Home > Cricket Development > Asian Non-Test Country Rankings

Asian Non-Test Country Rankings

To continue the recent craze with rankings on the net,  here are my current rankings of the national teams of the 17 Asian non-test playing countries.

A.) These rankings are based purely on One-Day performances of the Senior teams in the last 2 years, and doesn’t necessarily say anything about the countries’ cricketing program, depth in players, and facilities.

1. UAE   2. Hong Kong 3. Oman 4. Nepal 5. Afghanistan 6. Qatar 7. Bahrain 8. Singapore 9. Malaysia 10. Kuwait 11. Saudi Arabia 12. Maldives 13. Thailand 14. Bhutan 15. Iran 16. Brunei 17. Myanmar

B.) This second set is a system based on the development programs, strength of junior teams, domestic competitions and facilities in these countries, and points to the future quality of the national teams of these countries.

1. Malaysia 2. Nepal 3. Thailand 4. UAE 5. Afghanistan 6. Singapore 7. Hong Kong 8. Kuwait 9. Oman 10. Bahrain 11. Qatar 12. Maldives 13. Bhutan 14. Saudi Arabia 15. Iran 16. Brunei 17. Myanmar

Hopefully this answers a few queries about Afghanistan, Hong Kong, and some of the other Gulf Countries..


Categories: Cricket Development
  1. November 2, 2006 at 1:19 am

    Thailand higher than UAE? Please elaborate……

  2. Nishadh Rego
    November 2, 2006 at 2:03 am

    for the second one..yeah….maybe a tad biased..but thailand is up there..the quality of our junior teams is up there…U-17s almost beat UAE, and U-19s are in the top 6…furthermore..we have a much much better development program for locals than UAE…decent facilities….2 new grounds have been developed for the U-15 ACC Cup in December..each with 6 turf wickets..we have the best ground in South East Asia (Polo Club)…better than some of the test venues.therefore facilities comparable to UAE…domestic competitions..nowhere near as strong as UAE..however UAE miss out because they have virtually NO development program…Maybe Kuwait should have been 5th as they are actually trying to bring locals into the sport..

  3. November 2, 2006 at 4:03 am

    Isnt Kuwait only talking about bringing locals into the game and not actually bringing them in? UAE has been talking like that for quite sometime, but no action……

  4. November 2, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    Regarding Malaysia….. they have very good infrastructure, which will only be further improved after the franchises come into play….. age level tournaments, state tournaments, franchises, good plan for national team and also age levels (this year they all tour srilanka or south africa in dec)…… in addition to that, they have done well to get good money going, and some excellent facilities, with the Kinara Oval now becoming one of the best ODI grounds in the region……

    So why are they so weak? They should at least be Nepal standard…. they should not be still losing to Expat based countries like Singapore, Bahrain, Qatar etc.

  5. Nishadh Rego
    November 2, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    Kuwait has actually started a development program in some of the Arab schools in Kuwait City. I’m not sure how much effort is being put in or how much they’ve got out of it, but I know they have a development program and have the support of their government in this venture…one of the reasons why they got ICC associate membership.

    Ahh..Malaysia..I think I’ve explained this a couple of times elsewhere..They have got the best facilities in Asia, with a stable domestic system, and a large group of indigenous players…to keep it short, they have a very small base of experienced senior players who lack the exposure that the expats from Bahrain, Qatar, and Singapore have. This is not helped by the fact that they usually have about 6 or 7 U-19 players who have only played U-19 international cricket at the Asian level and some Malaysian Domestic Cricket (not strong enough), while the other 7 in the senior team whither away and leave cricket. In the senior team. Their keeper for the ACC Trophy was 15 or 16…and batted at number 11…for a team with so much money going into cricket..you’re senior team should not be forced to have a 15yr. old batting at 11 keeping for your senior team..I’ve played against him, and he’s talented, but nowhere near good enough to be playing for the senior team…The reason there are so many U-19s at the senior level..there aren’t enough quality domestic players being produced simply because the leagues aren’t strong enough and do not have the necessary depth.
    An important reason that even I’ve overlooked till now, is that out of 10 first class level grounds, and 5 or 6 first class level training facilities, 90% are in KL, which leaves the rest of the country with not much. Johor Bahru, a city bordering Singapore, has only 1 turf wicket with 3 or 4 nets. This means that players from outside KL, who play in the domestic comp, are at a much lower level, and players from KL who have the facilities, and training do not play against good enough opposition to take them to the next level.

