DUBAI: Former T20 skipper Shahid Afridi has unveiled Champions Trophy 2017 in a ceremony conducted in the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters. According to ICC press release received here on Tuesday, Afridi unveiled the trophy and clicked selfies. This time around, Champions Trophy is to be hosted by England and is scheduled to begin on June 1. The mega cricket event will conclude on June 18. Pakistan and India are scheduled to clash on June 8 while total eight teams are participating in the event. Speaking on the occasion, Afridi said: “The ICC Champions Trophy is an event which gives me and millions of Pakistan cricket supporters mixed feelings. It is the only ICC major tournament Pakistan has never won, but at the same time it is the only ICC event in which Pakistan has beaten India. That said, I am sure things will soon change as nothing is permanent in life and sport. “The event is a tough and challenging tournament for the players, but immensely entertaining for the fans. In the two-week window, each side plays almost every third day, against a new opponent and in fresh conditions. As such, there is no time to relax or reflect on past glory or failure. In quest for the title, you simply have to be sharp and on the ball every single day,” he added. The former all-rounder said: “The tournament in June will be no different and will probably be one of the most open events in recent times. It will not be prudent to predict a winner, as, at least, five of the eight sides, I think, have an outstanding chance to lift the trophy on 18 June.
“Like most of the champions of our sport, I too have always enjoyed playing cricket in the United Kingdom, not only because of its rich cricket heritage and history as well as its cultural diversity, but also because it boasts excellent playing facilities which is complimented by some very passionate and knowledgeable cricket fans. “I want to thank the ICC and all its sponsors for their support of cricket. By taking the trophy on a global tour, they’re enabling fans to connect with the event regardless of where they live and hopefully build a new generation of cricket fans,” Afridi added. With 100 days to go before the first ball is bowled in the eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy, the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Nissan Trophy Tour was launched in the backyard of the International Cricket Council headquarters at the ICC Academy on Tuesday, 21 February. During its global tour, the ICC Champions Trophy will visit 19 cities across all eight competing nations, allowing fans to get a close-up view of the prestigious silverware. The trophy’s journey will also be documented on ICC’s various social media platforms and fans across the world can track the movements of the trophy via the Nissan trophy tour dedicated section on the ICC website (www.icc-cricket.com/champions-trophy), which will host an interactive map of the trophy tour’s schedule of activities along with a gallery of imagery captured during each of the stops.
The trophy’s journey will start on Thursday, 2 March, when it will depart for India, and after travelling through Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, it will arrive in the United Kingdom on 2 May where the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 will be staged from 1-18 June. There the ICC Champions Trophy will be joined by the ICC Women’s World Cup on the domestic trophy tour to kick off a summer of cricket in the UK as it tours the cities playing host to the tournaments. ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “The global trophy tour is the start of what will be a fantastic summer of cricket celebration in the UK with two major back-to-back events – the ICC Champions Trophy followed by the ICC Women’s World Cup. “Our thanks to Nissan for bringing us this global trophy tour, providing the fans from the competing nations with a special experience in the build up to the events. We are confident that the ICC Champions Trophy will be as competitive and thrilling as preceding editions, bringing together some of the finest 50-over cricketers in a short and sharp event in which every match counts.” Nissan Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy Roel de Vries added: “We partnered with the ICC to bring cricket fans closer to the excitement of the game. We want the Nissan Trophy Tour to build excitement and anticipation on the journey towards the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in the UK in June.”