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10 little known facts about ICC Champions Trophy

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The ICC Champions Trophy, with India captain Virat Kohli in the background ©AFP

10 little known facts about ICC Champions Trophy :-  The ICC tournament, Champions Trophy 2017, gets under way in England from June 01, 2017. After enacting a high drama, “Will they / Wont’ they?”, BCCi finally (and quite rightly so) decided to send Team India to play in the same.

India have sent a 15-member squad for the tourn ament led by Virat Kohli.

The original 15 : Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Ashwin R, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami

However, with Manish Pandey going down with injury, Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik, who was kept as standby, got into the squad.

Let us take a look at 10 significant facts about the tournament:

1. The tournament was initially inaugurated as ICC Knockout Tournament way back in 1998 and was rechristened as Champions’ Trophy in 2002.

2. ICC’s full members initially took part in the tournament. However, between 2000 and 2004, the Associate Teams also participated. But from 2009 only the eight high-ranked teams as per ICC grading, six months prior to the tournament, have been battling it out for the title.

3. Since commencement and upto 2006, the tournament was played once in every two years. But the 2008 edition had to be postponed and shifted from Pakistan to South Africa in 2009, due to security reasons. Since then the tournament is held once in every four years.

4. The tournament which is also known as ‘mini world cup’ is played over a period of a fortnight while the World Cup is a month-long affair.

5. Prior to the commencement of 2013 edition, the cricket’s parent body ICC had announced scrapping of this tournament post 2013 games and replacing it with a new ICC World Test Championship. However, in January 2014, the decision was reversed.

6. South Africa won the inaugural edition in 1998. India won the title in 2002 and 2013. However, in 2002, they were joint winners alongwith Sri Lanka. India also ended as ‘runners-up’ in 2000.

Australia won in 2006 and 2009, while West Indies lifted the trophy in 2004.

While New Zealand were the winners in 2000, Sri Lanka were declared joint winners alongwith India in 2002.

England, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the full members of ICC, have never won the title. England came closest to winning it in 2004 and 2013, but ended as ‘runners-up’.

Pakistan reached the semi final stage in 2000, 2004 and 2009. While Zimbabwe managed to enter the quarter final stage in 2000, Bangladesh had to remain content with a 9th rank in the qualifying round in 2006, as their best outing.

7. Kyle Mills has been the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, bagging 28 wickets from 15 games at an average of 17.25 while the retired Sri Lankan legend, Muthiah Muralitharan comes a close second with 24 scalps from 17 outings.

Another Sri Lankan, Lasith Malinga is the third on the list picking up 22 wickets from 13 games at an average of 26.68 while the yesteryear Aussie speedster, Brett Lee also has the identical number of wickets from 16 games. The Aussie legend, Glenn McGrath, with 21 wickets from 12 games at an average of 19.61 is in the fifth position.

8. The hard-hitter mighty West Indian, Chris Gayle leads the ‘top scorers’ table with a tally of 791 runs at an average of 52.73 from 17 innings (unbeaten on 2 occasions) with an unbeaten 133* as his personal best.

The Sri Lankan legend, Mahela Jayawardane, comes a close second with 742 runs at an average of 41.22 from 21 games (unbeaten thrice) with an individual best of an unbeaten 84* runs.

The third slot is occupied by the most successful Sri Lankan, wicket-keeper-batsman, Kumara Sangakkara who has aggregated 683 runs, playing in 21 innings (thrice unbeaten) with his best score of an unbeaten 134* runs.

Former Indian skipper, Saurav Ganguly, having accumulated 665 runs from 11 innings (twice unbeaten) at an impressive average of 73.88 with his personal best score of an unbeaten 141* runs, occupies the fourth spot.

South African legendary all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, with a tally of 653 runs from 17 appearances (unconquered thrice) at an average of 46.64 with a personal best of an unbeaten 113* runs, completes the list of Top 5 run-getters.

9. ‘Player of the tournament’ was won by Jacques Kallis in 1998, Ramnaresh Sarwan in 2004, Chris Gayle in 2006, Ricky Ponting in 2009 and Shikhar Dhawan in 2013. However this was ‘not awarded’ in the editions of 2000 and 2002.

10. The eighth edition of the tournament will be played between 01 June 2017 and 18 June 2017. The participating teams are England, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India and Pakistan.

The games will be played at three venues. They are London, Birmingham and Cardiff.         

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