Returns of The Epic

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The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy is the 8th ICC Champions Trophy, a One Day International (ODI) cricket tournament. It is currently being held in England and Wales between 1 and 18 June 2017. The top eight teams in the ICC ODI Championship rankings as on 30 September 2015 qualified for the tournament, for which they were divided into two groups of four.

Bangladesh replaced the West Indies, who finished outside the top eight in ninth position, in the ICC ODI Team Rankings on the cut-off date. Bangladesh returned to the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time since 2006, and, for the first time, the West Indies failed to qualify.

Security around the tournament was increased following the Ariana Grande concert attack in Manchester, just before the start of the competition. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that they would review security concerns. England qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 automatically as hosts, and were joined by the seven other highest-ranked teams in the ODI rankings as of 30 September 2015. On 1 June 2016, it was announced that the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy would be held across three venues: The Oval, Edgbaston and Sophia Gardens. The ICC confirmed the umpires for all matches and venues on 18 May 2017. The eight participating teams were required to announce a 15-member squad for the tournament on or before 25 April 2017. Teams can make changes to their originally named squads up to 25 May 2017, after which date changes will only be accepted on medical grounds, subject to approval.

India did not announce their squad by 25 April deadline due to what it described as “operational” reasons, although this was widely seen as a protest by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an ongoing disagreement with the ICC over finance and governance. The BCCI were scheduled to announce the squad for India after the ICC board meeting on 27 April 2017. However, on 4 May 2017, after no team had been named, the committee of administrators told the BCCI to select their squad immediately. The BCCI undertook a special general meeting on 7 May 2017 to determine what course of action they would take. The outcome of that meeting was that India would take part in the tournament, and the squad was named on 8 May 2017.

On 10 May 2017, the ICC confirmed all the squads for the tournament, with Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik playing in his sixth consecutive Champions Trophy.

Where Heroes Become

The world called it the mother of all miracles when little Bangladesh beat the mighty Australians in Cardiff in 2005. Twelve years later, in a toe-to-toe battle with New Zealand at the same ground, Bangladesh staged a comeback for the ages, winning by five wickets after being blown away by their pace attack. The stunning turnaround was scripted courtesy Bangladesh’s highest stand for any wicket in ODIs between centurions Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah who added 224 at over a run a ball after their side had been reduced to 33 for 4 chasing 266.

Bangladesh had lost their top order by the 12th over and looked on their way out of the tournament in what was a must-win for both teams. But that was as far as New Zealand’s success went. For the umpteenth time, Shakib confirmed his status as the premier all-rounder in world cricket with an almost run-a-ball 114; Mahmudullah finished not too far behind, hitting 102 not out of 107 – he brought up his third ODI ton with a hook off Trent Boult.

Bangladesh reached in the semifinals when England beat Australia. In the semifinal Bangladesh will fight against India. Pakistan had beaten England in the semi-final in what came as a stunning reversal of fortunes and events after the hosts had begun the tournament with three straight wins in the group stages. On the other hand, Pakistan needed plenty of luck on their side. Another semifinal, India beat Bangladesh by 9 wickets. Now the cricket world is eagerly waiting to see the super classic match on 18th June, Sunday.

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