India to take on Australia in their opening Champions Trophy match

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Karachi, Mar 22 (UNI) Team India will open its campaign against defending champions Australia in the second match of the ICC Champions Trophy scheduled be played in Pakistan from September 11 to 28.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the schedule for the tournament and has selected Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi as the venues for the prestigious event.

Hosts Pakistan will take on West Indies who won the 2004 edition and were the runners-up last year in the opening match on September 11 at the Gaddafi stadium, Lahore.

This year's Champions Trophy will witness the top eight teams competing against each other.

The duration of this year's event has been reduced to 15 matches which will be played over 17 days in comparison to the 2006 tournament when 21 matches were played over 29 days.

However, as discussed at the ICC Board meeting earlier this week, a full independent security assessment of the situation in Pakistan will be conducted in June.

Due to the security threat in the troubled nation, the ICC has designated Sri Lanka as a reserve host country for the tournament.

Gaddafi Stadium, which hosted the final of the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup, has been selected to stage the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2008.

Draw: Group A: Australia (1), India (4), Pakistan (5), West Indies (8) Group B: South Africa (2), New Zealand (3), Sri Lanka (6), England (7) Schedule: Sept 11 Pakistan v West Indies, Lahore.

Sept 12 New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Karachi.

Sept 13 Australia v India, Lahore.

Sept 14 England v Sri Lanka, Karachi.

Sept 15 South Africa v New Zealand, Rawalpindi.

Sept 16 West Indies v India, Karachi.

Sept 17 Pakistan v Australia, Rawalpindi Sept18 South Africa v Sri Lanka, Lahore.

Sept 19 England v New Zealand, Rawalpindi.

Sept 20 Pakistan v India, Lahore.

Sept 21 Australia v West Indies, Karachi; England v South Africa, Rawalpindi.

Sept 24 1st semi-final, Karachi.

Sept 25 2nd semi-final, Rawalpindi.

Sept 28 final, Lahore.

UNI XC RAR AB BD2027

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