With 50 days to go for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the International Cricket Council announced eight stalwarts of the game as Champion Ambassadors for the tournament in England and Wales.
Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, Bangladesh’s Habibul Bashar, Ian Bell of England, Shane Bond of New Zealand, Australia’s Mike Hussey, India’s Harbhajan Singh, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Graeme Smith of South Africa were unveiled as the Champion Ambassadors on Wednesday (April 12).
Here are the important numbers from their performances in past editions of the ICC Champions Trophy.
- His first ICC CT appearance was in 2006 at the age of 31, after starting his Test career the previous year with three centuries in his first five Tests.
- It was a chastening debut, as he was the first of Jerome Taylor’s hat-trick victims in the West Indies’ surprise 10-run victory in Mumbai.
- He fared better next time out, as his unbeaten 32 helped his side to a six-wicket victory over England in Jaipur.
- He followed up with 35 in the semi-final against New Zealand, but was not required to bat in the final, which Australia won over the West Indies by 8 wickets (D/L).
- Back to defend the title in 2009, Hussey’s 67 against India in Johannesburg was to no avail as the match was washed out.
- But two days later, his innings of 64 proved crucial as Australia sneaked past Pakistan by two wickets off the final delivery of the match in Centurion.
- Having defeated England by 9 wickets in the semi-final, his contribution in the final against New Zealand was just 11 runs, but he earned another winner’s medal.
- His first ICC CT appearance came way back in 2000, and he has participated in six tournaments over the course of his career.
- He failed first time out, with scores of 2 and 19 as Sri Lanka bowed out at the quarter-final stage in 2002.
- Better was to come two years later on home soil, as a run of consistent scores helped Sri Lanka reach the final against India in Colombo.
- He hit 41 against the Netherlands, 48 against Australia and 54 in the final against India before rain forced the match to be replayed on the following day.
- However, his innings of 26 the next day was followed by another downpour, meaning the trophy was shared.
- He had a relatively disappointing 2004 competition, the highlight coming in Ahmedabad, where his innings of 80 helped defeat Zimbabwe by 144 runs.
- But his tournament ended with a duck against South Africa as Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
- Captaining the side in 2009, he hit 54 in a victory over the hosts South Africa in Centurion, but failed in defeats to England and New Zealand in Johannesburg.
- His first time out in 2013 he made 68 against New Zealand, but his side were dismissed for just 138 and fell to defeat – albeit a narrow one – in Cardiff.
- But he set the tournament alight with a memorable, unbeaten 134 from 135 balls against England at The Oval, as Sri Lanka reached its target of 294 with 17 balls to spare.
- Sri Lanka made it to the semi-final stage, but collapsed to 181 all out against India, with Sangakkara contributing 17.
- His first ICC CT appearance was at the age of 21 in 2002, and was soon into his stride, hitting 33 against the West Indies and 69 against Kenya as South Africa topped its pool.
- However, he scored just 4 in the semi-final defeat to India, in which South Africa was coasting at 192-1 before Herschelle Gibbs retired hurt and the chase ended 10 runs short.
- He was in charge for the 2004 tournament and struck an unbeaten 42 to help defeat Bangladesh in South Africa’s first game.
- With only one team to qualify for the semi-finals from each of four groups, the match with the West Indies at The Oval was crucial. Despite Smith’s 45, his side fell to a five-wicket defeat.
- The 2006 tournament started badly as South Africa fell to a heavy defeat against New Zealand in Mumbai, Smith top-scoring with 42 in a poor 108 all out.
- Shaking off that defeat, Smith led his side to comfortable victories against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in its other group matches to top the group and reach the semi-finals.
- South Africa ran into a rampant Chris Gayle in Jaipur, whose unbeaten 133 led his side to victory by 5 wickets, even though Smith bowled his full ten overs, taking one wicket for just 43 runs.
- Having conceded 319-8 in its first match in 2009, Smith hit 58 but was one of Ajantha Mendis’s three victims in a heavy defeat.
- His side bounced back with an easy victory against New Zealand in Centurion to set up a virtual quarter-final knock-out match against England at the same venue.
- Suffering from cramps and chasing England’s imposing total of 323-8, Smith anchored the chase with a memorable 141 from 134 balls before being the ninth man out as South Africa ended on 301-9.
- His ICC CT career started well in 2006 with an innings of 43 against Australia followed by 50 against the West Indies, both while opening the batting.
