Sri Lanka to Host ICC Champions Trophy in September 2002
The International Cricket Council announced in Cape Town on Monday that Sri Lanka has been chosen to host the ICC Champions Trophy 2002, the biennial tournament featuring all major cricket playing nations that is the second most important event in world cricket, after the World Cup.
The 15-match tournament, which was formerly known as the ICC Knock Out Tournament, will be played in Colombo from the 12th to the 30th of September 2002, featuring Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, England, India, Zimbabwe, Kenya, the West Indies, and the Netherlands.
It will be the first time that teams of all ICC member nations will be visiting Sri Lanka for a tournament. Sri Lanka co-hosted the 1996 World Cup, in which they emerged champions, with two matches being played here, and also hosted the ICC Under-19 World Cup in the year 2000.
"The BCCSL is delighted to be given the honour of hosting this prestigious tournament. This is the most important sports event that Sri Lanka has ever hosted, in any sport," said Vijaya Malalasekera, Chairman of the Interim Committee of the BCCSL, who together with Interim Committee Member Sidath Wettimuny attended the ICC meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, where the decision was announced.
"This is further recognition of the BCCSL's exemplary record in hosting tours and tournaments," said Malalasekera. The BCCSL hosted teams from seven nations for Test series and One-Day-International tournaments during the past 12 months.
Malalasekera added that hosting the tournament would spur the development of cricket in Sri Lanka to new heights, and spotlight the Indian Ocean island's place as an ideal venue for international events, providing a tremendous boost to the country's tourism industry.
"The ICC is delighted that the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka has agreed to act as host country for this major event," said ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed. "We look forward to working closely with the Board in staging one of world cricket's most entertaining and high profile tournaments," he added.
The new format of the tournament has four pools of three teams each, with each team playing two pool matches to decide which of the three will enter the semi-finals of the tournament. The semi finals will be between the winners of Pool 2 versus the winners of Pool 3, and Pool 1 versus Pool 4.
The Pool allocations for the ICC Champions Trophy are:
Pool 1: Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand
Pool 2: England, India, Zimbabwe
Pool 3: Kenya, South Africa, West Indies
Pool 4: Holland, Pakistan, Sri Lanka