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|ICC announces Champions Trophy fixtures|
Tuesday, February 10 2004 12:58 Hrs (IST)
According to the fixture announced by the International Cricket Council, (ICC) India meet Pakistan in Edgbaston on September 19 in the tournament which will see 12 teams in action at three venues in England.
Although India and Pakistan are scheduled to play five One-dayers in April in Pakistan, it would be their first meeting in an ICC championship since the World Cup.
Ironically, the opening match will pit the hosts against Zimbabwe, a country which the England team boycotted in World Cup 2003 and appear reluctant to tour this year as well.
The teams have been split into four groups of three for a round-robin group stage, with the winner of each group moving through to the semi-finals.
The final would be held at The Oval on September 25. Reserve days have been allocated for all matches to avoid Duckworth-Lewis calculations in the event of rain.
Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, was confident that the tournament would throw up some intriguing results.
"Since the World Cup last year, we have seen a number of teams undergo a radical transformation. The England and Pakistan teams are barely recognisable from the sides that crashed out in the first round, and this tournament will be the opportunity for the cricketing world to see just how far these teams have now come," Speed said in a statement.