“The ICC Champions Trophy is a tournament Pakistan has never won."
The ICC Champions Trophy cricket tournament takes place in England and Wales from 01 to 18 June 2017.
The tournament will include 15 One-Day International (ODI) matches in total. Each ODI game is fifty overs aside.
The top eight teams from the world will participate in the 8th edition of the Champion Trophy. All the teams have selected their best 15-man squads.
In the event of any medical issues, teams can request a change in their squad subject to approval from the event technical committee.
This time round West Indies is missing from the competition. The Caribbean side failed to finish in the top eight of the ICC ODI rankings at the cut off point on 30 September 2015.
All matches will be played across London, Birmingham and Cardiff.
Edgbaston and Sophia Gardens will host the semi-finals on 14 and 15 June 2017. Meanwhile Oval stages the final on 18 June 2017.
Watch the Official Promo for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy here:
In a round robin format, the teams are split into two pools of four. Group A consists of England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. South Africa join Asian giants India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Group B.
The group A match will see Australia taking on neighbours New Zealand in what could be a fascinating match on 02 June 2017 at Edgbaston in Birmingham
The marquee clash in group B is between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on 04 June 2017 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Australia versus Bangladesh in Group A at Oval on June 05 and the Pakistan-South Africa match at Edgbaston on June 07 are the only two-day night games of the tournament.
The top two teams from both groups will progress to the knockout stage of the tournament. The winners of both semi-finals will contest the final. A reserve day is available for the final in case of bad weather.
Fifty days prior to the tournament, the ICC had unveiled eight champion ambassadors for this event.
The names announced included: Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Habibul Bashar (Bangladesh), Ian Bell (England) Shane Bond (New Zealand), Mike Hussey (Australia), Harbhajan Singh (India), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) and Graeme Smith (South Africa).
With the 18-day tournament just around the corner, DESIblitz takes a closer look at the eight teams:
ODI World Champions Australia tend to perform well in ICC tournaments. They won the 2006 and 2011 editions of this event, defeating West Indies and England in the finals.
One of the surprise omission from their squad is that of all-rounder James Faulkner. Led by Steven Smith, Australia have definitely missed a trick by not selecting Usman Khawaja.
The team has a good composition with David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc in the side.
After playing their first Champions Trophy in 2006, Bangladesh make a return to this event after 11 years.
Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah are vital batsmen for The Tigers. Mashrafe Mortaza will lead the side, which features the experienced All-Rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
The bowling is packed with some exciting young players including Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehedi Hasan.
Hosts England will be familiar with conditions at home. In the 2013 final against India, they lost the match after needing 6 runs of the last ball.
Eoin Morgan’s young exciting side has the perfect blend in all departments. They have 5-6 players who can change the course of a match in their favour, especially Alex Hales, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Jos Butler.
England can expect a lot of support from the home crowd.
With India having won the competition in 2013 under MS Dhoni, they are the defending champions for this tournament.
The Men in Blue co-shared the trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002 as the match rained out twice. Besides skipper Virat Kohli, they have a number of players who can single handily win the match for them.
Giving his nod of approval, former captain and commentator Ravi Shastri tweeted out saying:
“Well done selectors. Good strong Indian team for Champions Trophy #TeamIndia #CT.”
The Kiwis have recalled fast bowlers Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan to the squad following lengthy injury layoffs. Medium pacer Tim Southee should get help from the English wickets.
Spinner Jeetan Patel will have an important role to play after the retirement of Daniel Vettori. Captain Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor are the main batsmen for New Zealand.
Sarfaraz Ahmed leads a Pakistan side, which is fragile in batting. The bowling attack is their main asset. All eyes will be on young leg-spinner Shadab Khan who has quickly made a name for himself.
Pakistan should have selected All-Rounder Aamer Yamin to bolster the lower order. Speaking about the team and their approach, Boom Boom Shahid Afridi advised saying:
“The ICC Champions Trophy is a tournament Pakistan has never won. It is in a tough group alongside India, South Africa and Sri Lanka, but instead of being overawed by the sides ranked above it, Pakistan should keep faith in its abilities and try to enjoy every time they take the field.”
South Africa has a prolific team as always, with a good mix of batsmen, bowlers and fielders. But can they overcome the tag of being the chokers of cricket.
This all depends if they are able to keep control their nerves in the big matches. South Africa have selected uncapped spinner Keshav Maharaj who is yet to play an ODI for the Proteas.
He can play a vital role alongside leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Ace batsman AB De Villiers skippers the side, with key players Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, David Miller and Wayne Parnell in the squad.
Angelo Mathews captains the Islanders. His experience and all round skills will boost the morale of the team. Fast bowler Lasith Malinga is also in the team as he returns from a long-term injury.
Sri Lanka has picked a squad with young players. Opener Upal Tharanga, along with Thisara Perera and Dinesh Chandimal are important players for the team.
The tournament will be broadcast LIVE across Online, Radio and TV channels worldwide. Sky Sports is the official broadcaster for the United Kingdom.
4.5 Million US Dollars is the total prize money allocated for this tournament. Each team will receive a minimum of 60,000 US dollars as their participation fee.
The winners will collect 2.2 Million US Dollars, whilst the runners-up are guaranteed a cheque of 1.1 Million US Dollars.
The ICC Champions trophy carnival of cricket kicks off with the first match between England and Bangladesh taking place on 01 June 2017.