The ICC Ranking System's Top 10 Batsmen in ODI Cricket History

Antoinette Muller@mspr1ntFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2013

The ICC Ranking System's Top 10 Batsmen in ODI Cricket History

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    Since the introduction of the coloured clothing game, many players have dazzled and entertained. Some have been forgotten about and some have permanently entrenched themselves in our brains as legends.

    We compiled the list from the "career best rating" for ODI batsmen, as determined by the ICC's ranking system.

    That system judges players by their all-time peak score—the highest ranking achieved at the height of their best form. We can debate whether it has flaws, and whether it has meant that some greats of the game have been unfairly left out. However, what it does do is give us an unbiased top 10, as determined by a complex algorithm in the ICC headquarters in Dubai.

    If you want to find out more about the methodology, the ICC's rankings website has an FAQ page.

    There are a few notable omissions, but someone has to miss out.

    Share your thoughts on who else deserves a place below.  

9. Desmond Haynes: 900 Points

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    Desmond Haynes played 238 one-day internationals for the West Indies between 1978 and 1994, scoring 57 half-centuries and 17 hundreds at an average of 41.37.

    He is best known for always having a big smile, but when it mattered, Haynes could be ruthless.

    He was a destructive batsman who was wonderfully adaptable and who would have made a fantastic T20 player. 

9. Gary Kirsten: 900 Points

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    South Africa's Gary Kirsten was a pioneer of his time.

    Back in the day, when high scores were uncommon in ODI cricket, he notched up an unbeaten 188.

    Kirsten never quite had flair, swagger and tidy technique, but he was incredibly effective and ended his 185-match ODI run with an average of 40.95. 

8. Hashim Amla: 901 Points

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    Hashim Amla is the only currently active player to make it onto the all-time list, according to the ICC.

    Amla has silky wrists and a drive to make you drool. He's played just 79 one-day games, but averages 53.34 in those with 21 half-centuries and 11 hundreds.

    He particularly likes batting against England—averaging 60.55 on the country in the 12 games he has played there. Amla still has a few batting years in him and long may his brilliant timing continue. 

7. Brian Charles Lara: 908 Points

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    Many rate Brian Charles Lara as the greatest batsman to ever live.

    In his heyday, he'd knock up big scores at a rapid pace, leaving bowlers begging to be taken out of the attack. His stance—his bat raised high in the air, and that poised pose on his bent front knee—became a signature silhouette, and one that many young players growing up would try to emulate.

    He finished with 299 ODIs to his name, 10,405 runs, 19 hundreds and 63 half-centuries all coming at an average of 40.48. 

6. Javed Miandad: 910 Points

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    Javed Miandad is Pakistan's finest son.

    While he only ever scored eight hundreds in 233 ODIs, Miandad managed 50 half-centuries. He was called "the find of the decade" when first spotted by Abdul Hafeez Kardar, Pakistan's first Test captain, in the early '70s.

    Miandad wasn't classical, but his square cut was something to behold. He's one of the earliest purveyors of the reverse sweep and had a penchant for finding the gaps with brilliant ease. 

5. Dean Jones: 918 Points

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    Dean Jones used to walk down the track to fast bowlers and was a showman of note.

    He had an illustrious career and has focused his energies on commentary since retirement.

    His playing days are slowly being forgotten, though. Instead, many now only know Jones for his faux pas on air when he referred to Hashim Amla as a "terrorist." 

4. David Gower: 919 Points

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    David Gower wasn't exactly the most patient player in one-day cricket. In his 114 games, he managed just 12 half-centuries and seven hundreds at an average of 30.77.

    However, 1983 remains his most successful year. He scored 1,256 runs in 20 games at an average of 63.88 with four of his hundreds coming in that year. 

3. Ian Chappell: 921 Points

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    Ian Chappell is one of the more interesting inclusions in the ICC's all-time ranking system.

    He played just 16 ODIs, but has an all-time ranking of three with 921 points.

    Chappell never scored a hundred in the format. Even in 1975, when he played seven games, he averaged just 32.28.

    This inclusion is one which would most likely be omitted if a human and not a machine were doing the rankings. 

2. Zaheer Abbas: 923 Points

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    Also known as the Asian Bradman, Zaheer Abbas played 62 ODIs for Pakistan, scoring 2,572 runs at an average of 47.62.

    Abbas possessed grace and elegance in his strokeplay and is probably better known for his Test efforts that his outings in coloured clothing. 

1. Sir Viv Richards: 935 Points

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    No one to date has possessed the staggering swagger of Sir Vivian Richards (although Michael Carberry has tried in the video above).

    He was, without a doubt, the most destructive player of his generation.

    He played 187 games for the Windies, scored 11 hundreds and 45 half-centuries at an average of 47.00.

    Bowling to Richards wasn't a job anyone wanted and he underscored his disdain for bowlers by never wearing a helmet. His hook shot was something to behold.

    If you could go back in time to watch one player live, this is one man you would simply have to see. 


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