Pakistan in SA
Top ODI rank in SA's reach
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - South Africa enters the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan in Bloemfontein on Sunday with an opportunity to reclaim the number-one ranking in the ICC ODI Championship table.
The Proteas are in fourth position but can leapfrog India, England and Australia if they win all five matches of the series.
If the hosts achieve a whitewash, as they did in the three-match Test series, they will win the ODI Shield and approximately R1.6 million, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Friday, as the top three sides have no ODIs scheduled before the April 1 cut-off date and their position will be assured.
South Africa has previously won the ODI Shield twice -- in 2008 and 2009.
If the Proteas wins the series 4-1, then they will move ahead of England into second position and will collect a cheque of about R680 000.
In contrast, sixth-ranked Pakistan can move to as high as fourth, but for this to happen, they will need to win all five ODIs in the series.
If Pakistan beats South Africa 3-2, then both sides will be locked at 109 ratings points, but the Proteas will be ranked above the tourists when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
Another attraction of the ODI series is that it will feature the top-ranked batsman, bowler and all-rounder in the ICC Player Rankings.
Hashim Amla tops the rankings for ODI batsmen, Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal leads the bowlers' list, while Mohammad Hafeez is the number-one ranked all-rounder.
The player rankings will be updated at the end of the ODI series on March 25.