Taylor, Jhulan and Sthalekar on top of the world

October 16th, 2008 - 4:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Dubai/Mumbai, Oct.16 (ANI): Claire Taylor of England, India captain Jhulan Goswami and Australias Lisa Sthalekar are on top of the world in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Womens Rankings which were launched in Mumbai on Thursday.
Thirty-three-year-old Taylor spearheads a strong field of six England batters in the top 20 while fast bowler Jhulan leads the bowlers chart and Sthalekar is just ahead of her team-mate Shelley Nitschke in the all-rounders listing.
The rankings have been introduced as part of the ICCs continued promotion of womens cricket. They will initially apply to ODI cricket only and will help identify where the leading players stand in womens international cricket to add further competition and context to their achievements.
Sanjay Behl, head of branding at Reliance Communications, said: Reliance Mobile is privileged to be associated with the launch of the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Womens Rankings.
These rankings are the authoritative player rating guide, the first of its kind, which will officially recognise the talent and achievements of the games leading players. Through the rankings system we hope that Reliance Mobile can play an important role in making the profile of individual players more prominent and contribute to the expansion of the sport.
We are excited about this encouraging development and are proud to be associated with the overall ICC Rankings for cricketers in the international arena, he added.
David Richardson, ICC General Manager Cricket, added: The ICC believes that great progress has been made in the development of the womens game since the merger with the International Womens Cricket Council in 2005.
Through the development of the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Player Rankings, we hope to bring added profile to the leading stars in the womens game, as part of our long-term commitment to growing the sport across the globe.
With tournaments such as the ICC Womens World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 providing an exciting opportunity to bring increased attention to the games top players, there has never been a more exciting time in the history of womens cricket.
Leading batter Claire Taylor is one of 13 women cricketers to have played 100 or more ODIs and is the only female cricketer above the 800 ratings points mark. In womens ranking terms, 800 points marks out a player as truly remarkable.
The England player heads the list clear of Indias Mithali Raj and Lisa Sthalekar of Australia.
Taylor said: To be number-one batsman in the world means a lot to me. Its something that Ive been aiming for since the World Cup in 2000, the point where I really thought I could have an impact on the game.
However, its not the most important thing this year. There are personal battles to be fought against great rivals, a World Cup to contest and perhaps win and an Ashes duel to finish off what promises to be an amazing 12 months.
Jhulan, the ICC Womens Cricketer of the Year in 2007, leads the bowling table from Englands Isa Guha and Shelley Nitschke of Australia.
Sthalekar says she is delighted to be on top of the all-rounders rankings. Its great that the ICC is supporting womens cricket through the launch of the player rankings. It will add interest to the womens game and increase the profiles of the top players in the world.
Hopefully this will give greater exposure to the womens cricket and provide more sponsorship opportunities as well, she said.
The first set of the rankings have been released ahead of the eagerly awaited series between Australia and India to be played in Sydney and Canberra from 31 October to 9 November.
The other series to be played in a lead up to the ICC Womens World Cup in March 2009 includes the five-match ODI series between the Sri Lanka and West Indies in Sri Lanka from 5 November to 12 November and the traditional Rose Bowl series between New Zealand and Australia in New Zealand from 1 to 12 February.
Next year will be huge for womens cricket with the ICC Womens World Cup to be played in Sydney, Australia, from 7 to 22 March. This will be the first time the biggest event in womens cricket will be played under the banner of the ICC following the merger with the International Womens Cricket Council in 2005.
Then in June, the ICC World Twenty20 in England will include a mens and womens competition running simultaneously. The semi-finals and final of the womens event will be played at the same venue on the same day as the mens tournament. (ANI)

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