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MENAFN - Arab News - 01/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Sydney: australia returned to the top of the test rankings for the first time since august 2009 on thursday after sweeping an ashes series and beating previous incumbents south africa in their own backyard over the last six months.

the proteas who had topped the rankings since displacing england in august 2012 slipped below australia after the results from the 2010-11 season were dropped from the calculations.

the australians have also retained their top ranking in one-day internationals ahead of india who have fallen from third to fifth in the test rankings behind the top two nations as well as england and pakistan.

'we are incredibly proud to be the number-one ranked team in the world in both test and odi cricket which are two of the team's most important goals" said australia captain michael clarke.

'there has been an enormous amount of hard work and effort on and off the field that has led to this result.

'however the true test of a great side is sustained success and now our goal is to maintain these rankings and continue to play great cricket as we lead into challenging test series against pakistan and india and the icc cricket world cup at home." australia topped the rankings from their inauguration in 2003 to 2009 before being displaced briefly by south africa with india (2009-2011) and england (2011-2012) then ruling the roost.

gooch sacked

graham gooch was on thursday dismissed from his role as england batting coach the england and wales cricket board (ecb) announced.

gooch who has held the job full-time since march 2012 said he was 'sad" after becoming the first casualty of the new england era under returning head coach peter moores.

'after discussions with (captain) alastair cook he informed me that he was in favor of change" he said in an ecb statement.

'although this was sad news i respect his and new coach peter moores right to implement this change of direction.

'in my opinion alastair is the right man to captain england he commands respect and will always put his body on the line for his country.

'he will face many challenges and have many more tough decisions to make before his journey ends. over the last decade or so he has been the ultimate professional to work with and it has been an honor to see him develop." gooch who began working as a consultant batting coach with england in november 2009 was praised as 'an outstanding coach" by paul downton managing director england cricket.

'graham's record as a player speaks for itself but as a coach his ability to mentor and develop players has helped england achieve a huge amount in recent years" said downton.

'i have no doubt that we will continue to see his influence on this current generation of england players and future generations can learn a lot from his passion and dedication to the game.

'in the past few years graham has developed exceptional and successful professional relationships with several england batsmen which i will encourage him to maintain."

bowden returns

billy bowden has returned to the icc elite panel of umpires replacing new zealand compatriot tony hill.

the icc said in a statement on thursday that bowden is the only change to the list of elite umpires for the year 2014-15.

hill stepped down from the panel earlier this year after becoming umpires coach for new zealand cricket.

the 12-member elite panel of umpires consists of aleem dar billy bowden kumar dharmasena steve davis marais erasmus ian gould richard illingworth richard kettleborough nigel llong bruce oxenford paul reiffel and rod tucker.

bowden known for his eccentric signaling style has officiated in 76 test matches 189 one-day internationals and 21 twenty20s and has previously served on elite panel in between 2003-13.


 






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