New Delhi: Following India’s washed out Test series against West Indies and the relentless defeat of Australia at the hands of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, for the first time, has reached No. 1 in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test rankings.

Last week, Pakistan had risen to No. 2 after drawing against England 2-2 when Australia was defeated 3-0 in Sri Lanka. Incidentally, India had moved to No. 1 Test rankings and needed to hold out West Indies in the final test. But due to weather and other issues, the match had to be abandoned.

But Pakistan’s rise to the top has not been an easy task. The backbone of their rise to the top has been a run of unbeaten Test series since August 2014 when they were slumped at No. 6 in the rankings. They had beaten Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia and pulled a draw against the Test series with New Zealand.

“There is no greater feeling than to achieve the No. 1 ranking in the most traditional and purest format of the sport. This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their careers. It is a reward for something we had planned as a group a few years ago and have worked extremely hard to achieve it,” said Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

“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 No. 1 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,” Misbah said. 

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