Champions Trophy 2017 June 1, 2016

India-Pakistan, Australia-England bouts in 2017 Champions Trophy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Two of cricket's traditional rivalries will be on show in the 2017 Champions Trophy, with hosts England and Australia in Group A, and India and Pakistan in Group B. Group A also contains New Zealand, which means a trans-Tasman clash as well in the first round.

The opening game of the tournament is between England and Bangladesh on June 1. Cardiff, The Oval and Edgbaston are the venues for the event, which comprises 15 matches in 18 days, with the final at The Oval on June 18.

The ticket ballot opens on September 1 and closes on September 30. The remaining tickets will go on sale in October.

The top eight sides in the ICC ODI rankings as of September 30, 2015 qualified for the event, with West Indies and Zimbabwe being the two Full Member countries that failed to make the cut. The top two sides from each group will qualify for the semi-finals in Cardiff and Edgbaston on June 14 and 15.

India and Pakistan have met in the group stage of every ICC tournament - five of them - since the 2011 World Cup, where they had met in the semi-final. When asked if this was a coincidence, the ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said it wasn't. "It's no coincidence. The match schedule is done in consultation with the broadcasters. The bottom line is that a significant portion of the cricket world want to see that fixture. Time and time again, it is the biggest fixture in all our events. I don't think it affects the competition's integrity. Not as long as the groups are equal in strengths. It's silly just to avoid it when you can fairly cater for it."

He added: "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."

England are hosting the Champions Trophy for the third time; they made the finals of both the previous tournaments at home, losing to West Indies in 2004 and to India in 2013.

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