Cricket returns to its place of birth and to the place where the very first spot fixing scandal broke out during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.
Why should you care?
Because the ICC is doing away with this tournament so that there is only one major tournament for each of Cricket’s three formats ie World Twenty20, ODI World Cup and World Test Championship.
Here’s what you should keep an eye out for:
The Indian Team
The missing faces: Regulars such as Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Gambhir are absent due to retirement, fitness issues and poor form, the Indian team is remarkably different from the one that MSD captained to World Cup glory on home soil in 2011. Plus, the techniques of several Indian batters against the moving ball were brutally exposed during India’s last full tour to England. We’re hoping that they fare much better in the game’s shorter version, if they are to progress from a tough group also containing Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa.
Hot New Blood
Opener Shikhar Dhawan, in explosive form, after his swashbuckling 187 against Australia, Rohit Sharma, who led the Mumbai Indians to victory at the IPL, apart from speed merchants Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who could make use of the swing-friendly conditions in England.
Ind vs Pak: The Marquee Clash
Saturday, June 15, 2013 promises to be an absolute crackerjack when India squares off against Pakistan at Edgbaston. India will be smarting from the ODI series loss at home against Pakistan and despite bossing Pakistan in major tournaments they are yet to beat Pakistan in a Champions Trophy match. Edgbaston will host the final on June 23 but for Indian and Pakistani fans, this game remains just as important!
Kirsten as Proteas’ Coach
He’s the fella responsible for our 2011 World Cup win. In his last tournament as the South African coach, it remains to be seen if his compatriots can bid him farewell in style or if South Africa will continue to choke at major tournaments.
England’s Home AdvantageGary
Because no argument on any tournament is complete without this one. England has not won any major ICC crown except the 2010 Twenty20 World Championship. Egged on by a home crowd, the pace attack led by Jimmy Anderson will be keen to make the most of home conditions that favour seam and swing bowling. Winning the ICC Champions Trophy will be a shot in the arm for the English before they take on the Aussies in this Double Ashes year.
Lord’s, the Mecca of Cricket, doesn’t even feature on the list of venues!
From HT Brunch, June 9
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