South Africa handed one-day trophy
It had been flown in from Australia, the first time it has changed hands since the ranking system began in 2002. South Africa moved to top-spot after their 3-1 series win against Pakistan and Australia's 3-0 Chappell-Hadlee whitewash in New Zealand.
Along with the trophy comes US$175,000 for the team that is top at April 1 each year with $US75,000 going to the second-placed team. Smith, was handed the plate at a special ceremony in Johannesburg, shortly before the squad left for West Indies.
He said: "This a great honour and a deserved reward for all the hard work the team has put in over the past 18 months. However, heading the log at this stage will not change our focus on the job at hand over the next two months in the Caribbean."
Gerald Majola, CEO of Cricket South Africa, added: "This is an outstanding achievement by the Proteas under the leadership of Graeme Smith. They have had an extraordinary run of form over the past 12 months. This includes a 3-2 series win over Australia, sealed by scoring a then world-record 438 for 9 as well as seven wins from their last eight completed matches.
"Now all eyes are on the World Cup, and the players are quietly confident that their teamwork will stand them in good stead throughout the tournament".