Strauss handed Test mace

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Captain Andrew Strauss received the prestigious International Cricket Council Test Championship mace today after leading England to the top of the table on the annual cut-off date of April 1.

Chairman of the ICC cricket committee and former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd presented the mace to Strauss, who also collected a cheque of US$175,000 in a ceremony that was staged at Coronation Garden at Lord’s and attended by ECB chief executive David Collier.

At the presentation, Strauss said: “We are proud to be presented with the ICC Test Championship mace again in recognition of retaining our position as the number-one ranked Test side in the world.

“However, everyone involved in the current England set up remains fully motivated and determined to continue working hard as there is still a great deal more we want to achieve over the coming months and years.”

Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss is presented with the ICC Test Championship mace today after England topped the table on the April 1 cut-off date

Lloyd, a World Cup winner with West Indies in 1975 and 1979, said: “The mace is a symbol of excellence and recognition of a side’s outstanding achievement in the toughest and most traditional format of the game.

“England have all the reasons to be proud of its feat as it is only the third team after Australia and India to hold the mace when the annual prize money is handed out.

“Test cricket remains the pinnacle form of the game and to further recognise the achievements of the leading teams, an increased total of US $3.8m in prize money will be shared among the top four sides in the next three years, including a distribution of US$1.2million at the April 1 2013 cut-off date with number-one receiving US$450,000.

“We are also looking forward to the road to the inaugural World Test Championship starting in 2013, from which time every Test match will count towards determining who takes part in the finals event in 2017,” said Mr Lloyd.

England need to win the three-Test series against the Windies, which starts from tomorrow, if they are to stay at the top of the ICC Test Championship table.

Strauss’ side are currently on equal points with South Africa but are ranked above the Proteas as the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point. However, if England are held to a drawn series, then they will slip behind Graeme Smith’s team into second position.

In the scenario of a 0-0 or 1-1 series result, England will drop to 114 ratings points – two behind South Africa, who will be arriving in England next month for a three-Test series.

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