Windies slip in ODI rankings as gap with Afghanistan narrows

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LONDON (CMC) – West Indies have taken a second blow to their international ranking in as many days, after slipping in the One-Day International ratings announced Wednesday by the International Cricket Council.
The two-time World Cup winners remained ninth in the latest rankings but lost five points to plunge to 69 points and flirt dangerously close to minnows Afghanistan in 10th on 63 points.
Afghanistan, who beat West Indies in the final of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe recently, gained five points to enhance their standing.
The Windies were forced to take the route of the qualifiers for the first time ever after they failed to make the top eight in the rankings by the September 30 cut-off date last year.
And while they entered the tournament as heavy favourites, they never quite got the measure of Afghanistan, losing a warm-up, a Super Six match and the final to the Phil Simmons-coached unit.
West Indies endured a wretched run in ODIs last year, failing to win a single series while winning just three of 23 matches.
They suffered a 3-0 whitewash when they hosted England last year March and were beaten 4-0 in a five-match series when they undertook a reciprocal tour last September.
New Zealand also swept the Caribbean side 3-0 last December to ensure they ended the year on a losing note.
West Indies will play at least four one-day series over the coming months in preparation for the World Cup and will be targeting strong results in order to improve their ranking.
They take on Bangladesh in three ODIs in the Caribbean in July, travel to Dhaka for a reciprocal five-match series later in the year before also taking on India in similar five-match away series.
West Indies will then host England in five ODIs early next year.
England, meanwhile, gained eight points after the results from the 2014-15 season were discarded, and have now overtaken India as the top-ranked side on 125 points.
India are three points behind in second with South Africa slipping to third after losing four points to be on 113.
The remaining places are unchanged with New Zealand fourth on 112, Australia fifth on 104 after losing eight points while Pakistan are sixth on 102.
Bangladesh (93) lie seventh and Sri Lanka (77) are eighth.

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