Melbourne:Australia's long reign as world's best Test team may not be over yet but the ICC has taken back the Championship Trophy to Dubai to present it after the series in South Africa starting next month.
Australia's last-gasp victory against the Proteas in the final Test in Sydney kept them in the number one spot, which they can lose when they made a return tour of South Africa.
Instead of waiting until the conclusion of the series, the ICC has decided to take back the Test Championship trophy in anticipation that it could change hands.
Cricket Australia has been forced to return the ICC Test Champion trophy to Dubai after holding it for all eight years of its existence - apart from four months in 2003 when South Africa briefly claimed it.
CA's new office in Melbourne was designed around the gold and silver mace-shaped trophy speckled with jewels but the $150,000 trophy is now adorning the Dubai office of the ICC.
"We have held it ever since the ICC Test rankings were introduced in May 2001, so apart from the four months in 2003 it's been with us," said CA spokesman Peter Young.
"Our building was designed around the trophy. We are most certainly planning to bring it back with us from South Africa. If that does not eventuate we may have to get some Polyfilla and fill the space in our foyer," he was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.