- His innings against the West Indies only ended due to a spectacular run out by Brian Lara, but it helped England chase 276 for victory in Ahmedabad.
- The 2013 edition began well for Bell as he struck 91 in England’s 48-run victory over Australia in Edgbaston, and was named Player of the Match.
- That was as good as it got for him in the competition though, despite England making its way to the final, which they lost by six runs.
- Fresh from his Test Match triumphs against Australia the previous year, Harbhajan was ever-present in India’s march to the final in the 2002 competition.
- After going wicket-less in his first two matches against Zimbabwe and England, he took 2-37 in his ten overs against South Africa in the tight 10-run victory in the semi-final.
- He went even better in the final, taking 3-27 against Sri Lanka, dismissing the big guns - Atapattu, Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva - but rain brought the game to a premature end.
- With the game replayed the following day, he took 1-34 in his full quote before rain once again caused the match to be abandoned and the trophy was shared.
- He started the 2004 competition in good form, taking 3-33 against Kenya in Southampton, but defeat to arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston saw India eliminated before the semi-final stage.
- He was back three years later, returning identical figures of 1-27 against England and the West Indies. However he was expensive in the crucial final match against Australia, which saw India eliminated.
- In 2009 India faced Pakistan at Centurion and Harbhajan conceded 71 runs as his side tumbled to a heavy defeat. He went wicket-less in the rain-ruined match with Australia two days later.
- He found his best form against the West Indies in Johannesburg, taking 2-14 in eight overs to set up a seven-wicket win. But it was too little, too late as India bowed out early again.
- A veteran of the inaugural competition, he played in Pakistan’s 1998 quarter-final with the West Indies in Dhaka, in which he was dismissed for 4 and failed to take a wicket.
- He missed the 2000 competition, but demolished the Netherlands with both bat and ball in Colombo in 2002.
- He took 3-18 in his ten overs before smashing fifty from just 18 deliveries to seal a nine-wicket victory, which remains the fastest in ICC CT history.
- He started the 2004 competition in even better form with the ball as he took 5-11 against Kenya in Birmingham, four of whom were dismissed bowled.
- However, Pakistan’s batting failed it in the semi-final against eventual-champion West Indies,as it fell to defeat by seven wickets.
- Pakistan failed to qualify from its group in the 2006 competition and Afridi faced just 22 deliveries across three innings, while taking just a solitary wicket.
- The team started well in 2009, defeating the West Indies first up and then beating arch-rival India in Centurion, with Afridi taking 2-39 in his ten overs.
- Despite a last-ball loss to Australia in its final group match, Pakistan qualified for the semi-finals and took on New Zealand in Johannesburg.
- Afridi was dismissed for just 4 and it took a last-wicket partnership to push Pakistan up to 233-9, but that was never going to be enough, as New Zealand coasted home by five wickets.
- His ICC CT debut was an eventful one – he did take two wickets for 63 in his ten overs against Australia in Colombo in 2002, but the Aussie racked up a total of 296-7.
- The Kiwi batting crumbled in reply, with Bond top-scoring with 26 while batting at number 11, the only time a number 11 has top-scored in ICC CT history.
- He was back to his best the following week against Bangladesh, scything through its top-order to the tune of 4-21 in just five overs to help seal a 167-run victory.
- After going wicket-less in his first match of the 2006 competition, he roared back with 3-45 in the victory over Pakistan in Mohali to help New Zealand qualify for the semi-finals.
- It was back to Mohali for the semi against Australia, and he did take 2-55, but his side’s top order batting collapsed and it was so near, yet so far for the Kiwis in a semi-final again.
- Surprisingly, he struggled in the 2009 competition on the bouncy tracks of South Africa, conceding 82 runs in nine overs against Sri Lanka in his second match.
- However, he shone brightest in the match against England at the Wanderers, taking 3-21 in ten overs as England was dismissed for just 146.
- His ICC CT career began with the 2000 quarter-final against England at Nairobi, when he made 18 as his side posted a creditable 232-8. However, the team fell to an eight-wicket defeat.
- However, little was he to know that his next run would came four innings and six years later.
- His sole visit to the crease in 2002 ended in a second-ball duck against Australia in Colombo, and he started the 2006 competition with ducks against both Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
- That made him the first – and so far only – batsman to have been dismissed three times in a row without scoring in ICC CT history.
- He finally came good against Zimbabwe in Jaipur, striking 30 in his side’s 101-run victory, but it was not enough to secure qualification for the main round.