The hosts Pakistan will face the 2006 runners-up West Indies in the opening game of the Champions Trophy 2008 on September 11 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The defending champions Australia will open its campaign against India on September 13. Announcing the schedule and venues for the tournament, the ICC said that a full independent security assessment of the situation in Pakistan will be conducted in June.
As compared to the 2006 tournament when 21 matches were played over 29 days, 15 matches will be played in 17 days this year in what is a much shorter, sharper format.
The first semi-final will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi on September 24 while Rawalpindi will host the second semi-final on September 25. The Gaddafi Stadium, which hosted the final of the 1996 World Cup, has been selected to stage the final.
The groupings were finalised on the basis of teams' rankings in the ODI Championship table as on March 12, which was the cut-off date for the determination of the seedings. The eight teams were split into two groups of four with a round-robin format and the top two teams from each group will move to the knock-out stage.
The following are the two groups (with seedings in brackets):
Group A: Australia (1), India (4), Pakistan (5), West Indies (8)
Group B: South Africa (2), New Zealand (3), Sri Lanka (6), England (7)
September 11 - Pakistan v West Indies, Lahore.
September 12 - New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Karachi.
September 13 - Australia v India, Lahore.
September 14 - England v Sri Lanka, Karachi.
September 15 - South Africa v New Zealand, Rawalpindi.
September 16 - West Indies v India, Karachi.
September 17 - Pakistan v Australia, Rawalpindi
September 18 - South Africa v Sri Lanka, Lahore.
September 19 - England v New Zealand, Rawalpindi.
September 20 - Pakistan v India, Lahore.
September 21 - Australia v West Indies, Karachi; England v South Africa, Rawalpindi.
September 24 - 1st semi-final, Karachi.
September 25 - 2nd semi-final, Rawalpindi.
September 28 - final, Lahore.
1998 - South Africa
2000 - New Zealand
2002 - India and Sri Lanka (joint winners)
2004 - West Indies
2006 - Australia