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The stage is all set

  • Published at 12:18 am June 1st, 2017
  • Last updated at 04:04 pm June 1st, 2017
The stage is all set
Bangladesh has a very close connection with the ICC Champions Trophy. Though the tournament went through various formations and names in the early days, the first ever edition titled Wills International Cup was hosted in Dhaka in 1998. Obtaining the ODI status a year ago, Bangladesh was awarded to hold the miniature version of the World Cup to promote the game of cricket across the country. That was the first time the whole cricketing world was paying its attention to Bangabandhu National Stadium where all the eight matches were played. The then nine Test-playing nations were involved. Bangladesh did not get the chance to showcase their skills in the field for not being listed in Test status but the cricket crazy fans were able to put their marks and show their love for the game to the whole world. The stadium was jam-packed in all the games and the whole nation was celebrating the tournament as one of the major achievements in the country's cricketing history. [caption id="attachment_66408" align="aligncenter" width="845"] Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handing over the 1998 Mini World Cup trophy to the late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, in the presence of the late ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya ICC[/caption] But the situation was anything but easy. As a non-Test playing country, there wasn't a strong infrastructure available for such a big event. Furthermore, months earlier, Bangladesh experienced one of the worst ever floods in the region. Eventually, the tournament went ahead and the BCB donated 10% of the gate money to the Prime Minister’s fund for flood relief. The ICC World Cup takes place after every four years. The ICC, in its bid to add more glamour to the calender, decided to start another short ODI tournament, later dubbed as the mini-World Cup as it involved all the Full Members of the ICC. This is the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy, which will start on Thursday in England and this is the first time Bangladesh are playing the tournament directly, eliminating 2004 edition winner the West Indies. Arguably, the Tigers have been pitted in the “Group of Death” with two-time champion Australia, second edition winner New Zealand and host England. Though England have never won the trophy, they did reach the finals twice when they hosted the event. [caption id="attachment_66410" align="aligncenter" width="800"] We trust that you will find the special supplement an invaluable companion to your viewing pleasure over the next couple of weeks. Don't forget to collect your copy on Thursday, June 1[/caption] Only two teams will qualify for the semi-finals from each group so the sixth-ranked Tigers will need to win at least two group stage games. The whole nation is hoping for a positive start when Mashrafe bin Mortaza heads for the toss in the tournament opener against England. It should be mentioned that Bangladesh eliminated England from the group stage in the 2015 World Cup. On the other hand, in Group B, South Africa, who triumphed in the first edition of the tournament, the only ICC event they have won, will try their best to shed their “choker” tag once and for all when they face defending champion India and the unpredictable Pakistan. India and South Africa are clear favourites to qualify from this group but we all know there is nothing confirmed in cricket before the last ball is bowled. The 19-day contest is all set to start at Kennington Oval. Here at the Dhaka Tribune we have tried to provide our readers with an interesting and valuable guide to the upcoming tournament, your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the 2017 Champions Trophy, including all the minutest of details about the teams, the players and the tournament itself. We trust that you will find the special supplement an invaluable companion to your viewing pleasure over the next couple of weeks.