The ICC Champions Trophy stands as a globally renowned cricket competition orchestrated by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Its inaugural occurrence transpired in 1998 in Bangladesh, and subsequently, it has maintained a biennial to quadrennial cadence. Notably, the Champions Trophy convenes the foremost 8 ICC-affiliated teams, constituting a condensed version of the esteemed Cricket World Cup. This event occupies a significant echelon within the spectrum of ICC tournaments, alongside the Cricket World Cup and the T20 World Cup. Throughout its progression, the Champions Trophy has borne witness to stellar displays of skill, leading to triumphs for 5 distinct teams. Let’s delve into the champions trophy winners and revisit the half-dozen preceding editions of the ICC Champions Trophy:
1998 Champions Trophy – South Africa
The initial ICC Champions Trophy took place in 1998, following a three-year gap after the ICC Cricket World Cup. The competition encompassed eight premier cricketing nations, partitioned into two sets of four teams each. Group A comprised South Africa as well as New Zealand, whereas a Group B consisted of an England, and Sri Lanka, as well as West Indies, and a Zimbabwe. Progressing to a semi-finals were a top 2 teams from every group. This edition was hosted by Bangladesh.
In Group A, South Africa displayed clear dominance, securing victories in all three matches with convincing performances. They achieved the comprehensive 7-wicket win versus New Zealand, followed by the 6-wicket triumph over West Indies, as well as concluded their group stage with the 32-run victory versus Zimbabwe, thereby clinching a top position. Similarly, in Group B, England remained undefeated, prevailing over the Sri Lanka, and West Indies, along with Zimbabwe. These results paved the way for an eagerly anticipated semi-final showdown between South Africa and Sri Lanka The Proteas batted first and posted a daunting 267/6 on the back of Jacques Kallis’ 92. Their bowlers then restricted Sri Lanka to 208 to win by 59 runs. England beat New Zealand by 49 runs in the second semi-final.
2000 Champions Trophy – New Zealand
The 2000 edition of the Champions Trophy was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya and featured 9 teams divided into two groups. In Group A, you had the New Zealand, and India, as well as West Indies, along with Zimbabwe, while a Group B comprised Pakistan, and South Africa, as well as England, and the Kenya.
New Zealand secured a leading position in the Group A by emerging a victorious in all 3 of their matches versus India, and West Indies, as well as Zimbabwe. Their bowlers did a great job restricting the opposition to low totals which their batsmen chased down comfortably.
In Group B, Pakistan claimed the top spot by registering wins against South Africa, England, and Kenya. The semi-final berths were earned by a two leading squads from every group.
The opening semi-final featured the match-up among New Zealand versus South Africa. Batting first, New Zealand posted a competitive 240/7 thanks to Chris Harris’ 66. Their bowlers then bowled superbly to dismiss South Africa for just 208 and win by 32 runs. In the second semi-final, Pakistan successfully defended 253/6 by restricting arch-rivals India to just 224/9. This set up a Pakistan vs New Zealand final.
2002 Champions Trophy – Shared between India and Sri Lanka
The 2002 Champions Trophy took place in Sri Lanka with the hosts, India, New Zealand and Kenya in Group A while South Africa, Pakistan, England and Zimbabwe were placed in Group B. India topped Group A with wins over New Zealand, Kenya and a washout against Sri Lanka. The hosts finished second in the group ahead of New Zealand on net run rate.
In Group B, South Africa won all three matches to take the top spot. Pakistan came second despite losing to England. The semi-final lineup pitted India against South Africa and Sri Lanka against New Zealand. India comfortably defeated the Proteas by 10 wickets while Sri Lanka beat the Kiwis by 112 runs.
This set up a blockbuster India vs Sri Lanka final at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Both teams were looking strong and the hosts had the advantage of home conditions. However, heavy rain on the match day rendered the outfield completely wet. After multiple inspections, the umpires decided to abandon the match without a single ball being bowled.
2004 Champions Trophy – West Indies
In a year 2004, England played host to the Champions Trophy for the very first time in its history. During this event, the West Indies clinched their inaugural Champions Trophy victory, rendering the competition a remarkable and unforgettable experience for them.
There were two groups of 4 teams apiece in the competition. West Indies, South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka made up Group B, while Australia, India, England, and Kenya made up Group A. With only one match against Sri Lanka lost, West Indies won their group. South Africa came in second place behind them. England won Group A, as well as Australians finished in 2nd place.
As a result, the semi-final pairings comprised England against West Indies, and Australia against South Africa. The Windies scored 258/7 and restricted England to 237/8 to win by 21 runs. Australia beat South Africa by 6 wickets. In the final, West Indies opted to bat first and posted an imposing 268/6. Opener Chris Gayle blasted 79 while Ramnaresh Sarwan starred with 78.
2006 Champions Trophy – Australia
The 2006 edition took place in India where Australia emerged victorious beating West Indies in the final. Australia batted first and powered their way to 245/3 thanks to brilliant hundreds from Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn.
West Indies lost wickets regularly in their chase and were bowled out for 138, handing Australia a comfortable 107 run win. Ponting was named Player of the Series for his magnificent unbeaten knock of 143 in the final.
2009 Champions Trophy – Australia
The 2009 Champions Trophy was held in South Africa and saw Australia capture their second straight title. They dominated the group stage and beat England in the semi-final to set up a summit clash against New Zealand.
Batting first, New Zealand were restricted to 200/9. Shane Watson then smashed an unbeaten 105 as Australia chased down the total with 9.3 overs to spare. Watson was adjudged Player of the Series for his crucial innings in the final and overall contribution of 220 runs and 6 wickets.
The Champions Trophy provides a highly competitive and entertaining tournament for fans to enjoy. With the top ICC teams in action, it serves as an ideal preparation for the Cricket World Cup coming up every 4 years.