The International Cricket Council filled a major void with the launch of its official player ranking system in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The ICC's first ever official player rankings will complement its existing Test and One-Day International team championships and the three concepts will be sponsored by consumer giants LG Electronics.
"Since the introduction of the ICC Test championship in May 2001, it has been our ambition to complement this with an ongoing championship table for one-day international cricket and official player rankings," ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said.
The trophies for the Test and ODI championships, a mace and a shield named after the sponsors, were also unveiled on the occasion.
India captain Sourav Ganguly, former skippers Sunil Gavaskar and Krishnamachari Srikkanth were also present.
Ganguly agreed that turn-around knocks by the likes of Mohammad Kaif in a one-dayer might not be properly reflected in the player rankings but said what mattered to him most was the team rankings.
"Cricket is a team game, and of the three rankings brought out by the ICC, it is the team rankings that should be more important," he said.
"The performance of an individual will be added to the team... rankings is not a worry when you go into a match. The players havelot of others things in the mind."
Speed also said the teams for the 2007World Cup will be seeded based on their rankings in July this year.
Whenpointed out that it could be an interesting scenario when the Best Player at the end of the year had a personal sponsorship deal with the rivals of the title sponsors, LG Head of Marketing Salil Kapoor said, "I am sure there will be a way out."
Gavaskarexhorted the Indian captain to wrest back the Test championship mace, which will be sent back to Australia, the current title holders.
"InIndian mythology, the mace is used by 'Bhim'. I am sure there are enough 'Bhims' in the Indian team and I urge them to wrest back the mace from the Australians," he said.
Srikkanthsaid, "during my school days, there was always this argument as to who was the best batsman, Gavaskar or G R Viswanath. Now that LG and ICC have come together, all those scores will be settled."
The player rankings will adapt the system produced by Ted Dexter Associates and sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers since the past 18years.
Under the system, players are rated on a scale of zero to 1000 points and the calculations carried out using a pre-programmedformulae.
Theplayers' ratings are calculated by combining their weighted performance in the latest match with their previous rating.