Proteas honoured as world’s best

16 April 2014

The Proteas were recognised as the number one test team in the world on Tuesday when the Chief Executive Officer of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Haroon Lorgat, received the prestigious Reliance ICC Test Championship Mace on their behalf.

The Proteas finished on top of the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table on the annual cut-off date of 1 April, and were also rewarded with a cheque of $475 000.

Second time at number one

It was the second time, since the current ranking system was introduced in 2003, that South Africa has finished as the number one ranked test team in the world.

In their last test series, South Africa lost 1-2 to Australia as captain Graeme Smith bowed out of international cricket. Irrespective of the series result, however, South Africa was assured of the number one position on the table.

David Richardson, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Chief Executive, presented the Mace and cheque to Lorgat in a ceremony staged at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.

‘Delighted’

At the presentation, Lorgat said: “I am delighted to receive the Reliance ICC Test Mace and prize money, not just on behalf of the players and the team management, but on behalf of all South Africans.

“I know the players relish the enormous privilege of representing our country and also appreciate the responsibility that goes with it.”

‘A symbol of excellence’

Richardson, a former Proteas’ wicketkeeper from 1992 to 1998, said: “The Mace is a symbol of excellence and recognition of a side’s outstanding achievement in the toughest and most traditional format of the game.

“South Africa has all the reasons to be proud of its feat as it is only the fourth team after Australia, India and England to hold the Mace.

“Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport and by promoting it as much as we can we will help to ensure its continuing good health as one of our three forms of the game at international level.”

‘The world’s best test-playing team’

Gurdeep Singh, the President and CEO of Wireless Business, Reliance Communications, said: “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.

“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.”

Time at the top

The Proteas, under Graeme Smith, first took over at the top in August 2012, when they beat England 2-0 in England. Australia had an opportunity to take over the top spot in November 2012, but South Africa won 1-0 Down Under to secure their grip on the number one ranking.

Since then, they have gone opened up a considerable gap at the top of the pile to remain the world’s top test team.

Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table

    1. South Africa, 127
    2. Australia, 115
    3. India, 112
    4. England, 107
    5. Pakistan, 100
    6. Sri Lanka, 89
    7. New Zealand, 87
    8. West Indies, 87
    9. Zimbabwe, 34
    10. Bangladesh, 19

SAinfo reporter