In the global cricketing arena, ICC Champions Trophy is second only to the ICC World Cup in order of importance. Cricket lovers of the world often fondly refer to it as the mini World Cup where all top cricketing nations get together to battle in a single event for an international trophy and huge prize money.
The origin of the tournament lies in the recent past. In 1998 and 2000, the International Cricket Council, the apex body of world cricket, conducted the ICC Knock Out Tournament in Bangladesh and Kenya in a bid to promote the game in these non-test playing nations. Inspired by their success and to further explore its potential, ICC re-launched the tournament in a new avatar as the ICC Champions Trophy refreshing the competition-format and other playing regulations.
The biennial event, today differs from both the previous Knock Out version and the World Cup and has today evolved as a unique one. In its current version of Champions Trophy, 'Round Robin league' has replaced the previous 'knock out' format. Earlier, as in 1998 and 2000, there were no pool of teams and no team had played against another twice. The losing side was eliminated from the game without having a second chance.
In 2002, the format was revised in Sri Lanka with the inclusion of a total of 12 teams. 4 pools each comprising of 3 teams, contested in a league format to reach the final game. Since then the format has been followed in England in 2004 and is going to continue in India 2006 .
Maps of India gives you some glimpses from the history of ICC Champions Trophy:
Although the resemblance to the format of the World Cup has invited criticism from some quarters about the merit of the tournament, there are a number of differences between the two. The once- in-four-years frequency of the World Cup undoubtedly makes the competition fiercer. Secondly the shorter number of games in the Champions Trophy only ensures excitement and a rehearsal before making it big in the larger tournament.
The money earned from hosting such events is spent in ICC development programs and promotion of the game across the world. Major players of the corporate world have come forward to sponsor the tournaments in the past as well as this year.
The growing popularity speaks volumes for the success of the tournament. Even in the short history of the ICC Champions Trophy, the best cricketing talents have gifted many spectacular moments to the cricket lovers of the world, who eagerly await another tournament in 2006 (link to ICC Champions Trophy 2006 page).
Last Updated on 24 August 2012