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Top ranking reflects our conduct: Dhoni

Top ranking reflects our conduct: Dhoni
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Criticised for maintaining a stoic silence on the IPL spot-fixing scandal, India skipper MS Dhoni said on Monday the number one ranking in ODIs brings with it certain respect in the way the players ‘conduct themselves’ on the field.

‘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,’ Dhoni said after winning the ICC ODI shield. In a simple ceremony at the Swalec Stadium here, former ICC president David Morgan presented Dhoni a silver salver and a cheque for USD 175,000.

The brief ceremony took place a few metres away from where the Indians were training ahead of tomorrow’s warm-up match against Australia here. ‘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. 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, they won eight out of 13 ODIs while losing five ODIs. 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,’ he said.

‘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. Im sure that Mahendra and his team will be looking forward to maintaining their rank at the top of this format.’ 

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