Ireland women look to improve their rankings.

Mon, Jul 5, 2010 1:13 PM

Upcoming ODI fixtures between England, Ireland and New Zealand will see women's teams battle it out for improved places in rankings.

Ireland's Cecilia Joyce has the potential to move up the Reliance Mobile ICC Women's rankings for ODI batters. The 26-year-old from Wicklow, whose sister and three brothers have also played senior cricket for Ireland, currently sits 29th in the rankings and is the highest ranked Irish batter.

Claire Taylor has a chance to regain the number-one batting position in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Women's Player Rankings when England goes head to head first with Ireland in a one off ODI and then with New Zealand in a five-match series this month.

Taylor, who currently sits third in the batting rankings, will be hoping a strong performance in the ODI against Ireland at Kibworth on 7 July (Wednesday) along with a series of good scores with the bat in the series against New Zealand that begins on 10 July will see her topple India's Mithali Raj or at the very least displace Australia's Shelley Nitschke in second position.

New Zealand all-rounder Nicola Browne, who walked away with the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Player of the Tournament 2010 in the West Indies, will want to carry her strong form into the one-day format and rise up the rankings from her current eighth position.

In the Reliance Mobile ICC Women's Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Ireland captain Heather Whelan is her side's highest ranked ODI bowler at 28th while Cecilia's twin, Isobel, is sat at 29th. The pair will both be aiming to climb up the table along with sealing victory for the team.

England's Katherine Brunt, currently ranked fourth, only has 65 points between her and the top-ranked bowler, India's Jhulan Goswami, and the 25-year-old will only need a few wickets to displace Australia's Lisa Sthalekar in third place.

With six ODIs ahead of her Brunt will be keen to make progress towards the top of the table. Her team-mates Holly Colvin, Nicky Shaw and Laura Marsh are currently occupying sixth, seventh and eighth and will all be pushing to rise up the rankings.

New Zealand's Browne (10th) and captain Aimee Watkins (11th) will both put pressure on the England bowlers to climb the rankings while in form Sian Ruck will definitely be hoping her current Twenty20 form carries through into the one-day format and help her rise up the ODI rankings from her current position in 49th place.

The Reliance Mobile ICC Women's Player Rankings for ODI all-rounders is currently topped by Nitschke who is some 200 points ahead of third placed Browne so Browne and Watkins will want to do something special in order to narrow that gap.

Upcoming ODI fixtures:

Ireland in England
7 Jul – England v Ireland, Kibworth

New Zealand in England
10 Jul – England v New Zealand, Taunton
12 Jul – England v New Zealand, Taunton
15 Jul – England v New Zealand, Derby
17 Jul – England v New Zealand, Barnsley
20 Jul – England v New Zealand, Lord's

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