New Delhi, Oct 26 : Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been presented with the ICC ODI Championship shield following his team's move to the top of the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship table.
Australia, which slipped behind South Africa into second place just before the 1 April cut-off following the Proteas' 3-0 victory over Bangladesh, had regained the top spot after defeating the West Indies in the opening game of the five-match ODI series in St Vincent in June.
The shield was presented to Ponting today in New Delhi by the ICC's Principal Advisor Inderjit Bindra ahead of the third Test starting at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground from Wednesday 29 October.
Commenting on Australia's receipt of the ICC ODI Championship shield, Ponting said: "It's good for Australia to hold the ICC ODI Championship shield once again.
"Following our success in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007 we were challenged at the top of the rankings by a good South Africa team but we pride ourselves on improvement and I'm pleased that we've played well enough recently in ODI cricket to regain this prestigious award."
Bindra said: "For me Australia has always been an exciting side and is the worthy holder of the ICC ODI Championship shield as it has shown remarkable consistency in winning 25 of the 34 ODIs, with three no-results, since April 1, 2007. "Like last year, Australia narrowly missed out on the top slot at the cut-off, but it again came back strongly. It retained the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies last year and reclaimed the number-one position by making a clean sweep of the five-match series against the West Indies.
"This amazing ability to bounce back with high-quality performances has been the hallmark of this fantastic Australian side. It has proved time and time again what a dangerous opponent it is when it is trailing, be it in the rankings or in a series.
"I wish Ricky and his team-mates all the best in the remaining two Tests against India and in the series back home against New Zealand and South Africa," he added.
James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, said: "Regaining the ICC ODI Championship shield is something Cricket Australia is very proud of and is a strong indication of the team's consistency in the one-day format of the game for many years now.
"We will be looking to consolidate this position during the Commonwealth Bank Series' we will play against South Africa and New Zealand in early 2009, series that I'm sure will be closely fought against what is quality opposition."