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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 16:50 GMT
Trophy venues confirmed
Sanath Jayasuriya and Sourav Ganguly
Weather dictated the outcome of the 2002 final
Three grounds have been chosen to stage all matches during next year's ICC Champions Trophy in England.

Games will be played at The Oval, Edgbaston and Hampshire's Rose Bowl, with the venue for the final to be confirmed at a later date.

The schedule does not include Lord's because the MCC did not submit a tender to host the tournament.

The event was last played in 2002, when hosts Sri Lanka shared the trophy with India after rain ruined the final.

England's hopes were ended at the first round stage after they suffered an eight-wicket defeat by India in Colombo.

Next year's event will be the climax to a busy summer of cricket in England, which will also feature Tests and one-day internationals against New Zealand and West Indies and a three-match NatWest Challenge, possibly against Australia.

The tournament will run from 10-25 September, with reserve days scheduled for every game in case of rain.

All 10 Test-playing nations will take part, plus Kenya and the winners of next April's ICC Six Nations Challenge, involving the United Arab Emirates, Namibia, Holland, Canada, Scotland and one other nation yet to be confirmed.

The 12 teams will be divided into four first round groups, with the winners of each group progressing to the semi-finals.

ECB chief Tim Lamb
The ECB is looking forward to welcoming the world's top teams
ECB chief executive Tim Lamb

The teams will be seeded according to their ICC One-Day International ranking on 1 December this year.

"This system ensures that all teams are treated in an equal manner as it provides an objective assessment of form over the last two to three years," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed commented.

A total prize fund of US$1.25m (747,000) will be on offer, with the winners receiving $400,000 (239,000).

The omission of Lord's, the home of cricket, will come as a surprise to both players and supporters alike.

Tournament director David Clarke said, however, that the MCC was not among the seven clubs which put in tenders to host games.




SEE ALSO
Q&A: England's busy summer
12 Sep 03  |  Cricket
Lloyd worry at schedule squeeze
11 Sep 03  |  Cricket
Trophy shared after wash-out
30 Sep 02  |  ICC Champions Trophy


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