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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Tough Trophy schedule for England
ICC president Ehsan Mani and BCCI president Sharad Pawar
The ICC and BBCI presidents display the Champions Trophy
England will be based in Jaipur and Ahmedabad during the first round phase of the ICC Champions Trophy.

They will take on hosts India in Jaipur on 15 October and top seeds Australia at the same venue six days later.

Their third game will be against one of two qualifiers in Ahmedabad on 28 October, with the top two from the group progressing to the semi-finals.

Mohali and Mumbai are the other venues for the limited over competition, with each match day/night under floodlights.

"It's an important event for world cricket," an India board spokesman said

It will be the first time India has staged an ICC event since 1996, when they were joint hosts of the World Cup with Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The final will be held at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, which will stage five matches in all during the tournament, having not hosted a one-day international for 11 years.

The top 10 teams from the International Cricket Council rankings as of 1 April will contest the tournament over 21 matches between 7 October and 5 November.

The top six sides play in two qualifying groups, with Sri Lanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh competing in a round-robin series to decide two extra places.

West Indies were the shock winners when the Trophy was last played in England two years ago.

West Indies celebrate their shock 2003 Champions Trophy victory
The West Indies are the current Champions Trophy holders

An unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 71 between Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw guided the Windies to victory in the penultimate over against England at The Oval.

This year's event will feature a top prize of $500,000 but comes in the middle of a frantic schedule for England, following home series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and preceding their Ashes tour by a matter of days.

There has been much criticism of the bi-annual Trophy tournament, with the World Cup taking place in the Caribbean only five months afterwards.

"India's love for cricket is enormous and the supporters here deserve a world-class tournament," ICC president Ehsan Mani insisted.

Mani added that the Indian government had agreed to grant tax exemption for the event and described the gesture as "a massive boost to the game of cricket all over the world.

"All money generated from ICC Events is distributed to our members for the development of the game and the ICC Champions Trophy, in particular, plays a vital role in helping to ensure our great sport remains healthy and continues to grow on a worldwide basis," he added.

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29 Jun 05 |  Cricket


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