Excitement builds for ICC Champions trophy with 100 days to go

With 100 days to go until the start of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 players and fans are turning their attention towards the prestigious tournament, featuring the eight best one day international teams in the world.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2013 will feature Australia, England,  India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka  and West Indies and be played out across three grounds – Cardiff Wales Stadium, The Oval and Edgbaston – over eighteen days from the 6th to 23rd June 2013.

To celebrate 100 days to go, the ICC has taken a look back through the archives at the 37 centuries scored during the tournament’s 15 year history and shortlisted five of the best. Cricket fans are being asked to vote on their favourite by visiting www.facebook.com/cricketicc before 1 March 2013, with highlights from the most popular innings being uploaded to the ICC website.

Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal, the number-one ranked ODI bowler in the world, is looking forward to his country’s two games at Edgbaston and wants his team to end its run of semi-final heartbreaks at ICC events by making the final of an ICC event for the first time in four years.

“Last time we lost the semi-final in South Africa against New Zealand at Centurion. The last four ICC events we have got through to the semi-final. This time with the ICC Champions Trophy coming, we want to win it. That is what we are dreaming,” said Saeed.

Current ticket data for the ICC Champions Trophy reveals that the tournament is attracting a new, younger audience to game, with the average age of buyers down to 38 from the traditional figure of 44.  Nearly a third of these are aged 25-34, while 60% are first-time buyers at the three venues.

Adult tickets for the ICC Champions Trophy are priced in three categories – Gold, Silver and Family Stand – and range from £20 (for a group game in the Family Stands) up to £60 (Gold ticket for the Final). Tickets for under 16s are priced at £5 for the entire tournament (including the Final), but must attend with an adult. A new pricing structure also sees the introduction of tickets for under 21s, priced between £10 – £25.

Tickets to five matches have already sold out of their initial allocations, including some of the most eagerly awaited clashes: India v Pakistan, England v Australia, India v West Indies, England v Sri Lanka and the Final on Sunday 23 June 2013 at Edgbaston. More tickets are due to come on sale in April.

Sri Lankan UK BBC Radio and BBC Asian Network DJ) Nihal with the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval, one of the host venues for the tournament in June 2013
Sri Lankan born UK BBC Radio and BBC Asian Network DJ Nihal with the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval, one of the host venues for the tournament in June 2013