• Champions Trophy groups revealed

    South Africa have been drawn with three of their sub-continent rivals for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

    The ICC has released the groups for the tournament, which kicks off on this day next year in the UK. Next year’s showpiece will mark the eighth time that the tournament will be contested.

    The inaugural tournament (then known as the ICC KnockOut Trophy) took place in Bangladesh in 1998, and saw the Proteas claim their maiden and only limited-overs global trophy.

    Despite taking home the ICC World Twenty20 title earlier this year, West Indies failed to qualify for the 2017 spectacle when they fell to ninth in the rankings at the time of the qualification cut-off on 30 September 2015.

    ‘The ICC Champions Trophy is a short and sharp event, which is followed and enjoyed by the spectators and players alike,’ said ICC CEO David 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 event opens with England taking on Bangladesh, while the now standard India-Pakistan blockbuster will take place at Edgbaston on 4 June.

    The tournament will kick-off on 1 June with the final scheduled to take place on June 18.

    Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh.

    Group B: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

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