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  West Indies and New Zealand to start season of mouth-watering Test cricket

 
Lahore:The West Indies and New Zealand will kick off a season of high-octane Test cricket when they go head-to-head in a three-Test series that starts in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday 8 June.
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While the series in the Caribbean is underway, a two-Test series between England and Sri Lanka will be played at Lord’s (12-16 June) and Headingley (20-24 June).
 
These two series will not only serve as curtain-raisers to what is expected to be a season of mouth-watering Test cricket, it will also start the race to the number-one position on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table. The side that tops the table on the 1 April 2015 cut-off date will be presented with the prestigious Test mace as well as a cash award of US$500,000.
 
Australia currently holds the mace and the number-one Test position with South Africa in second place, just a fraction of a point behind. Then 14 ratings points separate third-ranked England from seventh-ranked Sri Lanka, with the West Indies another 14 ratings points behind in eighth spot.
 
Apart from the two series in June, ten more series are scheduled to be played until the end of January 2015, after which the focus will shift to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which starts in Christchurch and Melbourne on 14 February.
 
This means that well before the ICC Cricket World Cup starts in Australia and New Zealand, the teams’ positions on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table at the 1 April 2015 cut-off date will be finalised, as no Test cricket expected to be played after the ICC Cricket World Cup final on 29 March.
 
As per the January 2012 ICC Board decision, a total of  US$1.34 million will be distributed amongst the top four Test sides in 2015, with the number-one ranked side receiving US$ 500,000, followed by US$ 390,000 for the second ranked side, US$ 280,000 for the third ranked side and US$ 170,000 for the side that finishes fourth.

 
Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 6 June, before West Indies v New Zealand and England v Sri Lanka series)
 

Rank           Team                          Rating     

1                         Australia                    123            
2                         South Africa              123            
3                         England                     104  
4                         Pakistan                     103   
5                         India                          102              
6                         New Zealand               92              
7                         Sri Lanka                     90
8                         West Indies                  76
9                          Zimbabwe                   40
10                        Bangladesh                  21
(Developed by David Kendix)

Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Tests (as on 6 June, before West Indies v New Zealand and England v Sri Lanka series)
 
Batsmen
 
Rank     Player               Team         Pts       Ave      HS Rating
   1         AB de Villiers     SA         922       51.94    935 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2014
   2         K Sangakkara      SL          879        58.07    938 v Eng at Kandy 2007
   3         S.Chanderpaul     WI         876        51.93    901 v NZ at Napier 2008
   4         Hashim Amla      SA         873        51.35    907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
   5         David Warner      Aus        871!      46.54    871 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   6         Ross Taylor         NZ         842        46.94    871 v WI at Hamilton 2013
   7         Misbah-ul-Haq    Pak        824!      48.75    824 v SL at Sharjah 2014
   8         C Pujara               Ind         819*     58.92    851 v SA at Durban 2013
   9         Michael Clarke    Aus        818        51.50    900 v SL at Melbourne 2012
  10        Virat Kohli          Ind         784!      46.51    784 v NZ at Wellington 2014
 
Selected Rankings
 
Rank     Player               Team         Pts         Ave      HS Rating
  13        B McCullum        NZ         724!      38.09    724 v Ind at Wellington 2014
  14        Angelo Mathews SL          706        46.16    716 v Ban at Mirpur 2014
  15        M Jayawardena   SL          699        50.30    883 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2009
  17        Ian Bell                Eng        682        45.41    822 v Ind at The Oval 2011
  18        Alastair Cook      Eng        677        46.51    874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012
  22        Kane Williamson NZ         640        36.37    654 v Ind at Auckland 2014
  23        Darren Bravo       WI         636        44.68    709 v Aus at Port-of-Spain 2012
  29        Chris Gayle         WI         601        42.01    755 v SL at Galle 2010
  31        Marlon Samuels  WI         590        35.51    672 v Zim at Bridgetown 2013
  38        Joe Root               Eng        558*     36.73    606 v Aus at Adelaide 2013
  39        D Chandimal       SL          552*     51.47    571 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013
  44        BJ Watling          NZ         515*!    35.22    515 v Ind at Wellington 2014
  49        Denesh Ramdin   WI         472!      27.25    472 v NZ at Hamilton 2013
  50        P Jayawardena     SL          466        31.22    510 v Eng at Galle 2012
 
Bowlers
 
Rank    Player                 Team      Pts       Ave      HS Rating
   1         Dale Steyn           SA         898        23.01    908 v Pak at Johannesburg 2013
   2         Ryan Harris         Aus        870!      22.56    870 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   3         Vernon Philander SA         865        20.11    912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013
   4         Mitchell Johnson Aus        844!      27.42    844 v SA at Cape Town 2014
   5         Saeed Ajmal        Pak        787        27.46    855 v Zim at Harare 2013
   6         Rangana Herath   SL          774        30.02    838 v NZ at Colombo (PSS) 2012
   7         Trent Boult          NZ         767*!    26.59    767 v Ind at Wellington 2014
   8         Tim Southee        NZ         757!      30.69    757 v Ind at Wellington 2014
   9         R Ashwin             Ind         744        28.50    808 v WI at Mumbai 2013
  10        Peter Siddle         Aus        733        29.37    816 v Eng at Old Trafford 2013
 
Selected Rankings
 
Rank     Player               Team         Pts         Ave      HS Rating
  11        Stuart Broad        Eng        729        30.31    783 v WI at Lord’s 2012
  14        James Anderson  Eng        683        30.67    813 v Ind at Edgbaston 2011
  17        S Shillingford      WI         613*     32.32    652 v NZ at Dunedin 2013
  21        Steven Finn         Eng        552*     29.40    624 v NZ at Headingley 2013
  26        Neil Wagner        NZ         504*     35.00    505 v Ind at Auckland 2014
  29        Shaminda Eranga SL          461*     31.57    466 v Ban at Mirpur 2014
  47        Dilruwan Perera  SL          288*!    36.27    288 v Ban at Chittagong 2014
  50        Corey Anderson  NZ         276*     30.54    377 v WI at Hamilton 2013
 
All-rounders
 
Rank    Player                  Team      Pts       HS Rating
   1         Vernon Philander SA         376*/!   376 v Aus at Cape Town 2014
   2         R Ashwin             Ind         373*/    419 v WI at Mumbai 2013
   3         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        364       404 v Pak at Mirpur 2011
   4         Stuart Broad        Eng        291       382 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2012
   5         Mitchell Johnson Aus        280       384 v Eng at Cardiff 2009

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