Champions Trophy gets new format

The format of the ICC Champions Trophy, the second-biggest one-day tournament in world cricket, has been tweaked to ensure fewer one-sided contests. In the next edition of tournament, to be played in India in 2006, only eight teams will take part in the main competition.

The top six teams in the ICC rankings, as on April 1 2006, plus two teams who qualify from a selection tournament, will be divided into two pools. They will then play each other in a round-robin format, and the top two teams from each pool will advance to the semi-finals.

The ICC announced that teams ranked from 7 to 10 would play each other in a similar round-robin format, in India, immediately before the actual Champions Trophy, to decide the qualifiers.

"After the last ICC Champions Trophy we sought the opinions of a wide range of stakeholders and conducted a thorough review of the tournament's structure," Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, said at a meeting in Ireland. "The IDI Board is of the view that the new format has addressed the main flaws of the previous 12-team system and we now look forward to an exciting major international event in India."