Cape Town, Feb 1: Pakistan’s surge to an unexpected series victory over currently top-ranked England in the United Arab Emirates with one match still to play has provided South Africa a chance to become No. 1 in Test cricket rankings reasonably early in 2012.
The Proteas may tour New Zealand shortly with an eye on roughly 1.4-million rands from the International Cricket Council for clinching the No.1 spot.
Certainly they will know, before they face the Black Caps in the first of three Tests in Dunedin from March 7 whether toppling England from their position is a realistic prospect.
For that to happen, South Africa must hope Pakistan complete a humiliating clean sweep over England (it is presently 2-0 to them with one further Test in Dubai to follow from Friday) and then set their sights on nothing less than a 3-0 outcome themselves when they tackle the Kiwis.
On April 1, the ICC provides US$175 000 to the team heading the Test rankings, and that could be the Proteas under those circumstances, difficult though the task obviously remains.
The side in second gets a lesser booty of US$75 000, Sport24 reports.
The top four in the rankings right now are: 1. England (rating 125); 2. South Africa 117; 3. India 111; 4. Australia 111. (ANI)