Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) lauded England for becoming the No.1 Test side in the world.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, complimenting the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the England team, said: "On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and the whole team for becoming the number-one ranked Test team in the world."

"This achievement is just reward for the hard work from all the players and team management, and they no doubt will celebrate being on top of the world."

England emphatically claimed the No.1 ranking for the first time in 32 years after winning the Edgbaston Test by an innings and 242 runs which has also given it an impregnable 3-0 lead in the four-Test series. England started the series in third position behind South Africa and trailed top ranked India by eight ratings points.

Lorgat said England were determined to be No.1, and through careful planning and a series of clinical performances they have deservedly achieved their goal.

"They were clearly the most consistent side in the world over the past few years as evidenced by their 19 out of 30 Test wins and only four loses. This achievement is just reward for the hard work from all the players and team management and they no doubt will celebrate being on top of the world," said Lorgat.

England last surged to the top of the Test rankings in February 1979 when the then No.1 ranked West Indies lost a six-Test series in India by 0-1. However, the West Indies bounced back five months later to beat England 1-0 in a five-Test series to reclaim the number-one ranking.

Prior to this and since the 1950s, England had twice achieved No.1 rankings - from 1955 to 1959 and then from 1970 to 1973. In contrast, India had achieved the No.1 ranking in December 2009 after beating Sri Lanka 2-0 in the three-Test series.

If England win The Oval Test, they will finish on 125 ratings points while India will drop to third on 117 ratings points. However, if India win or draw the Test, they will stay ahead of South Africa in second position. A win will allow India to finish on 120 ratings points while a drawn Test will mean they will finish on 119 ratings points.

England's series results since May 2009:

England beat West Indies 2-0 (home)
England beat Australia 2-1 (home)
England drew 1-1 with South Africa (away)
England beat Bangladesh 2-0 (away)
England beat Bangladesh 2-0 (home)
England beat Pakistan 3-1 (home)
England beat Australia 3-1 (away)
England beat Sri Lanka 1-0 (home)
England lead India 3-0 (home)

(Agencies)