· Ponting, McCullum, Smith and Sangakkara say they are raring to go as commentators for the premium tournament
· Ganguly, Warne, Slater, Hussain, Atherton, Pollock, Manjrekar, Bishop, Ramiz, Doull and Athar among other former stars named in star-studded line-up
· 34 cameras for each match; Player Tracking to be used for the first time in cricket
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced a stellar line up of commentators as well as detailed broadcast production plans, which for the first time in cricket, include Player Tracking for the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in England and Wales from 1 to 18 June.
Former captains Ricky Ponting of Australia, Brendon McCullum of New Zealand, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Graeme Smith of South Africa will be making their ICC TV debut.
Other big names who will commentate through the tournament include Sourav Ganguly, Shane Warne, Michael Slater, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Shaun Pollock, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, Simon Doull and Athar Ali Khan.
Ricky Ponting: “As a player, I always looked forward to the Champions Trophy. Winning it on two occasions was a big thrill. This year I’m really looking forward to it being staged in England and being a part of the commentary team.
“I’m expecting Australia and England to make the final with Pat Cummins and Jason Roy, two guys to stand out across the two weeks. I can’t wait!”
Brendon McCullum: “The ICC Champions Trophy is one event I look back on with many fond memories. Each team will be desperate to do well and put their stamp on the 50-over game.
“To now be in the commentary box for such a prestigious tournament is something I am really looking forward to. Working with names like Ponting, Ganguly and Smith is going to be great fun and hopefully we can give the viewers a unique insight on the action unfolding out in the middle.”
Graeme Smith: “I was very excited when I was asked to commentate at this year’s Champions Trophy and didn’t hesitate to accept. The Champions Trophy is a great tournament where every team has a chance to do well. I am sure there will be a few surprises and many memorable performances, so there’s a lot to look forward to!”
Kumar Sangakkara: "The Champions Trophy is a special tournament which I loved playing in and am honoured to have enjoyed success in. Now, as a commentator, I am very much looking forward to being part of the tournament and watching the best players in the world go head to head.
Most of the teams have a chance of lifting the trophy so it promises to be a fascinating three weeks of action."
ICC TV will produce live coverage of all 15 matches, supported by production partner Sunset+Vine and equipment partner NEP Broadcast Solutions.
The eight-team tournament, which kicks off with host England playing Bangladesh at The Oval on 1 June, will see a state-of-the-art coverage which will include 34 cameras at every game, including eight ultra-motion Hawk-Eye cameras, front and reverse view stump cameras and a Spidercam.
In what is a first for cricket coverage, six Player Tracking cameras will be used in each match while the final at The Oval on 18 June will have additional pictures provided by a drone camera to supplement the broadcast coverage.
Among other enhancements for the live coverage will be an Analysis Zone that will add depth to the coverage, bringing out details and nuances for the benefit of the audience. Regular broadcast tools such as the Hawk-Eye will be supplemented by an in-depth cricket data analytics system to be provided by analytics app Cricviz and a player tracking and real-time data visualization system made available by leading graphics company Chyron Hego.
Aarti Dabas, Head of Media Rights, Broadcast and Digital: “The ICC is committed to providing a world class broadcast that is credible, informative, engaging and attracts a global audience. Our team of 15 Champion Commentators will help tell the story and build heroes, connecting with the fans using relevant insights and broadcast innovations.”
Scores and statistics, which are an important element of any cricket coverage, will be provided by sports graphics specialists Alston Elliott in a fresh new style and feel designed by creative design agency DixonBaxi.
The coverage provided by ICC TV to broadcasters will commence 30 minutes before the start of play of each match and will include the live toss, the pitch report, player profiles and features looking ahead to the game.
Programming will be produced for the innings break to ensure continuous and engrossing content that will keep the viewers hooked. Reviews of the first half of games and a preview of run chases will be inter-woven with a segment dedicated to the history and stars of the ICC Champions Trophy. Match telecasts will culminate with a crisp post-match show.
ICC TV has also made arrangements to produce engaging and informative additional content,, to be distributed to its broadcast partners and other media rights partners via the ICC TV Content Delivery Service. This content will include daily player profiles, team features, match previews and other behind the scenes content, getting fans up close and personal with all the action around the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.