ICL: Indian Cricket League

ICC looks to underline importance of Champions Trophy


The International Cricket Council (ICC) used the launch of the 2006 Champions Trophy to try to quell suggestions that the event is not a priority for some teams after comments earlier this week that Australia might send a weakened side ahead of the Ashes which follows almost immediately.

“Don’t kid yourself,” Ehsan Mani, the ICC president, told the media announcing the schedule for the month-long tournament in New Delhi. “Australia have never won this tournament before and are determined to win this one. They will send their best team.”

India will take on England in the opening match on October 15 at Jaipur. Both have been drawn in Group A, a section which also features the three-time world champions Australia and one qualifier. Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and another qualifying team from Group B.

Despite being the holders, West Indies are one of four teams who will take part in a preliminary round-robin which starts on October 7 and will be played at all four of the venues. West Indies must take part in this stage because they were outside the top six teams in the ICC one-day rankings at the cut-off date of April 1.

Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are the other three sides, and the two best teams from the preliminary rounds will go through to the second stage.

All matches will be day-nighters, with the two semifinals to be played at Mohali on November 1 and Jaipur on November 2. The final will then be played at Mumbai on November 5.

The ICC expects to raise around $65 million from the tournament which will help fund non-Test nations.

Schedule: Preliminaries — Oct 7: Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Mohali. Oct 8: West Indies v Zimbabwe, Ahmedabad. Oct 10: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Ahmedabad. Oct 11: West Indies v Bangladesh, Jaipur. Oct 13: Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, Jaipur. Oct 14: Sri Lanka v West Indies, Mumbai.

Group stage — Oct 15: India v England, Jaipur. Oct 16: New Zealand v South Africa, Mumbai. Oct 17: Pakistan v Qualifier 1, Jaipur. Oct 18: Australia v Qualifier 2, Mumbai. Oct 20: New Zealand v Q1, Mumbai. Oct 21: Australia v England, Jaipur. Oct 24: South Africa v Q1, Ahmedabad. Oct 25: New Zealand v Pakistan, Mohali. Oct 26: India v Q2, Ahmedabad. Oct 27: Pakistan v South Africa, Mohali. Oct 28: England v Q2, Ahmedabad. Oct 29: India v Australia, Mohali. Nov 1: 1st Semifinal — A1 v B2, Mohali. Nov 2: 2nd Semifinal — B1 v A2, Jaipur. Nov 5: Final, Mumbai.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: ICC, Champions Trophy, Ashes, Australia

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