India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday received the prestigious ICC ODI Championship Shield and a cheque of $175,000 for leading his side to the top of the ICC ODI Championship table on the annual April 1 cut-off date.
This is the first time since the current ranking system was introduced in 2002 that India finished as the No. 1 ranked one-day international (ODI) side.
David Morgan, former president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), presented the Shield to Dhoni, who also collected the cheque, after India’s training session at the Cardiff Wales Stadium.
“I am very proud of this huge achievement, as being No. 1 is a reward for all of us but hopefully it is just the beginning. Being No. 1 in the world brings with it a certain respect for the game itself and for the way in which we play the game and conduct ourselves on the field,” said Dhoni.
“You have to be consistent to be ranked No. 1 and I think we have reached that level of consistency over a period of time. We have performed very well and I am very proud of what the guys have achieved.”
India had claimed the top spot from England after winning the series 3-2 in January, and in the 12-month period between April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2013, it won eight out of 13 ODIs while losing five.
Former ICC president David Morgan said: “This ODI Shield is recognition of excellence. This is the first time that India has been the top ODI side at the 1 April cut-off date. I want to congratulate India for its dedication and for the ability to entertain us all. I wish the team all the best for the coming year.
“The importance of the ICC ODI Shield should be celebrated as this is the ICC Cricket World Cup format. To finish as the No.1 ranked ODI side in addition to being the defending champion of ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, is a wonderful achievement.
“India will no doubt, therefore, enter the ICC Champions Trophy as one of the sides to watch out for. There could not have been a better fillip for India as it heads into the tournament featuring the eight best ODI sides. I’m sure that Mahendra and his team will be looking forward to maintaining their rank at the top of this format.”