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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Biggest battle Of Cricket ICC Champions Trophy 2009.....!!!

The ICC Champions Trophy 2009 is a 2nd biggest cricket tournament scheduled to take place in South Africa in September-October 2009. It will be the sixth mini world cricket series. The ICC Champions Trophy 2009 will be contested by 8 Test teams which have been 'seeded' and divided into two groups are A and B.

Group A - India, Pakistan, West Indies and Australia

Group B - South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England

Looking at the groups, one can clearly say that Group A has stronger teams and Group B has two weaker teams. One can also predict two semi finalists. It can be South Africa and Sri Lanka from Group B.

In total there will 15 Matches, It includes 12 Group Matches, 2 Semi Finals, Final. Initially Each team of a Group will play against the Team in the same group. After 12 Group matches, 4 Teams will be out of contention and 4 Teams will go to “Semi Finals”

  full-strength Windies squad

West Indies could yet field a full-strength squad at the Champions Trophy, with the ICC willing to accept a "revised" line-up in the event the industrial relations dispute between the board and the players is resolved. Despite setting an August 11 deadline for national boards to nominate their 15-man squads for the Champions Trophy, the ICC has advised the WICB it would take into account the exceptional circumstances brought on by the labour dispute and allow the likes of Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin and Shivnarine Chanderpaul to play at the tournament.

For that to happen, the WICB and the players would need to end their stand-off before West Indies' tournament opener against Pakistan at the Wanderers Ground on September 23. The recent breakdown in mediation talks between the two parties raised fears of a damaging and protracted split, although WIPA's announcement this week that it would accept CARICOM's six-point resolution plan may yet mark a turning point in the labour crisis.

Both the ICC and its broadcast partner, ESPN STAR Sports, have impressed upon the WICB their desire for a full-strength West Indies team to compete at the eight-team, two-week tournament in South Africa. The Champions Trophy has been criticised in the past for lacking context and prestige in an already crowded international calendar, and the ICC is hopeful the streamlined format - and the $4 million prize purse - will reinvigorate the appetite of both the players and the public for the embattled tournament and the 50-over game in general.

A weakened West Indies squad is hardly in keeping with that ambition. The WICB controversially named a second-string squad for the Champions Trophy while locked in mediation talks with WIPA - a move criticised by Bharrat Jagdeo, the Guyanese president CARICOM chairman, and Sir Shridath Ramphal, the former Commonwealth secretary-general and CARICOM-appointed mediator - but an ICC source told Cricinfo hope remained that an 11th-hour settlement would allow West Indies to field their elite squad.

The ICC has played a behind-the-scenes role in the WICB-WIPA dispute, although Haroon Lorgat, the council's chief executive, would not be drawn on the specifics of their involvement. He did, however, call upon the West Indian board to restore senior players to the Champions Trophy squad; a move that would enhance the tournament's objective of pitting the best versus the best.

"We would be disappointed if the best team is not taken to South Africa, but we understand the complex situation that exists," Lorgat told Cricinfo. "The West Indies have the unfettered right to select whomever they choose."

Any move to return their elite players to the field would present the WICB with a sizeable logistical and cost issue. The Floyd Reifer-led West Indies squad have already arrived in South Africa and played two practice matches against provincial sides. The bulk of those players would presumably be recalled to the Caribbean should the path be cleared for the Windies' striking cricketers to return - a scenario the cash-strapped board could do without.

But there is much at stake - not least the desire of ESPN Star Sports to protect its reported $1.1 billion broadcast deal with the ICC through to 2015. Manu Sawhney, ESPN Star Sport's managing director, delivered a veiled criticism of West Indies' current stance by stating his hope that "the unique position of the ICC Champions Trophy in the international cricket calendar will remain intact with the full participation of best available squads from all the competing teams."

"We firmly believe that the ICC Champions Trophy should be a premium international event where the best players from the top cricketing nations compete for the honours and are confident that the ICC and the cricketing community in general shares that belief," Sawhney told Cricinfo.

"As highlighted by you, lately there have been concerns regarding West Indies that have been raised in the media. As ICC's leading commercial partners, we continually maintain a dialogue with the ICC on various aspects of our relationship. However, it is our policy not to publicly comment on such discussions. We are proud of our association with the ICC and very much value this relationship." 
A Buddhist monk gives his blessings to Kumar Sangakkara, Colombo, September 16, 2009

A Buddhist monk pours water into Thilan Samaraweera's hands during a ceremony at Sri Lanka Cricket's headquarters, Colombo, September 16, 2009


Champions Trophy will prove ODIs belong - Haroon Lorgat

The ICC is confident that the Champions Trophy in South Africa will prove that 50-over cricket remains a relevant format in cricket's shifting worldscape of greater financial reward and less time.

The tournament begins in Johannesburg on September 22, amid increasing questions about its significance in the game. The ECB has scrapped its domestic 50-over tournament and the ongoing ODI series between Australia and England has been widely derided in England as a poor afterthought; South Africa, according to the ICC's cricket manager Dave Richardson, may be toying with the idea of a four-innings format domestically, where each team bats twice, an idea that has found favour with Sachin Tendulkar, one of 50-over cricket's greatest batsmen. The ICC itself may look at the idea and some, like Anil Kumble, suggest making it a 40-over game. Others have called for scrapping the format altogether.

But the ICC believes a shorter, sharper Champions Trophy can prove that reports of ODI cricket's death have been exaggerated. "In the context of 50-over cricket this is an important tournament," Haroon Lorgat, chief executive ICC, said in a teleconference.

"It reminds me of a year ago when people were talking about the death of Test cricket, with no crowds being there and so on. Similarly with the ODI, I think we are maybe running ahead of ourselves. Look at England where there is a lot of interest still in the ODI series despite England being so far behind Australia, crowds are still turning up. Similarly in the recent tri-series in Sri Lanka. We will see here, with the Champions Trophy, that there is a place for the ODI format in cricket."

The glut of ODIs, rather than the format itself, is often seen as the real problem. Though there is little the ICC can do about bilateral arrangements for seven-match ODIs and hastily-arranged tri-series, members have been told to keep in mind the problems of excess in the ongoing discussions to shape a new FTP. "These arrangements are made bilaterally by members," Lorgat said. "But in the current FTP discussions we always talk to members of the importance of a balance [between the formats]. We're mindful and cognisant of it. The current FTP is a work in progress and we need to be aware of the balance during that."

Lorgat also suggested that there will not be too much tinkering with the format or introduction of innovations until the cricket committee gets together next May. "From an innovations point of view, we're always looking for new, exciting things. The batting Powerplay is a good example but we do not want to do too many things too quickly. Between the Champions Trophy and the 2011 World Cup, we are more in the mindset of retaining the format. Experts are in place on the cricket committee but I think we can leave it till next May."

The confidence within the ICC about the future of ODIs stems in part from the belief that they may finally, after years of trying, have hit on the right formula for the much-decried Champions Trophy. The event is much more streamlined than past editions, with only eight teams, all based at one venue. "We recognised that the tournament needed a bit of refreshing and relevance to ensure that it is a best of the best. We have made it a destination event where teams and everyone can settle in at one location for the whole event beginning to end and there is no routine of practice, play and fly again."

There is also greater prize money at stake and the lesser number of teams means most games will have something at stake. "There is differentiation in this Champions Trophy," Lorgat said, "and we are confident that we will see ODI cricket as a relevant format through this."


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