ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presented the cheque to his CSA counterpart Haroon Lorgat, who received it on behalf of the side that topped the Test rankings for the second successive year.
South Africa has been holding the number-one Test spot since August 2012, and is the fourth side, after Australia, India and England to achieve this distinction.
While South Africa finished on top of the tree at the annual cut-off date, Australia claimed second place and won US$US$370,000, while India and England received US$265,000 and US$160,000 for finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Mr Richardson praised South Africa for its achievement. “I congratulate South Africa for topping the rankings for the second successive year in our pinnacle format. To retain the top Test spot in a season that saw some very interesting, competitive and high-profile series is an achievement to be proud of.
“With the top eight Test sides closely matched, and every side aiming to claim the coveted number-one Test position, I’m looking forward to another exciting, challenging and competitive season, which will go on to strengthen Test cricket’s reputation as the most enduring and respected format.”
South Africa also retains the mace, which is presented to the number-one ranked Test side.
At the presentation, Mr. Lorgat said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to receive the Reliance ICC Test prize money, not just on behalf of the players and the team management but on behalf of all South Africans. The players appreciate the enormous privilege of representing our country and taking on the responsibility that goes with it.”
Gurdeep Singh, President and CEO, Wireless Business, Reliance Communications, congratulated South Africa for finishing on top of the tree.
“We would like to congratulate South Africa for once again emerging as the world’s best Test-playing team on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings,” said Mr Singh.
“Each player in the South Africa cricket team has demonstrated a hunger to succeed in the toughest format of the game, and the team’s consistency over the last few years has seen South Africa reach this top position, winning them the Reliance ICC Test mace.
“We at Reliance wish South Africa the very best for the games ahead, and look forward to other Test playing sides picking up the gauntlet and coming back strong, thereby, making the future Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings even more competitive and entertaining.”
To find out exactly how the forthcoming series will affect the Rankings Table, please click here. The Test Ranking Table, unlike the ODI and T20I Rankings tables, are updated after every series.
Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings table (as on 15 April)
Rank Team Points
1. South Africa 127
2. Australia 115
3. India 112
4. England 107
5. Pakistan 100
6. Sri Lanka 89
7. New Zealand 87
8. West Indies 87
9. Zimbabwe 34
10. Bangladesh 19
(Developed by David Kendix)
For information on the ICC Player Rankings go to: www.relianceiccrankings.com.
At the January 2012 meeting, the ICC Board had approved a proposal to substantially increase incentives in the form of prize money to promote Test cricket.
Previously, the top team in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings Table received a cheque for US$175,000, which was increased in 2013 to US$450,000, rising to US$475,000 in 2014.
A further US$795,000 will be distributed in 2014 amongst second-ranked Australia (US$370,000), third-ranked India (US$265,000) and fourth-placed England (US$160,000).
In 2015, the total prize money will be increased to US$1.34 million, which will be distributed to the teams that finish in the top four at the 1 April 2015 cut-off date. The number-one ranked side will receive US$500,000, followed by US$390, 000, US$280,000 and US$170,000 to the sides that will finish second, third and fourth, respectively.