Virat Kohli with ICC Test Championship Mace

India retains ICC Test Championship Mace for a third consecutive year

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India has retained an ICC Test Championship Mace for a third consecutive year and won the pursue of $1 Million USD after finishing up in the top of the ICC Test rankings on the cut-off date of April 1.

Virat Kohli led India occupied the first place on the table with 116 points, who himself a No. 1 Test cricketer. New Zealand climbed to second from three and about to receive $500,000 USD after finishing with 108 points, just eight behind India.

South Africa who finished second on the last two years, now settled at third position with 105 points and bags reward of $200,000 USD. Australia pushed England down by a fraction point and secured fourth place with 104 points, which is just one point lesser than South Africa and earnt $100,000 USD.

Newly appointed ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney congratulated team India for their Championship retainment and expressed his view for the ICC World Test Championship later this year.

Manu Sawhney: "I congratulate India on retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace and appreciate the passion Virat Kohli’s team has shown across formats over the past few years. It takes so much dedication and determination to consistently perform at the highest level in Test cricket."

"Test cricket has been enjoying a purple patch over the last couple of years with more positive results than ever and a genuine competitive balance between nations. The World Test Championship gets underway in August and will give fans greater context for all Test cricket providing an undisputed conclusion to some of the most renowned cricket rivalries in the international game."

"Nine Test nations will compete across 27 series and 71 Test matches to reach the ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021 where the World Test Champions will be crowned."

Indian skipper Virat Kohli said: "Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. Our team has been doing well across formats but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the Test rankings. We all know of the importance of Test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format."

"Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year. That is again something we are really looking forward to as it adds more context to Test match cricket."

On earning the second spot, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson: "It’s an awesome achievement for our side to finish second in the ICC Test Team Rankings and as a team, we should be very proud. It’s come off the back of a lot of hard work and perseverance, not just by the eleven guys on the field, but the entire squad and support staff."

"It’s been especially pleasing to see the consistency we’ve shown in the longest form of the game over a decent period of time. We’re now all really looking forward to the ICC World Test Championship getting underway and the added context the competition will bring."

The details for the presentation ceremony of the ICC Test Championship Mace is yet to be announced.

ICC Test Ranking (As of April 1, 2019)

RANKTEAMPOINTS
1INDIA116
2NEW ZEALAND108
3SOUTH AFRICA105
4AUSTRALIA104
5ENGLAND104
6SRI LANKA93
7PAKISTAN88
8WEST INDIES77
9BANGLADESH69
10ZIMBABWE13

Will India still retain their No. 1 spot in 2020? Drop your thoughts below.

Featured Image Source: ICC