Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir have joined several top cricketers of the world to promote this year’s ICC Champions Trophy.
They also include international captains Younus Khan of Pakistan, England’s Andrew Strauss, Graeme Smith from host South Africa and Daniel Vettori of New Zealand. All feature in a short video looking ahead to the tournament, which takes place in South Africa from September 22.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “It is great to see the best players in the world so enthused and motivated about this prestigious event. The ICC Champions Trophy is another opportunity for us to showcase our great sport and the great spirit with which I hope it will be played during this top-class tournament in South Africa.”
The players talk about some of the key themes of the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 that features the top eight-ranked One-Day International teams.
The videos stay true to one of those themes, with 30 second and 15 second versions available, they are short and sharp, just like the tournament that features 15 matches in 14 days in just two venues.
The players emphasise that the event is about champion players in nation-versus-nation action, with honour, prestige and more prize-money at stake than ever before.
The sixth staging of the tournament begins with host South Africa taking on Sri Lanka at Centurion in a day-night encounter and will culminate with the final at the same venue on October 5.
For the first time, it will feature only the top eight-ranked sides in the world in the only global multi-team 50-over-a-side tournament between the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean and the next edition of that event, in the Asian sub-continent in two years’ time.
Matches will be split between Centurion and The Wanderers with the teams – Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, host South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – divided into two pools of four, with the top two from each pool progressing to the semi-finals stage.
Holder Australia begins the defence of its ICC Champions Trophy crown on Saturday 26 September against the West Indies in a repeat of the 2006 final.
That match will take place as a day game at The Wanderers, Johannesburg and is part of a blockbuster day of action as, later on, India and Pakistan will go head-to-head in a day-night encounter at Centurion.