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Top players get behind ICC Champions Trophy 2009

Team captains shot a video promoting the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy to be held in South Africa

Top players get behind ICC Champions Trophy 2009 - Cricket News
Greame Smith with the ICC Champions Trophy.
A host of the world's top players have come together to promote this year's ICC Champions Trophy.

Those players, including international captains Younus Khan of Pakistan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India, England's Andrew Strauss, Graeme Smith from host South Africa and Daniel Vettori of New Zealand, feature in a short video looking ahead to the tournament, which takes place in South Africa starting on 22 September.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "It is great to see the best players in the world so enthused and motivated about this prestigious event. 

"The ICC Champions Trophy is another opportunity for us to showcase our great sport and the great spirit with which I hope it will be played during this top-class tournament in South Africa." 

The star names in the videos also include India's Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Gautam Gambhir, South Africa's AB de Villiers, Australia's Mitchell Johnson, Shahid Afridi of Pakistan and Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardena and they talk about some of the key themes of the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 that features the top eight-ranked One-Day International teams.

The videos stay true to one of those themes, with 30 second and 15 second versions available, they are short and sharp, just like the tournament that features 15 matches in 14 days in just two venues.

The players emphasise that the event is about champion players in nation-versus-nation action, with honour, prestige and more prize-money at stake than ever before.

The sixth staging of the tournament begins with host South Africa taking on Sri Lanka at Centurion in a day-night encounter and will culminate with the final at the same venue on 5 October.

For the first time it 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.

Matches will be split between Centurion and The Wanderers with the teams ? Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, host South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies ? divided into two pools of four, with the top two from each pool progressing to the semi-finals stage.

Holder Australia begins the defence of its ICC Champions Trophy 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).