Dubai: The International Cricket Council ICC) on Saturday announced the schedule and venues for this year"s ICC Champions Trophy 2008 slated to be held in Pak from Sept 11 to 28.
Hosts Pakistan will face 2004 winner and 2006 runner-up West Indies in the opener on Sept 11 (Thursday) in a Group A game at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore while former champions New Zealand face Lanka in the Group-B opener in Karachi on Sept 12.
India play its first match against the defending champion and top seed Australia at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sept 13.
Karachi and Rawalpindi are the other venues to be used in this year"s event, in which the top eight sides in the world compete.
As compared to the 2006 edition where 21 matches were played over 29 days, 15 matches will be played in 17 days this year.
The first semi-final will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sept 24 while Rawalpindi will host the second semi-final on Sept 25. The Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore will host the final on Sept 28.
A spokesman for the ICC said that a full independent security assessment of the situation in Pak would be conducted in June.
Group-A (with seedings): Australia (1); India (4); Pakistan (5) and West Indies (8).
Fixture: Sept 11: Pak Vs Windies in Lahore; Sept 13: India Vs Australia in Lahore; Sept 16: India Vs Windies in Karachi; Sept 17: Pakistan Vs Australia in Rawalpindi; Sept 20: India Vs Pakistan in Lahore; Sept 21: Windies Vs Australia in Karachi.
Group-B (with seedings): South Africa (2); New Zealand (3); Sri Lanka (6) and England (7).
Fixture: Sept 12: New Zealand Vs Sri Lanka in Karachi; Sept 14: Sri Lanka Vs England in Karachi; Sept 15: South Africa Vs New Zealand in Rawalpindi; Sept 18: Sri Lanka Vs South Africa in Lahore Sept 19: New Zealand Vs England in Rawalpindi; Sept 21: South Africa Vs England in Rawalpindi.
Ist semis: at the National Stadium, Karachi on Sept 24.
2nd semis: at the pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi on Sept 25.
Final: at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Sept 28.