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England awarded Test mace

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Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann, whose figures of 6-106 sealed an innings-and-eight-run victory over India at the Kia Oval, poses with the Test mace

England were presented with the ICC Test mace after wrapping up a 4-0 series whitewash over India to confirm their position as the number one team in the Reliance ICC Test Rankings.

Andrew Strauss’ side were already guaranteed top spot after taking a 3-0 lead at Edgbaston but their innings-and-eight-run triumph at the Kia Oval this afternoon strengthened their position at number one.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and executive senior vice president - Reliance Communications Rod Riley were on hand to present the England team with the award as they became only the fourth team, after Australia, South Africa and India, to go to the summit of the Test rankings.

Lorgat said: “I know England were determined to be number one and through careful planning and a series of clinical performances, they have deservedly achieved their goal.

“They were clearly the most consistent side in the world over the past few years as evidenced by their determination to complete their series victory here at the Oval.

“This achievement is just reward for the hard work from all the players and team management and the England and Wales Cricket Board and they no doubt will celebrate being on top of the world. It was a privilege to be here at the Oval to join a full house to watch another riveting day of Test match cricket.”

Strauss was overjoyed with the feat and he said: “We are delighted to be number one in the Reliance ICC Test Rankings and to have achieved that position with such a comprehensive series success.

“This has been a real team effort and everyone of the players, management and back up staff deserve great credit. Becoming number one in the world was our stated ambition two and a half years ago and even though we have achieved that objective we will continue to look to build on this success."

Sanjay Behl, group head – brand & marketing, Reliance Communications added: “Reliance congratulates the England cricket team on achieving the number one ranking in the Reliance ICC Test Championship table.

“Skipper Andrew Strauss and his boys have demonstrated a hunger to succeed and tremendous consistency over the past two years in the toughest format of the game and have deservedly emerged as the best Test-playing team in the world.

“The England cricket team’s coronation as the world’s best Test team earns them the Reliance ICC Test mace. The Test mace is the symbol of their supremacy in the Test match arena.

“We at Reliance wish the England team the very best for the games ahead. We also look forward to the next few months where the fight to be the number one Test team intensifies with India, Sri Lanka and South Africa all playing series and looking to close the gap on England.”

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