Dhoni gets his hands on the ICC Test Championship mace

India captain: “I’m proud to be leading a team that has displayed a penchant for translating potential into performance”

“Our priority in the months to follow will be to prove that we are as capable of staying at the top as we are at reaching it”

Haroon Lorgat:All of India can be very proud of its team being the top-ranked Test team in the world for the first time”

“Test cricket is well set for an exciting future and that is great news for our Great Sport”

Sanjay Behl: “Reliance Mobile is privileged to be associated with this significant moment in India’s cricketing history”

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni got his hands on the symbol of his side’s new status in Test cricket on Sunday, the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship mace. This is the first time India has achieved the number-one ranking since the championship was introduced in May 2001.

Dhoni received the mace from ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat in front of a packed media conference in New Delhi at the end of the ODI series against Sri Lanka which India won 3-1 (fifth and last ODI was abandoned).

India achieved the number-one position after winning its three-Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0 on 6 December. It is only the third team after Australia and South Africa to earn this position on the Test Championship table.

However, India’s status as top dog is under threat from South Africa and a 2-0 or better series win for the Proteas against England in the ongoing four-match series will return South Africa to the top spot.

Dhoni, after receiving the mace, said: “I’m proud to be leading a team that has displayed a penchant for translating potential into performance.

“Our ascent to the number-one status commenced several year ago. The efforts put in by our seniors in making the Indian cricket team a force to be reckoned with, will never be forgotten. They inspired us to follow in their footsteps.

“Our priority in the months to follow will be to prove that we are as capable of staying at the top as we are at reaching it.”

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “All of India can be very proud of its team being the top-ranked Test team in the world for the first time.

“It is well-deserved and just reward for the hard work and winning performances against Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka over the past 14 months.

“India has a strong team with many players who will become all-time greats. In Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten they have proven leaders capable of greater achievements.

“Test cricket needed the excitement of four teams vying for the number-one spot in the Reliance Mobile Test Championship table.

“Australia headed the table for all but 10 months since the rankings were launched in May 2001 and achieving that level of dominance will surely be the new goal for Dhoni and his players.

“Test cricket is well set for an exciting future and that is great news for our Great Sport.”

Sanjay Behl, Head Brand & Marketing, Reliance Communications ADA Group, said: “Today, Reliance Mobile is privileged to be associated with this significant moment in India’s cricketing history. It was a proud moment for every Indian cricket fan when the India team reached the pinnacle of the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship in its last Test series.

“The Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship mace is the symbol of this supremacy and with India winning it, a new era has commenced in Test cricket.

“The Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship is the authoritative rankings that recognize the efforts of all Test playing teams. These official rankings are one of the toughest and every point on the table is earned with diligence and a strong team effort within the most stringent format of international cricket – Test matches.

“The Reliance ADA Group congratulates India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as well as each and every member of the number-one ranked Test team in the world which includes both the players as well as the support staff who have all made us very proud.”


Background on the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship mace:


The Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship mace is presented to the team that leads the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship.

It has been in Australia’s hands for all but 10 months (January – May 2003 and August-December 2009) since it was inaugurated in May 2001.

The mace was produced by the then British Crown Jeweller, Asprey & Garrard, in 2001, which was commissioned to make a distinctive prize designed to stand out from other cricket trophies.

The designers produced a 90cm silver and gold-plated trophy based on a cricket stump as its shank, topped by an orb that represents the cricket world – both geographically and through the inclusion of the emblems of all 10 ICC Members that have played Test cricket.

The stump and the orb combine to portray the mace, regarded as a symbol of authority and prestige. This is regarded as an appropriate combination given the rich history of Test cricket and its image as the most traditional and purest form of the game.

The mace sits on a wooden base with a silver-plated plaque in front with room for engravings of the sides to hold it. The mace was valued at stg£30,000 in 2001 and automatically passes from one team to another as results confirm a change of leadership in the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table.

The side that tops the Reliance Mobile ICC Test Championship table on 1 April each year collects US$175,000 for doing so while the second-placed side receives US$75,000. The side that tops the ODI table on same date pockets US$175,000 while the runner-up gets richer by $75,000.