The main problem in drawing up comprehensive one day international ranking lists for the Associate and Affilaite nations is the very small number of matches that they play against each other. For most countries the only matches they play are in their regional tournaments (typically held every two years) and they rarely, if ever, play against countries in other continents.

Take the example of Norway, for instance. They are the European Division 2 champions, having played five other countries to win that title - but they have never played competitively against a country from outside Europe.

Fortunately this situation is likely to improve somewhat in the coming seasons. The top Associates now have ODI status and will be playing a greater number of matches against each other than in the past. The advent of the World Cricket League will also expose a large number (almost 30) of countries to inter-continental competition.

A number of ranking lists for non-Test countries can be found on various web sites. However, they all struggle to cope effectively with the lack of match results. Fairly arbitrary numbers are devised, such as runs scored and wickets taken in matches, and these are fed into even more arbitrary formulae. Inevitably, the resulting ranking lists are characterised by their glaring anomalies.

Surely, in one day cricket, the only factor that can and should be taken into account is the result itself? Matches are often shortened, interrupted, decided by Duckworth Lewis and this almost always affect the actual scores and margin of victory.

In drawing up our initial ranking lists we have taken a logical two-step approach.

  1. Regional ranking lists have been drawn up for each of the ICC's five development regions (Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, Eastr Asia Pacific). This is fairly straightforward as each region holds graded tournaments - in Europe, for example, there are four divisional championships, each held on a biennial basis.
  2. These regional ranking lists are then interleaved to produce the global list. This is where the problems begin. We know how the top teams in each region compare with the top teams in other regions (by their ICC Trophy results, mainly). However, we don't know how, say, Italy compares with Argentina or Afghanistan, who have similar rankings in their regions.

    The solution is based on cross-referencing. We know from our results database how Italy performs relative to the top teams in Europe; we know how Argentina, say, performs relative to the top teams in the Americas; and we know how the top European teams perform relative to the top Americas teams. Hence we can attempt to produce relative rankings for Italy and Argentina.

    Using our database of all international results for past seasons, we wrote a statistically-based computer program which churned through all these comparisons to produce the interleaved global rankings.

Our initial ranking table is given below. In future we will update it monthly, taking into account the previous month's results. However, now that we have generated an initial set of rankings, we use a very different scheme for updating it. This is based on a suitably-modified version of the ICC's system for producing ODI rankings for the Test nations and we will explain it when we publish the next rankings in December (which will include the Bermuda v Kenya ODI series).

1 Kenya 150
2 Ireland 138
3 Scotland 137
4 Bermuda 130
5 Netherlands 126
6 UAE 120
7 Denmark 117
8 Namibia 116
9 Canada 115
10 Hong Kong 114
11 USA 113
12 Italy 112
13 Norway 110
14 Cayman Islands 108
15 Afghanistan 106
16 Jersey 104
17 Uganda 102
18 Papua New Guinea 100
19 Tanzania 99
20 Nepal 98
21 Germany 98
22 Gibraltar 92
23 Singapore 91
24 Botswana 91
25 Fiji 87
26 Guernsey 86
27 Bahrain 84
28 Argentina 84
29 Mozambique 82
30 Oman 81
31 France 80
32 Malaysia 76
33 Zambia 74
34 Israel 74
35 Cook Islands 74
36 Bahamas 72
37 Qatar 69
38 Hellas (Greece) 68
39 Nigeria 65
40 Spain 62
41 Kuwait 61
42 Japan 61
43 Panama 60
44 Sierra Leone 57
45 Belgium 56
46 Portugal 50
47 Tonga 48
48 Suriname 48
49 Ghana 48
50 Saudi Arabia 47
51 Malta 44
52 Malawi 40
53 Thailand 39
54 Croatia 38
55 Belize 36
56 Vanuatu 35
57 Isle of Man 32
58 Bhutan 32
59 Morocco 31
60 Finland 26
61 Turks & Caicos 24
62 Brunei 24
63 Rwanda 23
64 Indonesia 22
65 Cyprus 20
66 Maldives 17
67 Luxembourg 14
68 Gambia 14
69 Chile 12
70 Samoa 9
71 Iran 9
72 Slovenia 8
73 Brazil 8
74 Lesotho 6
75 Myanmar 1