London: As India's nearly 20-month reign as world's number one side formally came to an end, the ICC on Monday presented the Test Championship Mace to the Andrew Strauss-led England in recognition of their new status as the numero uno side in the five-day format.
Strauss received the mace after his team completed a 4-0 whitewash of India on the fifth day of the fourth and final Test at the Kennington Oval here.
"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," said ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat.
"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," he added.
Strauss and his team were presented with the mace by Lorgat and Rod Riley, executive senior vice-president in Reliance Communications, after England beat India by an innings and eight runs.
"We are delighted to be number one 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.
England are the fourth team after Australia, South Africa and India to achieve the number-one position on the Reliance ICC Test rankings table.
England had sealed the number-one position after taking an unbeatable 3-0 at Edgbaston but victory in the fourth Test not only strengthened their position at the top but also dropped India into third position with 117 ratings points, one behind second-placed South Africa.
The Championship table will now be updated at the end of Sri Lanka and Australia series which starts on Wednesday in Galle.