ICC Champions Trophy: Past winners

For a team that consistently produces some of the best cricketing talents in the world, the ICC KnockOut Trophy is South Africa’s only testimony of global success. In the sweltering heat of Dhaka, surrounded by 40,000 raucous spectators, most of them Bangladeshis, South Africa, sans its best pacemen — Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock, restricted a robust West Indian batting line-up to 245 in the final and chased down the target with three overs to spare. Photo: Allsport
You would’ve been in for a surprise if you’d nodded off during the last 35 overs of this tournament’s final and woken up the next day to find out that New Zealand had beaten India. For, the Black Caps’ top three batters were back in the pavilion within 15 overs with over 170 more runs to be scored. Not a mission that’s impossible, but a tough job at that time — a time when 300-plus totals had been chased down only on six occasions. But Chris Cairns, with some assistance from Roger Twose and Chris Harris, scored an unbeaten hundred in New Zealand’s first and only global triumph. Photo: Allsport
The final was a battle for primacy between two growing Asian nations. India, with little trouble, made it to a second successive Champions Trophy final. And, Sri Lanka steamrollered to the title match at home. Batting first, Sri Lanka, clogged by the Indian slow bowlers, could muster only 244. Can the Sri Lankan bowlers do better? The rain gods didn’t want us to know — the match was washed away. Thankfully, there was a reserve day. The match was restarted, Sri Lanka batted first again, scored 22 runs lesser, India was one down for 38 in 8.4 overs. Alas! the rain gods were spoilsports again. No more reserve days. The trophy had to be shared. Photo: Reuters
In this elongated edition, with more teams, that was played out in England, not even a handful of games offered thrills aplenty. Twelve teams, divided into four groups, were distilled to four. Several powerhouses, including India, South Africa and Sri Lanka, were eliminated. Then, West Indies and England beat Pakistan and Australia, respectively, to enter the title clash. In the final, the West Indians were five down for less than 100 in a chase of 217 at the Oval, where runs required hard work. Then, Courtney Brown and Ian Bradshaw, ninth and tenth in the batting line-up, pulled off a heist to get West Indies its first major trophy since the 1979 World Cup — a memorable finish to an insipid tournament. Photo: V. V. Krishnan
The images of the then BCCI president Sharad Pawar being gestured with a forefinger by Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to present the trophy soon, and being pushed away by Damien Martyn from the dais are among the most memorable in the 2006 edition. This Australian squad, littered with match winners, was mighty, aggressive and even a bit arrogant. The Champions Trophy was the only thing missing from the Kangaroos’ trophy cabinet. So, Ponting and his men, after quashing the best of the teams in the tournament, perhaps wanted no one — not even for a little while — between them and the trophy. Photo: Getty Images
The Australian team, with few of its veterans having bid goodbye to the game, was in transition. It had at least three all-rounders, an aggressive pace battery and Ricky Ponting in top-form. There were, however, a few rookies as well. This team was considered a contender, but was beatable. Ponting and his band of young men, however, not only defended their Champions Trophy but did so without losing a game. Photo: AP
India’s moustachioed duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja had taken their team to the final with the ease of routine. South Africa was outbatted, West Indies was overpowered and Pakistan humbled in the group stage. In the semifinal, the Sri Lankan challenge was quashed and India was the scorching favourite to make the Champions Trophy its own for the first time. But Alastair Cook’s men and his country’s weather jeopardized the Men in Blue’s chances. The final, due to steady showers, was reduced to a T20 game and India was restricted to 129, a total that’s hard to defend, even in the bowler-friendly England. The host was cruising towards a win at 102 for four in 17 overs, when India choked it, picking up four wickets and giving away just 22 runs in the last three overs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, thus, became the first captain to win all the ICC trophies. Photo: AP