World's top cricketers named in provisional squads for ICC Champions Trophy 2013
Seven of the eight participating sides have named their best cricketers in the preliminary squads for the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy 2013 - the only nation versus nation tournament of the year – to be staged at Cardiff Wales Stadium, Edgbaston and The Oval from 6-23 June.
Defending champion Australia has submitted its provisional squad to the International Cricket Council (ICC), as required, but has opted not to release the names.
New Zealand has become the first side to announce its 15-member squad while Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are expected to trim their provisional squads and announce the final line-ups on or before the 6 May cut-off date.
The ICC Champions Trophy will feature the top eight-ranked sides in the world in the only ‘best versus the best’ 50-over-a-side tournament being held between the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in the Asian sub-continent, and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.
The importance and significance this tournament on the international calendar can be gauged from the fact that all the sides have named their most flamboyant, charismatic and well-known cricketers, including Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott (all England); Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh (all India); Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori (all New Zealand); Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul (all Pakistan); AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn (all South Africa); Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kumar Sangakkara, (all Sri Lanka) and Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels (all West Indies).
Of all the players named in the squads, only Shahid Afridi, Kallis and Vettori featured in the inaugural edition of the tournament in Dhaka in 1998.
Amongst the probables are a number of players who played in the ICC Champions Trophy when it was last staged in England in 2004. These players include Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Yuvraj Singh, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Imran Farhat, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Farveez Maharoof, Kumar Sangakkara, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo.
Australia will aim to complete a hat-trick of titles, after it won the past two events in India and South Africa in 2006 and 2009, respectively. At the Cricket Club of India in 2006, Australia defeated the West Indies by eight wickets and then three years later became the first side to successfully defend the title when it beat New Zealand by six wickets at Centurion.
For India, which shared the title with Sri Lanka when the event was staged in Sri Lanka in 2002, it will be an opportunity to match Australia’s feat of being the holders of both the 50-over tournaments – the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy.
Ricky Ponting’s side had achieved the rare distinction when it added the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 title to its ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 crown. The Australians repeated the feat when they won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007 and followed it up by retaining the ICC Champions Trophy title in 2009.
In addition to chasing the feat of equaling Australia’s achievement, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side will also defend its number-one ranking on the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table. It currently leads second-ranked England by two ratings points while Australia is one more ratings point behind in third position.
Below the top three, only seven ratings points separate fourth-ranked South Africa from sixth-ranked Pakistan while there is a gap of only four ratings points between seventh-ranked West Indies and eighth-ranked New Zealand.
England and Pakistan are the two sides in the eight-team contest not to have won the tournament. England came precariously close to winning in its own backyard in 2004 but was denied by a 71-run unbroken ninth wicket partnership between Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw as the West Indies won the final with seven balls and two wickets to spare.
The first two tournaments were called the ICC Knock-Out and were won by South Africa and New Zealand in Dhaka and Nairobi, respectively.
AUSTRALIA (has opted not to announce)
ENGLAND – Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Varun Chopra, Rikki Clarke, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, James Harris, Craig Kieswetter, Stuart Meaker, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Chris Wright, Luke Wright and Chris Woakes
INDIA – Ravichandran Ashwin, Unmukt Chand, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ashoke Dinda, Gautam Gambhir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey, Irfan Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Parvez Rasool, Ambati Rayudu, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami, Jalaj Saxena, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Umesh Yadav and Murali Vijay
NEW ZEALAND (final squad) - Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori and Kane Williamson
PAKISTAN – Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Anwar Ali, Azhar Ali, Ehsan Adil, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail, Imran Farhat, Imran Khan, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan, Nasir Jamshed, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umer Amin, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Arafat and Zulfiqar Babar
SOUTH AFRICA - AB de Villiers (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Justin Ontong, Robin Peterson, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe and Vaughn van Jaarsveld
SRI LANKA – Malinga Bandara, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Ishara Jayaratne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena, Thilina Kandamby, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal , Dilhara Lokuhettige, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Angelo Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Milinda Siriwardana, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne , Thisara Perera, Seekuge Prasanna, Chanaka Welagedara, Kithruwan Vithanage
WEST INDIES – Adrian Barath, Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cotterrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Ramneresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith, Dwayne Smith, Devon Thomas and Chadwick Walton
Fans can buy tickets for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at www.icc-cricket.com or, if in the United Kingdom, via phone on 0844 249 2013.