India take million-dollar prize for finishing No. 1
India have finished at the top of the ICC Test rankings for the second successive year after beating Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series. As a result of being No. 1 by the cut-off date of April 1, India will be presented with a cash award of $1 million by the ICC.
India had gone into the home series against Australia needing to win one Test to guarantee their No. 1 ranking. The series victory also meant that India currently hold Test titles against all other teams, a feat previously matched only by Australia (twice) and South Africa.
Virat Kohli received the Test mace and cheque at the post-match presentation ceremony in Dharamsala. "The longest format of the game really tests a team's character and I'm proud that we have proved ourselves to be the best," he said.
The race to No. 2 is still on. It will be decided on the fifth day in Hamilton, where South Africa need to come away with at least a draw against New Zealand to hold on to the No. 2 ranking and claim the prize money of $500,000. If they lose, Australia will pip them to second place.
The ICC also announced that India offspinner R Ashwin will be awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the ICC Cricketer of the Year for 2016. Ashwin, who was also named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year for 2016, took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs in the eight Tests he played during the period under consideration - September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.