A Brief History of the Champions Trophy | Sportwalk Times
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A Brief History of the Champions Trophy

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Trying to build upon the tremendous success of the ODI World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) started the Knockout Trophy tournament in 1998. All 10 ICC members took part in the 50-over competition, which was to be held bi-annually from then on.

Its name was eventually changed to Champions Trophy in 2002. From 2000 to 2004, along with all the ICC full members, associate members were also inducted into the tournament. Due to the already strenuous schedule and a majority calling for a change in the format to help distinguish from the World Cup — it was in 2009 ICC decided that only the top eight ODI teams would qualify for the tournament. The top eight teams are based on the rankings six months prior to the tournament.

Until 2006, the Champions Trophy was held every two years. The 2008 Champions Trophy which was supposed to be held in Pakistan moved to South Africa in 2009 due to security reasons. From then on it has been held every four years like the World Cup. The Champions Trophy differs from the World Cup in a number of ways. The matches are held over a period of around two weeks, while the World Cup can last for over a month. For 2002 and 2004, twelve teams played a round-robin tournament in four pools of three, with the top team in each pool moving forward to the semi-final. A team would play only four games (two in the pool, semi-final and final) to win the tournament. In 2006, eight teams played in two pools of four, with the top two teams in each pool playing in the semi-finals. Losing a single match potentially means elimination from the tournament.

One tends to wonder about the genesis of the significance attached with the Champions trophy. A team’s performance at the Champions Trophy is an indicator of how well the team in question might perform in the upcoming ODI World Cup.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is all set to start in a couple of days. Here we take a look back at past winners, some memorable moments and few fine performances from the years gone by.

1998 ICC Knockout Trophy

Winner- South Africa

This was the inaugural tournament, and it was played in a knock-out format. South Africa won the tournament, and it remains the only ICC tournament that the Proteas have won till date. All the matches were played in the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. India managed to reach the semi-final, after beating Australia in the first round. Tendulkar scored a memorable ton against the Aussies, as India reached 307 before dismissing Australia for 263. India lost to West Indies in the semi-final.

In the final, South Africa defeated West Indies by 3 runs, with Jacques Kallis taking 5 wickets. Kallis was also named the player of the tournament.

2000 ICC Knockout Trophy

Winner – New Zealand

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India was one of the best performing sides in the tournament, and under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly managed to reach the final before losing to New Zealand in a tight contest. Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan made their India debut, and played a pivotal role for the team in the tournament. The tournament also had a pre-quarter final stage, with a total of eleven teams taking part.

The tournament was New Zealand’s first major final appearance, which they managed to win, which remains their only major trophy since.

 

2002 ICC Champions Trophy

Joint Winners – India/Sri Lanka

The third edition of the tournament was renamed, and was supposed to be held in India but was shifted to Sri Lanka after the government refused to give a tax exemption. The teams were divided into four groups of three teams each, with the winners progressing to the semi-final.

India faced South Africa in the semi-final, and at one stage it seemed South Africa would cruise home. But Herschelle Gibbs was forced to retire due to cramps and the match turned on its head. Sehwag took three wickets, and India managed to win the game.

The final was washed-out after it rained on the matchday and the reserve day. Both times Sri Lanka batted first, and had scored 244 and 222 respectively but the match couldn’t be finished. Sehwag was the highest run scorer and Muttiah Muralitharan the highest wicket-taker.

2004 ICC Champions Trophy

Winners – West Indies

Hosted by England, the tournament saw one of the most dramatic finals ever, with West Indies emerging as winners. Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw got West Indies home after the team was struggling at 147/8, chasing 218 to win.

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India was knocked out in the group stage, after losing to arch-rivals Pakistan in the group stage. Ramnaresh Sarwan was named player of the tournament, and English duo of Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff ended up being topping the runs and wickets charts respectively.

2006 ICC Champions Trophy

Winners – Australia

The tournament was played in India, and was Australia’s first Champions Trophy title. It had a pre-qualifying stage, before the main stage. Despite being played in India, none of the teams from the subcontinent progressed to the semi-finals.

India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, all exited the tournament after the group stage, all managing to win only one match. The tournament also announced the arrival of Chris Gayle, who scored 474 runs in 8 matches, with a strike rate of 92. He scored three centuries in the tournament.

2009 ICC Champions Trophy

Winners – Australia

Australia successfully defended their title, winning the tournament again, being held in South Africa. They were completely dominant, winning all the matches, except one which was abandoned due to rain.

India, coming into the tournament after winning the T20 World Cup managed to win only one game and also lost to Pakistan. But the tournament was special for MS Dhoni, who took his first ever international wicket against West Indies – dismissing Travis Dowlin. Ricky Ponting was named the man of the tournament, and was also the highest run-scorer with 288 runs.

2013 ICC Champions Trophy

Winners – India

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The last edition of Champions Trophy was played in England and saw Dhoni’s young brigade win the tournament after playing an aggressive brand of cricket. The final against England was reduced to a 20-over contest after the start was delayed due to rain.

India scored only 129 runs in 20 overs, with Virat Kohli top scoring with 43, and Ravindra Jadeja’s late charge helping the team cross 120. England were cruising at one stage with score at 110/4, before they collapsed and were restricted to 124 in their quota of 20 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan scored 363 runs in five matches, at an incredible average of 90.75. Ravindra Jadeja was the highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets in five matches.