Dhaka, May 31 (UNB) – The 8th edition of the eight-team ICC Champions Trophy will kick off at Kennington Oval in London on Thursday.Bangladesh will start their Group A campaign taking on the host England in the tournament opener, starting at 3:30pm (Bangladesh time).In the remaining group matches, Tigers will face Australia and New Zealand on June 5 and 9 respectively.Group B comprises of defending champion India, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka.Including final and two semi-finals, a total of 15 matches will be held at three venues — Kennington Oval in London, Edgbaston in Birmingham and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. The final will be held at Kennington Oval on June 18. Bangladesh will be competing in the tournament for the first time since 2006, after failing to qualify for the previous two editions in 2009 and 2013 because of its low ranking.Bangladesh’s first experience of the event came in the second edition, in Nairobi in 2000, but the team returned home empty-handed in terms of results. The story remained the same in the 2002 and 2004 editions before they recorded first victory, against Zimbabwe in 2006. That game also remains its last Champions Trophy fixture till date.Tigers have played a total of eight matches in the ICC Champions Trophy and secured only victory in 2006 edition over Zimbabwe. Bangladesh have never gone past the group stages in the tournament, but when the Asian giant-killer will step foot at the Kennington Oval, they must look forward to make an immediate impact against its favourite opponent in the recent history of ICC’s 50-over mega events.Bangladesh emerged victorious in both its recent outings against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup, handing the English side a two-run defeat in the 2011 edition and knocking them out from the group stage of the 2015 event to qualify for the knockouts for the first time.
Bangladesh have a solid and balanced team that it can bank on. Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza bring a decade of experience along with them, the youthful enthusiasm and the undisputed skills of Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain and Taskin Ahmed.Roll of Honour: India and Australia are the sides to have won the tournament twice. Meanwhile, West Indies, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa each have annexed the trophy once. India and Sri Lanka are the only teams to have shared the trophy.
Bangladesh Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (C), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Sunzamul Islam, Mehedi Hasan and Shafiul Islam.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (C), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.
Squads of the six other nations for ICC Championship Trophy:
Australia: Steven Smith (C), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Lee Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade and Adam Zampa.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.
India Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Dinesh Karthik.
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf , Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz and Fakhar Zaman.
South Africa squad: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (C), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Farhaan Behardien and Morne Morkel.
Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (C), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Seekkuge Prasanna.