Australia, who were presented the mace for finishing top of the ICC rankings after last year’s cut-off, have slipped to the third spot. They were blanked by Sri Lanka 3-0 in the three-match series. England, though they have 108 points – same as Australia – are ranked fourth while New Zealand are placed fifth in the table.
Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, was understandably pleased with his team’s efforts. “No. 1 ranking is a reward for something we had planned as a group a few years ago and have worked extremely hard to achieve it,” he said. “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.”
Pakistan will now be presented with the mace, the International Cricket Council confirmed through a release. Pakistan’s next assignment is against West Indies in UAE in September while India will play a three-match Test series against New Zealand at home starting from September 22.