Cape Town - Misbah-ul-Haq
on Wednesday received the prestigious ICC Test Championship mace for inspiring
Pakistan to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first
time since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.
Chief Executive David Richardson presented the mace to Misbah at the home of
Pakistan cricket at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and Pakistan captain Misbah
said it was befitting that the mace presentation was taking place there.
can’t be a better location to receive the ICC Test Championship mace than this
ground where we last played a home Test seven years ago,” said Misbah.
ironic for both the players as well as the fans that the journey to the
number-one position has been outside Pakistan.
players have missed on the crowd support, while the spectators have been unable
to watch live some magnificent team and individual performances. But I am
confident that things will change and international cricket will soon return to
added he was delighted to hold the mace in the twilight of his career.
has always been a dream to lift an ICC trophy as captain. To be only the ninth
international captain to achieve this honour in the traditional format of the
game is something to be very proud of. This mace is a reward for the efforts
and hard work of each and every individual who has been part of this group over
the past few years.”
Pakistan are only the fifth side after Australia, England, India and South Africa to top
the ICC Test rankings, while Misbah is the ninth captain to lift the mace after
Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (all Australia), MS
Dhoni (India), Andrew Strauss (England), Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla (both
Richardson congratulated the Pakistan cricket team, saying: “The ICC Test
Championship mace is a symbol of excellence and a recognition of a side’s
outstanding performance in the purest format of the game. Being part of a team
that is ranked No 1 in Test cricket is a pinnacle achievement for any
cricketer. Pakistan is a deserving recipient of the mace.
is all the more impressive that it has reached the number-one Test ranking
despite not being able to play a series in front of its home crowd since March
behalf of the ICC, I want to congratulate the Pakistan cricket team and
Misbah-ul-Haq in particular for the way he has led his side. I hope that the
team continues to go from strength to strength. A strong Pakistan side is good
for international cricket.”
Richardson said the upcoming weeks will continue to be as exciting and
entertaining for Test cricket fans.
top four ranked sides are separated by just three points and they will be
playing in the coming weeks. The contest for the number-one position gives
great context to the upcoming series, providing fascinating entertainment for
followers of the Test cricket,” he said.
ranked India will host New Zealand in a three-Test series from Thursday and if they win the series, they will move to the top of the table even before Pakistan start their three-Test series against the West Indies on October 13.
series between Bangladesh and fourth-ranked England begins in Chittagong on October 20, while South Africa will travel to third-ranked Australia where the
first Test will commence in Perth on November 3.
fixtures are part of an exciting race to the annual cut-off date as the side
that tops the ICC Test rankings on April 1, 2017 will also receive a cash award
of $1 million, while the second placed side will collect $500 000. The third and
fourth placed sides will receive $200 000 and $100 000, respectively.
admitted his side will have to produce strong performances to finish as the
number-one ranked Test side at the April 1 cut-off date.
next target we have set for ourselves is to finish as the number-one ranked
Test side at the April 1 cut-off date. It is not going to be easy as we have
series against formidable sides like the West Indies, New Zealand and
Australia. But instead of getting overawed by our opponents, we need to trust
in our abilities, focus on our strengths and try to be as consistent as
possible,” Misbah concluded.
Test series against the West Indies will begin in Dubai on October 13, while
Christchurch will be the venue of the first of the two-match series on November 17. The three-Test series in Australia will start with the day/night Test
in Brisbane on December 15.
ICC Test rankings (as on September 21, 2016)
(under rank, team, points)
1. Pakistan - 111
India - 110
3. Australia - 108
4. England - 108
Africa - 96
Lanka - 95
Zealand - 95
Indies - 67
9. Bangladesh - 57
10. Zimbabwe - 8