Holders Australia get top billing for Champions Trophy

Published: Sunday, March 2, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Dubai: Defending champion Australia has been confirmed as the top seed for this Sept"s ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan after the completion of the preliminary round matches of the tri-series in Melbourne on Friday, ICC said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The cut-off date for the determination of the seedings for the ICC Champions Trophy 2008 is March 12. But with only the finals of the tri-series remaining, the ICC ODI C'ship table cannot be changed irrespective of the results in the best-of-three final.

South Africa, winners of the inaugural tournament in 1998 in Bangladesh, will be seeded second followed by New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England and the West Indies in the eight-team tournament. The groupings will be announced on March 12.

Lanka avoided a slip in the ICC ODI Championship table, the yardstick to decide teams seedings, when it signed off with a 13-run victory over Australia. Had Australia won the game, Sri Lanka would have slipped to seventh position with England moving up to sixth place.

Australia and India will now go head-to-head in the best-of-three finals, aware of the fact that whatever the outcome, the championship table will not change.

However, if India wins the final in two matches Ricky Ponting"s side will drop to 127 ratings points, same as South Africa but ahead of Graeme Smith"s side when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Likewise, India will also join New Zealand on 113 ratings points but will remain in fourth position when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Seedings for Champions Trophy:

1) Australia, 2) South Africa, 3) New Zealand, 4) India, 5) Pakistan, 6) Sri Lanka 7) England and 8) West Indies.


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