Dubai: India have retained the ICC Test Championship Mace and won the purse of $ 1 million for a third year running after finishing at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings on the cut-off date of 1 April, while New Zealand have ensured second place.
A top place finish was never in doubt for India, captained by Virat Kohli, the number one Test batsman in the world while New Zealand’s consistent performances over the past year saw them climb from third position, needing them to only avoid losing the home series against Bangladesh last month to finish at the same position.
The Kane Williamson-led side, who also had the satisfaction of seeing their captain get the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for 2018, earnt $ 500,000 after finishing with 108 points, eight behind India.
South Africa, who had finished second the previous two times, will now get a prize money of $200,000 for finishing third with 105 points while Australia who edged out England on decimal points at 104 points bag $100,000.
International Cricket Council chief executive Manu Sawhney congratulated the Indian team while reiterating the importance of Test cricket and looking forward to the start of the ICC World Test Championship later this year.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney: “I congratulate India on retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace and appreciate the passion Virat Kohli’s team has shown across formats over the past few years. It takes so much dedication and determination to consistently perform at the highest level in Test cricket.
“Test cricket has been enjoying a purple patch over the last couple of years with more positive results than ever and a genuine competitive balance between nations. The World Test Championship gets underway in August and will give fans greater context for all Test cricket providing an undisputed conclusion to some of the most renowned cricket rivalries in the international game.
“Nine Test nations will compete across 27 series and 71 Test matches to reach the ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021 where the World Test Champions will be crowned.”
India captain Virat Kohli said: “Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. Our team has been doing well across formats but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the Test rankings. We all know of the importance of Test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format.
“Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year. That is again something we are really looking forward to as it adds more context to Test match cricket.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said: “It’s an awesome achievement for our side to finish second in the ICC Test Team Rankings and as a team we should be very proud. It’s come off the back of a lot of hard work and perseverance; not just by the eleven guys on the field, but the entire squad and support staff.
“It’s been especially pleasing to see the consistency we’ve shown in the longest form of the game over a decent period of time. We’re now all really looking forward to the ICC World Test Championship getting underway and the added context the competition will bring.”
MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 1 April 2019):
RANK TEAM POINTS
1. India 116
2. New Zealand 108
3. South Africa 105
4. Australia 104
5. England 104
6. Sri Lanka 93
7. Pakistan 88
8. Windies 77
9. Bangladesh 69
10. Zimbabwe 13
Also played: Afghanistan (two matches, one win, one loss, 25 points) and Ireland (two matches, two losses, no points), who will qualify for a full ranking after playing six more matches each.
Manu Sawhney is the new Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council
Manu Sawhney on Monday took over as the Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council.
Sawhney has been working alongside the outgoing Chief Executive David Richardson for the last six weeks to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.
Richardson will remain with the ICC until July as originally planned to oversee the delivery of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Commenting on his appointment Sawhney said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking over the reins from David, who has steered the sport so capably over the last seven years. I am pleased to say he will continue to lead the delivery of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 and there is no better person to ensure the event is the greatest celebration of cricket ever.
“I am excited by the opportunities ahead and I am looking forward to working in partnership with our Members, partners and staff to ambitiously accelerate the global growth of the game. Technology, engagement, women’s cricket and driving greater value are key focus areas for us as we consider how we can innovate to transform the sport’s long-term future and create a vibrant and sustainable sport globally.
Richardson added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the ICC and I am pleased with what we have achieved in recent times particularly in creating greater context for all formats of the game.
“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is the perfect point at which to move on and I am privileged to be able to lead the delivery of this event and I know it will do our sport proud.
“I’d like to wish Manu and the team all the very best of luck for the future.” he added