The International Cricket Council (ICC) will present the ICC Test Championship Mace to India captain Virat Kohli at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town at the conclusion of the South Africa tour. In a recent statement ICC wrote, “On behalf of the ICC, Cricket Hall of Famers Sunil Gavaskar of India and Graeme Pollock of South Africa will make the presentation immediately after the awards ceremony for the T20I series.”
India has regained the number one spot on the ICC Test Team Rankings and a prize of $ 1 million after their victory in the Johannesburg Test against South Africa last month, which ensures that no team can surpass them in the Test rankings at the 3 April cut-off date.
Virat Kohli and his men had arrived in South Africa on 124 points, with South Africa 13 points behind on 111 points. However, Virat Kohli’s men will return on 121 points as opposed to South Africa’s 115 points, which will be good enough for them to keep possession of the coveted ICC Test Championship mace for the second successive year.
Kohli had become the 10th skipper since 2002 to get his hands on the mace when he had received it from Sunil Gavaskar following the Indore Test against New Zealand in 2016. Had South Africa pulled off a 3-0 series win against India, then a win by 2-0 or better against Australia would have helped the Proteam to reclaim the mace they had last won in 2015.
Scenarios for ICC Test mace
Now, South Africa will have to win at least one Test against Australia to retain second place in the Test table, which, in turn, will earn them $500,000. In this scenario, Australia will pocket $200,000 for a third-place finish. However, if Australia wins by 3-0 or 4-0, then they will leapfrog South Africa into second place.
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The winner of the two-Test New Zealand versus England series, which will also be played in March, will decide the side that finishes fourth on the table and will take the prize money of $100,000. A drawn series will mean New Zealand will finish ahead of England.
The cut-off for this year has been pushed forward to 3 April, which is the final day of the four-Test series between South Africa and Australia in Johannesburg, as well as last day of the two-Test series between New Zealand and England in Christchurch.