KARACHI: Pakistan's Test team made history Monday as it clinched the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings after the rain-hit fourth and last Test between the West Indies and India ended as a draw.
Misbah-ul-Haq was delighted to become the first Pakistan captain to inspire his side to the top of the Test rankings.
ICC-cricket.com reported the 42-year-old saying, “There is no greater feeling than to achieve the number-one ranking in the most traditional and purest format of the sport. This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their careers.
“Number-one ranking is a reward for something we had planned as a group a few years ago and have worked extremely hard to achieve it. 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's chances picked up after a splendid 10-wicket win over England which levelled the recently concluded four-Test series.
Pakistan featured as top Test side for two months from August till September in 1988.
This is the second time that Pakistan has climbed to the number one position, the last time being 28-year-ago.
Pakistan climbed to the top spot after the West Indies and India reached a draw in the four-match Test series.
The Virat Kohli-led India side needed to win the series with a margin of at least 0-3 to retain their status as top Test side after Australia, captained by Steven Smith, was whitewashed by Sri Lanka 3-0 earlier this month.
The rankings system
The current Test ranking – known as the ICC Test Championship – encapsulates top 10 Test nations.
In the 157 months since the current system's introduction Australia, (number one in three stretches totalling 81 months or over 51 percent of the time), South Africa (thrice, totalling 42 months) and India (twice, totalling 21 months) have primarily outshone.
Pakistan, however, featured as a top team for only two months nearly three decades ago.
In the 1952-2003 period, Pakistan was retrospectively rated the top side during August-September 1988.
The ICC recently applied its current rating system to results going back to 1952, prior to which the data available is deemed insufficient for calculation purposes due to the infrequency of matches and the small number of competing teams.