    The solutions…the Franchise tournament should help a bit, with the improvement of facilities around the country, and a professional attitude, however the level won’t change too drastically. Malaysia have to have an Active “A” team, and an active academy, which regularly tours or plays games against the Test countries…This is a problem Nepal(who have excellent facilities in Kathmandu), Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Uganda have to a certain extent.

    Malaysia aren’t necessarily much weaker than Nepal, though Nepal seem to have taken a few steps forward in the last couple of years, and have a very good crop of youngsters in their side.

    As for Bahrain and Qatar..welll…….two classic Gulf countries in the context of cricket…

  6. Ram
    November 2, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    I think the reason for Malaysia’s relative lack of/ slow progress is because of very low public interest…Despite having indigenous sides, I think they’re yet to be culturally linked to the game unlike the case of Nepal or Afghanistan who’ve readily embraced the game at the first oppurtunity offered to them!…They are probably similar to the Netherlands who have benefitted from their longer cricketing history and backing from the ECB over decades that has ensured a higher standard of play…

    Coming to rego’s blog on the Asian rankings, how’s Oman higher than Nepal and Afghanistan based on performances?…I agree that Oman previously had a good time but giving higher weightage to recent matches, I feel Nepal and Afghanistan may be above them in the ladder…Afterall, didn’t Oman fail to even make the quarterfinals of the recent ACC trophy?

    Also, you’ve forgotten to include China in the rankings for the development program category….their development program might fetch them quite a high place in this list given that many countries in this list “import” players from Test nations….

  7. fred
    November 2, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    I assume there is no Japan on your list cos they are officially in the East Asia Pacific grouping. I’d like to think that even at their worst they could beat Iran or Myanmar!

  8. November 2, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Fred, Japan can probably beat a few others on that list as well 🙂

    Ram, one thing to note is that Oman was probably fielding ineligable players when they played in the ACC Trophy and ICC Trophy last time…… there is a rumour that the ICC only quitely admonished them on this and told them to set their house in order….. upon doing that, Oman ended up being the side that could not make the quarters in the recent ACC Trophy……..

    But they have some interest…… unlike the UAE, they do give Omani nationality to people at least born there (I think). So when they say that there MUST be an Omani national in every domestic club team, its not the same as UAE saying it……. its not that Arabs are going to benefit due to this…….

    Its not answering your question, but I just thought I would raise this point…….

  9. Nishadh Rego
    November 2, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    I don’t know how strong Japan is but judging from the fact that Qatar lost to PNG by ONLY 20 odd runs in 2005, Japan would find the going tough. They would certainly beat Myanmar, Brunei, Bhutan…

    Ram, Malaysia certainly don’t have that close cultural link with a test nation though there always has been a strong British and Indian influence on the country. Well Netherlands, Denmark, PNG and Namibia don’t have that majority interest in the sport, and they have reached quite far. But yes, you do have point. Its a combination of a whole lot of factors.

    Nasir, Oman certainly weren’t fielding an ineligble side. ACC and ICC would never allow that, and I know most of their players. You only have to look at the results in the 2004 ACC Trophy to see that Oman squeezed through their group stage in 3 games that could’ve gone any way. They then met Bhutan in the quarters which was a free ride to the semis, and had a close win over Qatar. It just goes to show how close the Asian region is in terms of Competition and level….as I’ve said many times before. Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Afghanistan are all equal in quality with Maldives and Thailand close behind..Depending on the draws and some luck, any of those 10-12 teams could have ended up 2nd or 3rd in an ACC Trophy. Kuwait were eliminated this time on the basis of a tie, while HOng Kong qualifying by virtue of the tie, made it to the finals..

    Yeah maybe Oman do deserve to be a little lower..courtesy of their performance this time..we just have to wait to see how they perform in WCQ tournament..its all very unpredictable!

  10. Ram
    November 3, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    Nishadh, What I meant was that Netherlands have been playing cricket for more than a century now unlike Malaysia where the locals have just started to embrace the game…When they’ve just started playing the game, it’s unfair to expect them to show high skill level/performance, which is why I think Malaysia’s standards are still low despite having arguably one of the best development programs in place…

    Also, you talked about 10-12 countries being good enough to defeat each other in the Asian region…I was perplexed to see Nepal omitted from your list…Does that mean Nepal are superior than the countries you’ve listed?…It’s also interesting to see the difference in results between these Asian teams between multi-day games and ODIs…For ex, despite UAE claiming to be the best Associate from Asia, they were defeated by Nepal in a 3-day game over a year back…Similarly, HK that reached the final of the ACC trophy is now struggling against a Malaysian outfit that got thrashed by Afghanistan in the recent ACC trophy…Do these have anything to do with the composition of sides these teams field for the various games?

