Pakistan have secured the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for the first time since the rankings were introduced in 2003. They dislodged arch-rivals India following India's washed out fourth Test against the West Indies.
The Men in Green were ranked No 2 last week, the second time in their history that they occupied such a high spot. The first time they took the position was when they beat England 2-0 in the UAE in November 2015.
Pakistan have had a brilliant run in the Test format over the past couple of years, with their No 1 ranking being built on a run of unbeaten Test series. Apart from their successes against England, they have beaten Sri Lanka 2-1 in the UAE, Bangladesh 1-0 in Bangladesh, and Australia 2-0 in the UAE. They also drew a series with New Zealand 1-1 in November 2014, a turbulent time for all involved due to the death of Australian batsman Philip Hughes.
"There is no greater feeling than to achieve the No 1 ranking in the most traditional and purest format of the sport. This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their careers. It is a reward for something we had planned as a group a few years ago and have worked extremely hard to achieve," skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
"For us the No 1 ranking is not a destination but part of a journey. Our long-term objective and strategy is to remain competitive, continue to challenge the top sides with good cricket and once again become the most followed side like the Pakistan teams of yesteryears," he added.
Pakistan host West Indies in the UAE next, after which they will travel to New Zealand in November and Australia in December for a couple of tough assignments.