I have noticed that ICC rankings for all forms of cricket are given based on points and rating.

How are these points and rating given?

I assume that for each and every match, teams and players get some points and rating.

Is it correct?

Is there any chance of getting negative points?

2 Answers 2


The ratings system used by the ICC to rate countries is a modified (simplified) form of the Elo rating systems. The basic idea behind these type of systems is that

A win always increases your rating
A lose always decreases your rating
The amount the rating changes by depends on the rating of the two teams before the match

If a low rated team beats a high rated team, the rating will change by more than if two very closely rated teams play. You can never get a negative rating, since what happens in the calculation is that there are ratings points and the number of games in the ratings period. The actual rating is the points divided by number of games. You can only earn ratings points, so if you lose every game you just have zero points. However, if you get earn no points from a game your rating will decrease since the ratings points stays the same but the number of games increases.

The full details of the ICC rating system is given in on wikipedia. An important aspect is that more recent matches are given a greater weighting than more distant games.

Originally, the idea was that all teams must play every other team within a time window (I think it was 5 years) and only the most recent series against each opponent would count and be weighted equally. This was abandoned in favour of the above mentioned weighting of recent games because the cricket boards didn't want to be locked in rigidly to completing all the series that this would require. Basically teams like India, Australia, England and South Africa want to be playing each other much more often because that generates more revenue than playing against smaller countries like New Zealand or the West Indies. Particularly, everyone wants to play India as much as possible because that is where most of the money in world cricket flows from.

The ICC maintains separate ratings tables for Test Cricket, One Day cricket and T20 cricket. There are not the same number of teams in each table, since there are fewer Test playing nations than ODI and T20.

  • For cricketers, you lose points every time you're not playing, whether due to illness, poor form, or retirement. Good rule, otherwise Don Bradman would've been at the top even today :)
    – xylon97
    May 23, 2013 at 7:18
  • @xylon97, the answer is all about the team rankings, the facts about players' rankings are mentioned now in my answer. Sep 28, 2013 at 6:36

The players are given points and rankings by ICC by following basis:

For a batsman, the factors are:

  • Runs scored
  • Ratings of the opposing bowling attack; the higher the combined ratings of the attack, the more value is given to the batsman’s innings (in proportion)
  • The level of run-scoring in the match, and the team’s innings total; an innings of 100 runs in a match where all teams scored 500 is worth less than 100 runs in a match where all teams were bowled out for
  • And if a team scores 500 in the first innings and 200 in the second innings, a century in the second innings will get more credit than in the first innings (because the general level of run scoring was higher in the first innings)
  • Out or not out (a not out innings receives a bonus)
  • The result. Batsmen who score highly in victories receive a bonus. That bonus will be higher for highly rated opposition teams (i.e. win bonus against the current Australia team is higher than the bonus against Bangladesh.)

For a bowler, the factors are:

  • Wickets taken and runs conceded
  • Ratings of the batsmen dismissed
  • The level of run-scoring in the match; bowling figures of 3-50 in a high-scoring match will boost a bowler’s rating more than the same figures in a low-scoring match
  • Heavy workload; bowlers who bowl a large number of overs in the match get some credit, even if they take no wickets
  • The result. Bowlers who take a lot of wickets in a victory receive a bonus. That bonus will be higher for highly rated opposition teams Bowlers who do not bowl in a high-scoring innings are penalized.

And a few more important things are:

The players’ ratings are calculated by combining their weighted performance in the latest match with their previous rating.

Players who miss a match for their country, for whatever reason, lose one per cent of their points.

The principles behind the ODI Ratings are similar to those for the Test Ratings, with some differences.

If you need more details, visit the official ICC rankings page.

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