Eoin Morgan is officially the best Twenty20 batsman in the world. The England and former Ireland international was yesterday declared No 1 in the first Reliance ICC T20 Player Rankings.
The 25-year-old Dubliner has played only 18 T20 internationals but with 569 runs at an average of 47.41 he is ranked top ahead of New Zealand’s Brendan McCollum and Kevin Pietersen.
Morgan’s international team-mate Graeme Swann is the second best bowler, behind Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis, with Stuart Broad (13th) and Tim Bresnan (18th) the only other Englishmen in the top 20. Australian Shane Watson is ranked as the best all-rounder.
On learning of his top position, Morgan said: “From an England perspective it’s great to see a number of colleagues feature in the player rankings and I know they, like all players listed, will be looking to improve their positions and develop their game as we look forward to playing more international Twenty20 cricket ahead of Sri Lanka next year,” he added.
The fourth T20 World Cup will be played there next September with the 10 Full Members being joined by two qualifiers from a 16-team tournament in the UAE in March.
Ireland, who qualified with Afghanistan for the last World Cup in the West Indies in 2010, will be favourites to qualify again.
Captain William Porterfield is Ireland’s highest placed batsman in the world rankings at No 54 and also in the top 100 are Niall O’Brien (61st) Alex Cusack (85th), Gary Wilson (94th) and John Mooney (99th).
Cusack is also 45th in the list of bowlers closely followed by George Dockrell (48th), Boyd Rankin (54th) and Kevin O’Brien (68th).
Twenty 20 may be officially recognised as the shortest form of the game but there is a quicker format and the biggest Sixes tournament in the world takes place in Hong Kong this weekend.
Ireland, invited to the annual event for the first time, will be captained by Kevin O’Brien and will play Bangladesh and holders Australia on Friday followed by England on Saturday.
The top two from the three groups plus the best two third place sides qualify for the quarter finals on Sunday.
Ireland squad: K O’Brien (capt), N O’Brien, G Dockrell, J Mooney, A Cusack, P Stirling, M Sorensen.