It’s here again after four years of waiting, one of the most prestigious tournaments in Cricket organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), The ICC Champions Trophy.
Previously known as the ICC Knock Out Tournament, it was originally designed to hold every two years after it’s maiden edition in 1998 and since then has metamorphosed into a four-year competition with a change in format and name, now called the ICC Champions Trophy.
The sharp and short tournament which promises to deliver top cricketing action this year in the United Kingdom features Two-time champions : India (2002, 2013) and Australia (2006, 2009), One-time winners : South Africa (1998), New Zealand (2000) and Sri Lanka (2002) and nations yet to win the trophy : England, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The competition is set to hold between 1-18 June this year with all 8 teams vying for a place in the finals at The Oval, London, England.
The ICC recently confirmed the squads which will be taking part in the upcoming event.
AUSTRALIA : Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (WK) and Adam Zampa.
BANGLADESH : Masrafe Mortaza (captain), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan Miraj, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sanjamul Islam, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarker, Tamim Iqbal and Taskin Ahmed.
ENGLAND : Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (WK), Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.
INDIA : Virat Kohli (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Umesh Yadav.
NEW ZEALAND : Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi (WK), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.
PAKISTAN : Sarfraz Ahmad (captain and WK), Ahmad Shahzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz.
SOUTH AFRICA : AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock (WK), Faf du Plessis, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
SRI LANKA : Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Upul Tharanga.
Of all the returning players who will take part in the tournament, it will be a special one for Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik who joins the league of players to have participated in six ICC Champions Trophy tournaments which include: Ricky Ponting (Australia), Rahul Dravid (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis (both South Africa) and Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara (all Sri Lanka).
Also, it will be the first appearance for Aussie skipper, Steve Smith in the tournament as he leads one of the most successful teams in the tournament’s history.
Thanks for reading.