Australia in New Zealand from February 1 to 12.

Then in June next year, the ICC World Twenty20 in England will include a men's and women's competition running simultaneously. The semi-finals and final of the women's event will be played at the same venue on the same day as the men's tournament.

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