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Update: India retain ICC Test championship mace
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India retained the ICC Test Championship mace and pocketed a cash prize money of USD 1 million for ensuring they finish at the top of the Test rankings on the cut-off date of April 1, 2017 following their 2-1 series win against Australia.

The Virat Kohli-led side came into the final leg of its home season, needing at least one win against Australia to be assured of holding on to its top spot at the cut-off date. The ranking was sealed following India's victory in Bengaluru and their lead at the top further fortified after the eight-wicket triumph in Dharamsala on Tuesday (March 28).

"Being presented with the Test championship mace last year was an exhilarating experience and the feeling is no different this time," said Kohli, who received the mace from former India captain Sunil Gavaskar.

"I'd like to both congratulate and thank everyone who has been part of this success. This includes not only all the players who have been in the squad but also the team management and support staff, without whom we could not have done so well. It has not been an easy journey but all the hard work has been worth it. We have maintained our position with some really good cricket in recent months. The team has shown the tenacity to bounce back from difficult situations," Kohli added.

The battle for the second spot in the rankings and a prize money of USD 500,000 is still up for grabs, with South Africa needing to atleast force a draw against New Zealand on the final day in Hamilton to hold on to their slot, failing which Australia will claim that honour.

On an individual front, star Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bagged the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the ICC Cricketer of the Year for 2016. Ashwin, picked up 48 wickets and contributed 336 runs in eight Tests in the period between September 14, 2015 and September 20, 2016.

Meanwhile, India's cricketers enjoyed more financial rewards for their successful home season, with the BCCI offering a cash bonus of INR 50 lakhs to each player. The head coach and the support staff will receive INR 25 lakhs and 15 lakhs respectively on a pro rata basis.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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