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Sangakkara flays ICC rankings

July 23, 2010 20:47 IST

Kumar SangakkaraSri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara criticised the ICC ranking system, saying it is "unfair", even though the island nation is in sight of becoming the top-ranked Test side after spanking India in the first match of the three-Test series in Galle on Thursday.

Asked whether the players take seriously a system that has India at number one despite not having won a series in Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka since 1993, Sangakkara said, "You should have asked that question to Haroon Lorgat (ICC chief executive) who was here."

"If rankings can't be understood by the public, the players, or the administrators, what's the use of having rankings? If you want rankings, they should count towards playing a Test championship," he said.

Sangakkara said for the ICC ranking system to be acceptable, the FTP should be "fair", with each side playing each other at least once, home or away.

"Rankings need to be fairly done. A fair FTP is the first step towards having proper rankings. Once every two years each side should play each other at least once, home or away. That's how you get a fair deal when it comes to Test cricket," he said.

Sri Lanka themselves were ranked number two last year without having won a Test in India, Australia and South Africa, a spot they lost after their away loss to India.

About his own side's dismal record in the three countries ranked higher than them, Sangakkara said, "I don't think we have played enough Test cricket away. Two Test matches here, two Test matches there, I think that's not good. We need to play Tests regularly.

"We have a very good balanced attack, pace and spin. From 2006 to 2009 we have done well. We have won in New Zealand, in England, and in Pakistan. South Africa, Australia and India are the three places that we need to win. We need to play often in those places," said the suave Lankan skipper.

Interestingly, the current Test ranking system does not give extra weightage to victories away from home. The rating points earned or conceded are calculated based on the difference between where the teams stood before the start of the series.

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