Windies notable absentees as ICC announce Champions Trophy fixtures
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC):
For the first time since the inception of the ICC Champions Trophy, the West Indies’ name was missing from the fixture list which organisers announced for the 2017 edition on Wednesday.
The Caribbean side, who won the event in 2004 in England, failed to qualify for the tournament last year as they were not among the top eight one-day international teams at the September 30, 2015 cut-off date.
Minnows Bangladesh and the embattled Pakistan, sneaked in to gain qualification ahead of West Indies.
World champions, Australia, head Group A, while reigning Champions Trophy kings, India, headline Group B for the tournament set to run from June 1-18 next year.
“The ICC Champions Trophy is a short and sharp event, which is followed and enjoyed by the spectators and players alike,” said ICC chief executive, Dave Richardson.
“The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is not just an ODI competition, it carries a great deal of value since it is being played just three months before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 qualification cut-off date. As such, every point earned here could be crucial.
“The announcement of the ICC Champions Trophy schedule 12 months before the start of the event will provide sufficient time to all eight sides to plan for the tournament and arrive in England and Wales fully prepared and geared up so that they can collect enough points to directly qualify for the 2019 extravaganza.”
Hosts England will raise the curtain on the tournament with a clash against Bangladesh at the Oval in Group A, which also includes New Zealand.
India, meanwhile, will start their campaign against perennial rivals Pakistan on June 4 at Edgbaston.
Group B also includes Sri Lanka and South Africa.