Words by Davis Harrigan.
The last installment of the ICC Champions Trophy is now upon us. Later this week, Australia, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies will fight it out for the silverware. Hosted by three venues, The Oval, Edgbaston and SWALEC stadium, England and Wales will become the first and only country to host the tournament more than once.
With England’s recent dominance on home turf, one of their major opponents, the Aussies will hopefully provide a thrilling precursor to the Ashes Test series in less than two months away.
India were the victors of the 2011 World Cup, but have found English conditions to be a challenge in the past.
South Africa are always looking tough and can boast a world-class pace attack, while Sri Lanka and the West Indies have very formidable batting line-ups.
Coming off their test New Zealand will be wishing for a bit of luck in this tournament, and the Pakistanis can be a amazingly unpredictable team.
There is also a statement for the Champions Trophy to make; that 50 over cricket is still very much alive. Granted, the excitement is not nearly as high as a world cup, but the fans will be there in droves.
My prediction: Australia to come out winners (and give them a boost for the Ashes), and England as semi-finalists.
Below is the infographic previewing this years tournament.
Check out Davis’ sports blog Beyond Realisation.