Champions Trophy joy for England after win

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England were given an extra reason to celebrate when the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed they had qualified for the second stage of October's Champions Trophy One-day tournament in India.

Only sides in the top six of the ICC's One-day Championship table on April 1 automatically reach that stage and England will now be at least sixth on that date thanks to Sri Lanka's four-wicket loss to Pakistan in Colombo.

They faced the prospect of an additional three One-day matches in India being crammed into an already congested fixture calendar had they finished outside the top six, with teams ranked seventh to tenth taking part in a round-robin series of matches before the Champions Trophy proper starts.

The world governing body's announcement came on the same day as England defeated India by 212 runs in the third Test in Mumbai, a result that saw their three-match series end in a 1-1 draw.

That victory saw England retain second spot in the ICC's Test rankings.

Sri Lanka's defeat in Colombo dropped them to 105 rating points and it means that even if England lose their two ODI matches against India before the cut-off date they cannot drop out of the top six.

If that scenario happened, England would slip to 105 rating points but would still retain sixth place when the ratings were recalculated to three decimal places.

Nine of the ten teams taking part in the Champions Trophy have been decided and only one place, between Bangladesh and Kenya, remains up for grabs.

Bangladesh are currently in 10th place and will retain that position if they win their ongoing four-match series against the Kenyans by two clear matches, where they are already 2-0 up.

World Champions Australia lead the ODI table by 13 points.

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