Cricket South Africa (CSA) today received a cheque of US$475,000 in recognition for its side finishing at the top of the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings at the annual 1 April cut-off date.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presented the cheque to his CSA counterpart Haroon Lorgat, who received it on behalf of the side that topped the Test rankings for the second successive year.
South Africa has been holding the number-one Test spot since August 2012, and is the fourth side, after Australia, India and England to achieve this distinction.
While South Africa finished on top of the tree at the annual cut-off date, Australia claimed second place and won US$370,000, while India and England received US$265,000 and US$160,000 for finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Mr Richardson praised South Africa for its achievement. “I congratulate South Africa for topping the rankings for the second successive year in our pinnacle format. To retain the top Test spot in a season that saw some very interesting, competitive and high-profile series is an achievement to be proud of.
“With the top eight Test sides closely matched, and every side aiming to claim the coveted number-one Test position, I’m looking forward to another exciting, challenging and competitive season, which will go on to strengthen Test cricket’s reputation as the most enduring and respected format.”
South Africa also retains the mace, which is presented to the number-one ranked Test side.
At the presentation, Mr. Lorgat said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to receive the Reliance ICC Test prize money, not just on behalf of the players and the team management but on behalf of all South Africans. The players appreciate the enormous privilege of representing our country and taking on the responsibility that goes with it.”
Gurdeep Singh, President and CEO, Wireless Business, Reliance Communications, congratulated South Africa for finishing on top of the tree.
“We would like to congratulate South Africa for once again emerging as the world’s best Test-playing team on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings,” said Mr Singh.
“Each player in the South Africa cricket team has demonstrated a hunger to succeed in the toughest format of the game, and the team’s consistency over the last few years has seen South Africa reach this top position, winning them the Reliance ICC Test mace.
“We at Reliance wish South Africa the very best for the games ahead, and look forward to other Test playing sides picking up the gauntlet and coming back strong, thereby, making the future Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings even more competitive and entertaining.”
ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 15 April 2014)