Dubai, Aug 22 (IANS) Pakistan cricket team on Monday topped the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings for the first time after the final Test between India and the West Indies was called off due to wet ground at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, the world cricket body stated on Monday.
India could not defend the top spot which it had reclaimed from Australia on August 17 and is now currently placed at second spot with 110 points — one behind Pakistan and two ahead of third-ranked Australia.
India had entered the series on 112 points, 44 points ahead of the eighth-ranked West Indies.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s side has now become only the fifth team after Australia, England, India and South Africa to top the ICC Test rankings since these were introduced in 2003.
Reacting to their ascent to the top spot, an elated Misbah-ul-Haq said: “There is no greater feeling than to achieve the number one ranking in the most traditional and purest format of the sport. This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their careers.”
“Number one ranking is a reward for something we had planned as a group a few years ago and have worked extremely hard to achieve it. To top the Test table, which boasts some of the best sides and players, is something to be very proud of.”
“I want to compliment everyone who has been involved in the process, including all the players, the support personnel, the management, as well as our loyal fans and followers who remained committed to us and continued to back and support the side through the good and not-so-good days.”
“For us, the number one ranking is not a destination but part of a journey. Our long-term objective and strategy is to remain competitive, continue to challenge the top sides with good cricket and once again become the most followed side like the Pakistan teams of yesteryears. If we can achieve these on a consistent basis, then I am sure there will more laurels like this down the line,” he added.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated Pakistan on achieving the feat.
“Misbah and his side deserve our heartiest congratulations. The number-one ranking is well deserved and a testament to the quality of cricket the team has consistently played over the past few years,” the former South Africa stumper said in a statement.
“The past few weeks of Test cricket have been incredibly absorbing with some high-quality competitive series being played, exhibiting what is so special about Test cricket. The battle for the top ranking has made it even more exciting for all fans,” he added.