India to play Pakistan ... in England
India will face Pakistan in England next year in a group match in the ICC Champions Trophy, which is to be played in September 2004. For the first time, the ICC's official one-day rankings were used to determine the make-up of the four groups of three.
The draw was made earlier today, at which point Pakistan were in third position in the table. Had they lost to New Zealand in their match at Lahore today they would have dropped to fourth, and would have been drawn against England - but they won (Mohammad Sami took 5 for 10), remained third, and set up an intriguing clash against their neighbours. Kenya complete that group.
England, who are currently fifth in the table, have group games against Sri Lanka (fourth) and Zimbabwe (ninth). Australia, the top-rated team, will play New Zealand and the winners of the forthcoming ICC Six Nations Challenge in the United Arab Emirates in February and March next year.
In the final group. South Africa (ranked second) will play West Indies and Bangladesh. The four group winners will progress to the semi-finals.
The tournament will run from September 10 to 25, with all the matches to be played at The Oval, Edgbaston, or the new Rose Bowl in Southampton. The exact schedule will be announced later this month, but all the matches will have a reserve day to allow them to be completed in the event of bad weather.