Dhoni receives ODI Championship Shield
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday received the prestigious Reliance ICC ODI Championship Shield and a cheque of US$175,000 for leading his side to the top of the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table on the annual 1 April cut-off date.
This is the first time since the current ranking system was introduced in 2002 that India has finished as the number-one ranked ODI side on the 1 April cut-off date.
David Morgan, former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), presented the Shield to Dhoni, who also collected the cheque of US$175,000 from Pramod Garg, Financial Controller – Reliance GlobalCom Europe (VP), after India’s training session at the Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff.
A happy Dhoni said: “I am very proud of this huge achievement, as being number-one is a reward for all of us, but hopefully it is just the beginning.
“Being number-one in the world brings with it a certain respect for the game itself and for the way in which we play the game and conduct ourselves on the field.
“You have to be consistent to be ranked number-one and I think we have reached that level of consistency over a period of time. We have performed very well and I am very proud of what the guys have achieved,’’ said Dhoni.
India had claimed the number-one spot from England after winning the series 3-2 in January, and, in the 12-month period between 1 April 2012 and 1 April 2013, it won eight out of 13 ODIs while losing five ODIs.
Former ICC President Mr David Morgan said: “This ODI Shield is recognition of excellence. This is the first time that India has been the top ODI side at the 1 April cut-off date. I want to congratulate India for its dedication and for the ability to entertain us all. I wish the team all the best for the coming year.
“The importance of the Reliance ICC ODI Shield should be celebrated as this is the ICC Cricket World Cup format. To finish as the number-one ranked ODI side in addition to being the defending champion of ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, is a wonderful achievement.
“India will no doubt, therefore, enter the ICC Champions Trophy as one of the sides to watch out for. There could not have been a better fillip for India as it heads into the tournament featuring the eight best ODI sides. I’m sure that Mahendra and his team will be looking forward to maintaining their rank at the top of this format.”
Gurdeep Singh, President & CEO, Wireless Business, Reliance Communications, said: “We congratulate MS Dhoni and his boys for claiming the number-one slot on the Reliance ICC ODI Championship Table.
“The team has put in tremendous effort to succeed in this format of the game and gain the top position in the rankings. Reliance Group wishes the Indian team the very best for the ICC Champions Trophy, and we look forward to other teams coming back strong, making the Reliance ICC ODI Championship Table even more competitive and entertaining.”