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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Champions Trophy ODI tournament .. at England..

The Nation was engrossed watching IPL; towards the end came the charges of match-fixing which keeps all TV channels busy… as usual – one channel screams ‘the Nation wants to know’…….as if he is sole representative of the Nation.  With calls for the ouster of BCCI President N Srinivasan rising to a crescendo, it appears that this is the only news of National importance, not even the killings at Chattisgarh; reports suggest that there will be cascade of  resignations to pile on the pressure on Srinivasan to quit.
For those genuinely following Cricket, there is an International fixture forthcoming…. 

The Champions Trophy … a 50 over match and not so many as IPL….. a total of 12 preliminary matches; 2 Semis and a final… starting June 6th and ending on 23rd June 2013.  The format is much simpler – 2 Groups:  Australia, Sri Lanka, England and Newzealand in Group A and India, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies in Group B.  They play within the group and top 2 proceed to Semis…

The tournament starts with India South Africa encounter at Cardiff  at 3 pm on 6th June; India V WI on June 11th  15 hrs IST; arch-rivals India Pakistan on 15th June at 15 hrs IST at Birmingham. For a win, the teams get 2; for Tie or No result 1.  In the event of teams finishing on equal points in its Group, the right to play in the semi-finals will be decided in the following order of priority:

•        The team with the more wins in the Group stage will be placed in the higher position.
•        If there are teams with equal points and equal wins in the Group stage then in such case the team with the higher net run rate in the Group stage will be placed in the higher position
•        If still equal, the team which was the winner of the head to head match played between them will be placed in the higher position.
•        In the highly unlikely event that teams cannot be separated by the above this will be done by drawing lots.
•        If all of the matches within a Group are a no result, the top two seeded teams will progress to the semi-finals.
If a semi-final is tied, the teams shall compete in a Super Over to determine which team progresses to the final. If following a tie, weather conditions prevent the Super Over from being completed, or if the match is a no result, then the Group winners shall progress to the Final.

The Champions Trophy was the brainchild of Jagmohan Dalmiya, who was ICC president in the late 1990s. It had a dual aim of spreading the game to emerging nations and raising money for the ICC in between World Cups, thus enabling it to pump more cash into those fledgling cricket countries. The first tournament, labelled as a mini World Cup, was staged in Dhaka in October 1998 and raised more than £10 million. The second, in Nairobi, was a commercial success although the crowds stayed away.

Surprisingly the team with the Chokers tag won the inaugural version in 1998-99- WI were the runners-up.  The 2nd in Kenya was won by New Zealand with India finishing 2nd. In the 3rd held at Sri Lanka, the hosts shared with India when both attempts to finish the final were washed out by tropical storms. ".  In the 4th at England in 2004, West Indies won.  In the 5th version it was held in India; Aussies won.  In the previous version held in  South Africa – Aussies won again.  This was intended to be played in Pakistan in Sept 2008 but  several countries expressed major concerns over security there and  the ICC was forced to postpone the tournament and then reschedule it a year later in South Africa.

Now comes the 7th version being played at England – only 8 Teams participating – still there would be nail-baiting finishes and perhaps the spectator can watch the match with a feeling that the hanging towels, stoppage in the run up; batsman suddenly adjusting the helmet….~ any other gesture of that sort is purely accidental and are in no way a sign to anybody else…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1st June 2013.

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