Kohli’s India lift Test C’ship Mace for third year running - GulfToday

Kohli’s India lift Test C’ship Mace for third year running


In this Jan.7 photo India’s team pose with the Border-Gavaskar trophy after winning the Test series against Australia. File / Agence France-Presse

Dubai: Virat Kohli-led India have retained the ICC Test Championship Mace and won the purse of $1 million for a third year running after finishing at the top of the ICC Test Team rankings on the cut-off date of April, while New Zealand have ensured second place.

While a top place finish was never in doubt for India, New Zealand’s consistent performances over the past year saw them climb from third position, needing to only avoid losing the home series against Bangladesh last month to finish at the same position. The Kane Williamson-led side, which also had the satisfaction of seeing their captain get the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for 2018, earned $500,000 after finishing with 108 points, eight behind India.

South Africa, who had finished second the previous two times, will now get a prize money of $200,000 for finishing third with 105 points while Australia who edged out England on decimal points at 104 points, bag $100,000.

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Manu Sawhney congratulated the Indian team while reiterating the importance of Test cricket and looking forward to the start of the ICC World Test Championship later this year.

“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.

“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.”

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.

“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.”

Indo-Asian News Service