Sri Lanka's number-one ranking in the ICC Twenty20 international championship table is at stake when they meet New Zealand at Pallekele on October 30 in a one-off fixture.
Sri Lanka, the ICC World Twenty20 2012 runners-up, will start off as the number-one ranked side, while New Zealand will begin in eighth position.
A win will ensure that Sri Lanka will end the year as the number-one ranked T20I side, but a defeat for Sri Lanka will give the ICC World Twenty20 champions West Indies a sniff of the number-one position for the first time since the launch of the current rankings system in October 2011.
In the event Sri Lanka loses to New Zealand, Angelo Mathews’ side will drop six ratings points and will join Darren Sammy’s side on 121 ratings points, which means that if the West Indies beats Bangladesh on December 10 in Dhaka, then the men from the Caribbean will add the number-one ranking to their ICC World T20 title.
This may, however, turn out to be a brief stay at top of the ladder for the West Indies, as India will leapfrog them if it defeats England in the T20Is in Pune and Mumbai on December 20 and 22.
If India beats England 2-0, then Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side will earn seven ratings points to move to 127 ratings points and will move five points clear of the West Indies.
A one-all result will mean both India and England will retain pre-series ratings points and ratings, and will also allow the West Indies to extend its stay at the top of the table.
As many as seven T20Is are confirmed to be played across the globe before the end of the year, and if Sri Lanka loses in Pallekele, there can be a change at the top of the table on at least two occasions.
Reliance ICC T20I Championship
Rank — Team — Rating
1 Sri Lanka — 127
2 West Indies — 121
3 India — 120
4 England — 118
5 South Africa — 117
6 Pakistan — 116
7 Australia — 108
8 New Zealand — 97
9 Bangladesh — 85
10 Ireland — 82
11 Zimbabwe — 44