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Pollock says ODIs still the best limited-overs format

Shaun Pollock is excited that the tournament is being held in South Africa and believes that ODI format is the best format for limited overs cricket

Pollock says ODIs still the best limited-overs format - Cricket News
Shaun Pollock.
Ex-South Africa captain looks forward to ICC Champions Trophy - "It's a great format and I'm glad the tournament's coming to South Africa"

Ex-South Africa captain Shaun Pollock believes One-Day International cricket is still the best limited-overs form of the game.

Looking ahead to next month's ICC Champions Trophy to be played at The Wanderers and Centurion, Pollock said: "Having played a lot (of 50-over cricket), maybe I'm a bit more of a sucker when it comes to appreciating the game.

"The fast 20-over game has caught the imagination of many but if you get off to a bad start then you can cost yourself the game. "There is a lot of skill involved in the 50-over game and it's over a much longer period, so that allows teams to have a bit of a mishap and recover from it and you've got time to implement tactics.

"I think ODIs are still the best format of limited-overs cricket, especially with regard to making sure the best team comes out on top," he said.

Pollock knows all about that. He was part of the South Africa squad that came out on top in the first staging of the ICC Champions Trophy, when it was known as the ICC Knock-Out, in Bangladesh in 1998.

The tournament has had several facelifts since then but now, with just the top eight-ranked international sides involved in a short, sharp contest of 15 matches in two weeks starting on 22 September, Pollock believes it is set up perfectly for a great spectacle.

"A lot of sports have gone that way (involving just those sides at the top end of the rankings)," he said. "Tennis and golf are just two that have done it.

"It's always good when you've got the best teams competing against each other and that's exactly what you'll have here.

"All those teams will be based in one place, it will all take place around Johannesburg and so it will be easy to go and view and it will give you some fantastic cricket.

"It's a great format, I'm glad the tournament's come here and I'm glad they're continuing with the (ICC Champions) Trophy," he added. 

Pollock is also excited by the added touches at this year's event, including a total of US$4million prize money, man of the match prizes of a watch worth US$8,500, a special Champions Trophy jacket for each member of the winning team and value-for-money ticket prices starting from just ZAR35 (US$4.26 at current exchange rates) with the highest price for a ticket to the final only ZAR140 (US$17.11).

"It's good for the game," he said. "There need to be incentives for the players and spectators and for everyone involved so that all forms of the game are looked after from Test matches, to the 50-over game to the 20-over game.

"The better we market them, the better we make everyone with regard to their mindset to play in them (and) then it's obviously going to be a better spectacle and that's what you want."

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 background 

For the first time the ICC CT will feature only the top eight-ranked sides in the world in the only global multi-team 50-over-a-side tournament between the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean and the next edition of that event, in the Asian sub-continent in two years' time.

Those teams - Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, host South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies - have been divided into two pools of four, with the top two from each pool progressing to the semi-finals stage.

The action begins on Tuesday 22 September with the home side in action against Sri Lanka in a day-night encounter at Centurion (the location for the women's world cup final of 2005) and it will end with a day-night final at the same venue on Monday 5 October.

Holder Australia begins the defence of its ICC CT crown on Saturday 26 September against the West Indies in a repeat of the 2006 final.

That match will take place as a day game at The Wanderers, Johannesburg and is part of a blockbuster day of action as, later on, India and Pakistan will go head-to-head in a day-night encounter at Centurion.

The ICC Champions Trophy began life as the ICC Knock-Out in 1998 and was played every two years through to 2006, changing its name for the 2002 edition.

The sides to have won the event are South Africa (in Bangladesh, 1998), New Zealand (Kenya, 2000), India and Sri Lanka (joint winners after the final was washed out in Sri Lanka, 2002), the West Indies (England, 2004) and Australia (India, 2006).

More details of tickets and the ICC Champions Trophy can be found at www.icc-cricket.com. For details on how to purchase tickets go to www.computicket.com.   

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