England take Test mace after 4-0 rout
England captain Andrew Strauss and his team were presented the ICC Test Mace by Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive and Rod Riley, Executive Senior Vice-President - Reliance Communications, after England completed a 4-0 series victory over India in the fourth Test at The Oval and confirmed their position as the number-one team in the Reliance ICC Test Rankings.
After England won by an innings and eight runs, Lorgat congratulated the England and Wales Cricket Board and the England side.
"I know England were determined to be number-one and through careful planning and a series of clinical performances, they have deservedly achieved their goal. They were clearly the most consistent side in the world over the past few years as evidenced by their determination to complete their series victory here at The Oval.
Image: Andrew Strauss recieves the ICC Test Championship Mace as England become the number one ranked team
Photographs: Getty Images
Reward of hard work
"This achievement is just reward for the hard work from all the players and team management and the England and Wales Cricket Board and they no doubt will celebrate being on top of the world. It was a privilege to be here at The Oval to join a full house to watch another riveting day of Test match cricket," he said.
"We are delighted to be number one in the Reliance ICC Test Rankings and to have achieved that position with such a comprehensive series success.
"This has been a real team effort and everyone of the players, management and back up staff deserve great credit. Becoming number one in the world was our stated ambition two and a half years ago and even though we have achieved that objective we will continue to look to build on this success," he added.
Image: Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann and James Anderson of England celebrate the series victory with the Pataudi Trophy
Fourth team to achieve No. 1 position
England is only the fourth team after Australia, South Africa and India to achieve the number-one position on the Reliance ICC Test rankings table.
England had already sealed the number-one position after taking an unbeatable 3-0 at Edgbaston but victory in the fourth and final Test at The Oval not only strengthened its position at the top of the tree but also dropped India into third position on 117 ratings points, one behind second-placed South Africa.
The Championship table will now be updated at the end of Sri Lanka and Australia series, which starts on Wednesday, August 31, in Galle.
Reliance ICC Test Championship table (as of 22 August, after the conclusion of England and India four-Test series)
1. England 125
2. South Africa 118
3. India 117
4. Sri Lanka 108
5. Australia 100
6. Pakistan 93
7. West Indies 89
8. New Zealand 78
9. Bangladesh 8
(Zimbabwe will have to play eight Tests before it will have a ranking)
Image: Andrew Strauss of England celebrates the series victory with his team and the Pataudi Trophy