Windies No1 in T20 cricket
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC):
Former World champions West Indies have regained top spot in the ICC Twenty20 rankings without bowling a single delivery, thanks to Sri Lanka's demise on Sunday against New Zealand.
Sri Lanka started the recent two-match series against the Black Caps seven points clear at the top, but lost both encounters to slide to second spot, allowing the Windies to go top.
However, both the Windies and Sri Lanka, along with third-placed Australia have 118 points, with the Windies ahead only by .36.
West Indies won the T20 World Cup in 2012 when they beat hosts Sri Lanka in the final.
The standings are tightly bunched with England fourth on 117 points, South Africa fifth with 115, while New Zealand and Pakistan lie sixth and seventh, respectively, on 114 ratings points.
West Indies could find themselves toppled, however, come month end.
New Zealand and Pakistan will clash in a three-match series starting January 15th and if either side can make a clean sweep, they will replace West Indies at the top.
The standings are also expected to undergo further substantial change, especially with a number of T20 series on the cards before the Twenty20 World Cup gets going in Bangladesh in March.
Since the last T20 World Cup in 2014, West Indies have won four of their eight T20 Internationals, including a historic run chase in Johannesburg against South Africa exactly a year ago Monday, which saw them overhaul 232 for victory.
Their rise to number one has been helped by Sri Lanka's poor form, as the reigning World champions have lost five of their last six outings.
Despite their advances in the T20 rankings, West Indies remain rooted near the bottom of the pile in the Tests and one-day international formats.
They are eighth in Tests and ninth in ODIs - the latter ranking causing them to miss out on qualification for next year's ICC Champions Trophy in England.