Ireland's Paul Stirling aims to confirm his status as the best Associate Member batsman
ICC Media Release
Wed, Aug 24, 2011 4:47 PM
Paul Stirling will look to make further gains in the rankings
Ireland opener Paul Stirling will be aiming to improve upon his career-best ranking in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen when his side faces England in a One-Day International at Castle Avenue in Dublin on Thursday.
Stirling, who has been nominated for the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year award at the LG ICC Awards 2011, had claimed 16th position last month in July after scoring a brilliant 113 in a high-scoring thriller at the Grange Cricket Club which Scotland won by five wickets when it successfully chased down a target of 321 with nine balls to spare.
However, Stirling's third career century in 32 appearances for Ireland was sufficient to make him the highest-ranked Associate Member batsmen when he leapfrogged Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands. For this achievement, Stirling earned 21 ratings points and rose seven places which put him two places ahead of ten Doeschate who has once again been nominated for the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year award he previously won in 2008 and 2010.
If Stirling shows the same form against England he displayed last month, then the 20-year-old is all set to move further up the order. He is already in good company as he trails 15th-ranked Ricky Ponting of Australia by just 19 points and 10th-ranked Sachin Tendulkar who is ahead only by 32 ratings points.
The other Ireland batsman aiming for an upward movement is 27-year-old Kevin O'Brien who sunk England in an ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 match in Bengaluru by clubbing 13 fours and six sixes in a match-winning113 off 63 balls. O'Brien currently sits in 49th position and can break into the top 30 if he produces another good innings.
Captain William Porterfield (67th), Niall O'Brien (79th) and Gary Wilson (81st) are the other Ireland batsmen who will be featuring against the England side which will be led by their former team-mate Eoin Morgan who is in 25th position.
In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, former Ireland captain Trent Johnston is the highest-ranked player from the Associate Members in 23rd position. Team-mate and left-arm spinner George Dockrell is in 38th position while tall fast bowler Boyd Rankin is in 56th position.
Meanwhile, in the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table, Ireland has an opportunity to move ahead of Zimbabwe in 10th position. However, to achieve this it will have to beat England. If Ireland manages to win its second successive match against England, then it will move from 42 to 49 ratings points – three ahead of Zimbabwe - while England will slip from 106 ratings points to 103.
In contrast, if England wins the match then it will earn one ratings point which will put it on 107 while Ireland will lose one rating point and will drop to 41.