  11. Nishadh Rego
    November 4, 2006 at 1:17 am

    Locals in Malaysia have been playing the sport since the 50s and 60s.. The Tamils and the Malays have been involved with the sport for decades, and the Malays even have a Malaysian Malays Cricket Association, which actually tours the test countries and plays against the test junior teams. Its a pity theres a fair bit of politics involved between the MCA and MMCA. Together, Malaysia would be a much stronger force.

    I’m not sure what to make of Nepal’s senior team. I do think they are a better side than most of the Gulf Countries, Singapore and even Hong Kong, but they are soo bloody inconsistent. They lose when it matters the most, and maybe in that regard they deserve to be part of the list..definitely with just some more money, and better facilities, they will be way above the rest.

    Good point you make about the constrasting results in different forms of the game. Nepal’s win against UAE was against an understrength UAE side certainly without its better players..Khurram Khan, Syed Maqsood, Ali Asad, and a couple of other blokes..

    You have to understand that the three day game is fairly different from the one day game and that most of these teams have the necessary technique and ability to slug it out and earn a draw against a stronger opponent in the longer version of the sport. For example, in the 3-day game, Malaysia has usually relied on an odd 50 here and there and a few 30s from its top batsmen, to scrap to 200 in about 80 overs..this has been the case in most of its ecounters..It then relies on a fairly potent bowling attack (3 or 4 main bowlers who do the bulk of the bowling) to get the opposition for 250 odd…Thats two days done…When you’ve only played 1 inning in 2 days..there isnt much you can do on the third day..Whereas in a one dayer, the Malaysias and Singapores..cannot rely on their main 3 or 4 players to bowl 30 overs for 5 wickets and their main batsmen to bat out 50 overs..and therefore, their younger more inexperienced sides (especially in batting) who can survive in the 3-days..tend to capitulate when try to actually score at a good pace and put up competitive totals…Also in the three day game..the pitches are a major factor and are usually suited to the home team.

    Be it 3-dayers or 1 dayers..UAE are certainly the strongest..Hong Kong btw arent struggling..307-8..Irfan Ahmed..17 years old..scoring 142…I’ve played alot against the bloke..hes a good bat..but wow..din’t expect a hundred so soon..

    The compositions also affect the results a fair bit..especially with teams like Hong Kong, Singapore, and UAE who can’t field their best expats all year round.

  12. ajaya
    November 4, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    ‘nepal is so bloody inconsistant, esp when it matters most’
    so true. its frustrating to see the nepali side, which does so well in 3-day matches (we managed even to beat UAE, the last time we played them), struggle in the 50-over format.
    one thing that always leaps to mind when looking at the nepali team over a long period of time has been that our bowling always seems to deliver the goods, only for the batting to throw it all away.
    hopefully the start of a national leauge will produce us some batsmen as well. keeping my fingers crossed

  13. ajaya
    November 4, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    btw, nepal is currently playing UAE.
    the latest scores, as posted in http://www.cricket.com.np
    day one: end of play UAE 262/7d (81 overs)
    Arshad Ali 137, S regmi 3/63
    Nepal 63/3 (28 overs)
    If any of yall have access to the complete scorecard, would greatly appreciate it

  14. Ram
    November 6, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    It’s a bit puzzling why Nepal don’t seem to be showing the right signs despite having everything in place for them…It’s difficult to understand why CAN fails to organize any matches especially when there’s money to be made from it…It shouldn’t be a huge problem hosting Asian countries like Afghanistan or UAE, not to mention the lower rung Indian domestic teams who wouldn’t have any problems visiting Nepal for a few games ahead of the domestic season…One gets the impression that Nepal are waiting for the ICC or ACC to help them rather than being proactive…

  15. rego
    November 7, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    Exactly what I’ve been saying all along…Hope the new CAN administration changes things a bit in that regard.

  16. November 8, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Nepal’s problems are 1) Professionalizing the 16 man squad with full time contracts 2) Organzing tours with Bihar, UP, Bangladesh A, Afghanistan, Pak and India Academy teams and 3) having a domestic league that spans at least 2-3 months, with home and away for every involved team………

    They dont have any other problem….. I said this before that they problem is half solved in the case of Nepal that they ARE getting test level talent coming through till the age of 20….. it falls apart after that……..

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