Pakistan will have to sweep the three One-Day International series against Zimbabwe, starting in Lahore on May 26 (tomorrow), to ensure that it doesn’t drop points on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings.
Ninth-ranked Pakistan will start the series with a difference of 42 points relative to 11th-ranked Zimbabwe and this gap means it is expected to win the series convincingly.
As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, failure to win the series convincingly will mean Pakistan will drop points.
Pakistan will stay on 87 points if it wins 3-0, but will drop to 85 points if it wins the series 2-1. Zimbabwe’s 2-1 series win will mean Pakistan will slide to 83 points.
England plus the seven next highest-ranked sides on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings will progress to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
With only one point separating Pakistan from the seventh-ranked West Indies, it cannot afford to lose any matches against Zimbabwe.
After this series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan has a scheduled five-ODI series against Sri Lanka in July while Bangladesh has home ODIs against India and South Africa.