Melbourne, June 13 (IBNS) ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat on Wednesday presented Cricket Australia's Chief Executive James Sutherland with the Reliance ICC ODI Shield at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in recognition of Australia being ranked the number one team in the World Cup format of 50-over cricket.
Sutherland also received the prize-money cheque of US$175,000 from Tim Sullivan, Managing Director Australia NZ for Reliance Globalcom.
Lorgat, while congratulating Michael Clarke and his team for retaining the number one ranking, said: "In the past twenty years the Australian team has maintained an amazing grip on the Reliance ICC ODI Shield. They have simply dominated the 50 over format and show no signs of relinquishing their crown.
"This is the third successive year that Australia has been the top ODI side and indeed their dominance stretches back to 2002. Only in 2008 and 2009, when South Africa pushed them into second place, has Australia not been the number one side at the 1 April cut-off date."
"The importance of the Reliance ICC ODI Shield should be celebrated as this is the ICC Cricket World Cup format. It is no coincidence that Australia won successive World Cups in 2003 and 2007 during a period when they virtually owned the Shield.
"With the next ICC Cricket World Cup being hosted in Australia and New Zealand, I'm sure that Michael and his team will be looking forward to maintaining their rank at the top of this format," he said.
"The last ICC Cricket World Cup showed the fantastic support and enthusiasm for this format of the game - the 50-over World Cup format. I am positive that the recent ICC Cricket Committee suggested changes will make this format even more attractive."
Australia captain Michael Clarke said ahead of his team's departure for a One-Day International series in England: "We've been ranked number one in ODI cricket for some time now and have a well-balanced side that competes in any conditions.
"We are always looking to improve and we head to the UK tomorrow to take on England and Ireland in this form of the game. The series against England will be a great challenge for us - the number one ranked ODI team against the number one ranked Test team in English conditions."
Cricket Australia's James Sutherland added his congratulations to Michael Clarke's team saying: "In three years Australia and New Zealand will host the ICC Cricket World Cup and I'm delighted that it is in this form of the game Australia is again ranked number one in the world.
"Our research tells us Australian fans love ODI cricket and we have some exciting, young talent that will ensure the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will inspire a generation of cricket fans across the world."
Sanjay Behl, Group Head - Brand & Marketing, Reliance Communications, said: "Through the rankings system, we believe that Reliance Mobile can play an important role in recognizing the pool of the superb cricketing talent that exists, give them the deserved prominence and thus contribute to the development of the overall sport," he added.