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Champions Trophy: A Brief History

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Champions Trophy: A Brief History

England and Wales host the 2017 Champions Trophy this June. Born as the ICC Knockout Trophy in 1998 and being played every two years until 2006, it now takes place every four years and remains second only in prestige among 50-over tournaments to the World Cup.
As the build-up to this year’s event gathers pace, how much do you remember about the previous seven editions? Refresh your memory, or find out more, with our brief history of the Champions Trophy.

1998 ICC KnockOut Trophy
(Hosts: Bangladesh, Winners: South Africa)

Bangladesh hosted the inaugural event, also known as the Wills International Trophy, which was won by South Africa when they beat the West Indies by four wickets in the final.

Designed as a way of raising funds to develop the game in non-Test arenas, the plan almost backfired when a devastating flood threatened to postpone the tournament. Fortunately, it went ahead as planned and, as a straight knockout, it was done and dusted in a little more than a week.

South Africa beat England and Sri Lanka to reach the final while the West Indies’ path was a 30-run defeat of Pakistan and an impressive six-wicket win over India chasing down 245 in 47 overs.

In the final, however, the Windies were bowled out for 245. Jacques Kallis, who had a tournament to remember, took five for 30 before Hansie Cronje guided the Proteas home with three overs to spare by scoring an unbeaten 61. It remains the only ICC global event that South Africa has ever won.

2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy
(Hosts: Kenya; Winners: New Zealand)

In line with the ICC’s policy of staging the tournament to help non-Test teams, it was Kenya’s turn to host two years later and New Zealand beat off India’s challenge in the final.

As hosts, Kenya were invited along with Bangladesh, but neither reached the quarter-finals, defeated by India and England respectively. Also gone at the preliminary stage were 1998 finalists West Indies as Sri Lanka, thanks to Avishka Gunawardene’s 132, swept them aside.

Sri Lanka went no further, losing to Pakistan, who then in turn lost to New Zealand in the semi-final. India followed up their win over Kenya by defending 265 to beat Australia by 20 runs and then hit 295 for six to beat South Africa by 95 runs in the semi-final.

Roger Twose was New Zealand’s hero in the knockout stages, as he scored half-centuries against both Zimbabwe and Pakistan. In the final, however, it was all-rounder Chris Cairns who did the damage with the bat. After Sourav Ganguly’s 116 helped India reach 264 for six, Cairns struck 102 not out to calmly guide the Black Caps home with a couple of balls to spare. They are still waiting for a second global title.

2002 ICC Champions Trophy
(Hosts: Sri Lanka; Winners: India/Sri Lanka)

In 2002, the name was changed to the Champions Trophy and it produced the only instance so far of a shared title. Kenya and ICC Trophy winners the Netherlands joined the 10 Test teams as the tournament expanded. The four group winners Australia, India, South Africa, and Sri Lanka progressed to the semi-finals.

There, India won a thriller against South Africa by 10 runs, with the Proteas collapsing from 192 for one to close on 251 for six chasing 262 to win. Sri Lanka then hammered Australia, chasing down a target of 163 with 10 overs to spare in the second semi-final.

Twice the final started but on neither occasion did it finish. On the first day, Sri Lanka made 244 with India on 14 without loss when rain stopped play. Everybody tried again the next day, and this time Sri Lanka posted 222. India were on 38 in the ninth over when the rain came again. A second no-result meant the trophy was shared.

It was a disappointing outcome and incurred much criticism. The obvious solution was that the match should have been resumed on day two with India batting rather than restarting afresh.

2004 ICC Champions Trophy
(Hosts: England; Winners: West Indies)

Twelve teams again competed in 2004, split into four groups of three. It produced some of the most one-sided games international cricket has ever seen, as the USA were bowled out for just 65 by Australia, Bangladesh folded for 93 against South Africa, and Pakistan dismissed Kenya for 94.

The first semi-final was also one-sided as Pakistan made just 131 against the West Indies, who raced home in 28.1 overs. England, astutely led by Michael Vaughan, upset Australia in the semi-final and looked to be on course for victory in the final before an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 71 between Ian Bradshaw and Courtney Browne stole the win for the West Indies.

It was one that got away from England, although the win over Australia was a huge confidence boost for a fast-developing side. Victory in the final was a big fillip for the West Indies at a time when relations between the players and the board were just about to collapse.

2006 ICC Champions Trophy
(Hosts: India; Winners: Australia)

Although they were reigning World Cup champions, and had dominated Test cricket for years, the Champions Trophy had eluded Australia. That wrong was comprehensively righted in India when they beat the West Indies by eight wickets.

Herschelle Gibbs toured the country for the first time since 2000 while Indian officials pushed for this to be the last edition of the tournament and Pakistani pair Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar failed drugs tests. On the field, this was the most open and unpredictable tournament yet; even Australia lost once en route to the final.

For the second competition in a row, the West Indies – despite having to go through the preliminary qualification stage – reached the final but were unable to repeat their group stage win over Australia, bowled out for 138 and going down by eight wickets. Chris Gayle struck three centuries during the competition and Jerome Taylor took a hat-trick but it wasn’t enough as Australia coasted past a Duckworth/Lewis-revised target to win with ease.

2009 ICC Champions Trophy
(Hosts: South Africa; Winners: Australia)

The tournament was to be hosted in Pakistan in 2008, however, due to security concerns and the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team convoy in March 2009, it was shifted to South Africa. Pared down to just the top eight ranked teams in the world the tournament proved almost as competitive as 2006, with only the West Indies failing to register at least one win.

Australia went into the tournament as heavy favourites and duly delivered, going through their group unbeaten and then crushing England in the semi-final; Shane Watson’s brilliant 136 not out the highlight. Pakistan faced New Zealand in the other semi-final but couldn’t put enough runs on the board to beat the Black Caps; Grant Elliott (75*) helping NZ chase down 234 in 47.5 overs.

Australia were outstanding in the final and took victory comfortably in the end. Nathan Hauritz took three for 37 as New Zealand managed just 200 for nine; Watson then struck 105 not out, hitting a six to both reach his century and win the match in style in the 46th over.

2013 ICC Champions Trophy
(Hosts: England/Wales; Winners: India)

The advent of the ICC World T20, as well as the delay and subsequent cancelling of the ICC Test Championship, increased the gap between tournaments to four years. In their home conditions, England excelled.

Reigning champions Australia were bowled out for 65 in a warm-up match against India and they finished bottom of their group with only a no-result to show for their efforts. England and Sri Lanka progressed at their expense and were joined in the semi-finals by India and South Africa.

England impressively saw off South Africa in their semi-final while India made similarly short work of Sri Lanka to set up a meeting between the two form sides in the final. Just like in 2004, England looked to be on course for victory before they were denied at the death. In a final reduced by rain to 20 overs -they needed just 130 to win but fell short by five runs, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin inspiring a collapse when they were well set.

The 2013 event was due to be the last Champions Trophy as the Test Championship was planned to start in 2017, leaving no space in the calendar for a second ODI competition. However, that never came to a fruition and the Champions Trophy is back once again this summer.


Image Credit: Nic Redhead

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