The second biggest ODI tournament – now in its EIGHTH edition – in World Cricket begins on the first day of June this year. Over the next 18 days, eight teams will play a total of 15 matches between them, before the Final is played at The Oval in London. The tournament is co-hosted by England and Wales – it is the third time England will be hosting the Champions Trophy (2004, 2013).
There will be two groups of four teams each – with Group A consisting of Australia, England, Bangladesh and New Zealand, and Group B consisting of India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Favourites: England (Captain: Eoin Morgan)
Defending Champions: India (Captain: Virat Kohli)
Back in 1998, when the tournament made its debut prior to the conventional 50-over World Cup, it was known as the “Mini World Cup” – the first edition of which was held in Bangladesh. Ironically, Bangladesh didn’t qualify for that tournament. It played in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 – back when this was a bicentennial tournament to fill in the gaps between World Cups.
This June, Bangladesh will make its fifth appearance at the tournament, after it edged out West Indies in the top 8 of the rankings. This will be the first time one of the traditional Test-playing nations, West Indies, hasn’t qualified for a mainstream ICC tournament of this status. They are ninth in the ODI rankings.
Here are some quick facts about the Champions Trophy:
1 – This is the only multi-nation ICC tournament South Africa has ever won, and the only one in which it has reached a Final. It won the inaugural edition in 1998. This is also the only ICC tournament New Zealand has won (2000), when it defeated India in the Final held in Kenya.
5 – South Africa is the only team to have reached 5 semifinals.
3 – only India and West Indies have reached three finals each. India has won 1 (2013), shared 1 (2004, with Sri Lanka) and lost 1 (2000). West Indies has won 1 (2004), lost 2 (1998, 2006).
0 – Pakistan is the only top Test team to have reached zero Finals. The others being Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Kenya and USA (yes, USA played two matches of the 2004 edition). England has reached two finals (2004, 2013), both at home, and won none.
2 – India and Australia are the only teams to have won this twice.
15 – number of matches won by India across editions, the highest so far by any team. West Indies and Sri Lanka have won 13 each.
1 – only Shane Watson has won the Man of the Match in the final in two editions, consecutively in 2006 and 2009 when Australia won. Australia is the only team to have a 100% record in finals played.
3 – number of times an Indian has top scored in the tournament (Sourav Ganguly in 2000, Virender Sehwag in 2002 and Shikhar Dhawan in 2013). Dhawan is the only Indian to have won the Man of the Tournament award so far.
791 – number of runs scored by Chris Gayle across the 5 editions he has played in, the highest individual total so far
12 – number of wickets picked by Ravindra Jadeja in the 2013 edition, the highest of the tournament. 13 – number of countries to have played the Champions Trophy at least once