The Cricket Tier
May 12, 2017
The next instalment of the ICC Champions Trophy is quickly approaching and is set to begin on June 1st, running until the final on June 18th. England and Wales are preparing to host the tournament for the second consecutive time and will be hoping home advantage plays it's part.
This will be the eighth chapter in the history of the Champions Trophy, the most recent of which was also co-hosted by England and Wales. This is the third time England have hosted the event and they have managed second place on both occasions. India won the tournament for the first time back in 2013, beating England by just five runs.
The tournament comes just a month after the announcement of the updated ICC ODI rankings. South Africa remain top of the pile with England's old enemy, Australia, just behind them in second, whereas England remain in fifth place ahead of the tournament.
England open the competition against Bangladesh at the Oval on June 1st and despite having four nations above them in the rankings, England are 3/1 favourites in cricket betting to win the competition. Looking back at previous tournaments, England have done well and overcome doubts about them in the competition. They have finished as runner-up on two occasions when they hosted and made the semi-final back in 2009.
They narrowly missed out last time as India beat them by just five runs but, a lot of people are very confident that this time they can go one further and win the trophy. Home advantage will certainly be a key element to their success, the England fans will attend in mass numbers and it's sure to give the England squad an extra push in every game.
England are likely to win their first fixture when they play Bangladesh - who are ranked 7th and are the big outsiders for the competition. The last time the two side's met, England won by 4 wickets, eventually defeating Bangladesh 2-1 in a 3-day series in Australia, and are expected to manage the same result at the Oval.
The next two fixtures aren't as kind to England as they have been placed in a very tough group with Australia and New Zealand. The latter are ranked just one place above them with the Aussies ranked in second. England face New Zealand on June 6th before facing Australia four days later.
However, England's primary source of success is likely to come through their batsmen. Joe Root is on top of his game currently, and was recently named the new captain of the test side, replacing Alastair Cook. Root is confident in his side ahead of the tournament, saying he is 'encouraged' by the amount of strength the squad has.
England have two tests warmed up prior to the tournament, they will play Ireland in a two-day fixture that commences on May 5th and then a week before the Tournament they face South Africa as the final test before the ICC Champions Trophy.
by Tom Wilson