Ashes preview set for Champions Trophy

Host nation England will begin their 2013 ICC Champions Trophy campaign against old foes and reigning champions Australia at Edgbaston.

Eurosport

The ODI will come one month before the two nations clash in the opening Test of the 2013 Ashes at Trent Bridge.

The ICC announced the full schedule with Cardiff, Edgbaston and The Oval set to host the three-week tournament featuring the world’s top eight ODI sides.

The 50 over-a-side competition begins on June 6 next year in Cardiff with a heavyweight clash between the current World Cup holders India and South Africa, the winners of the inaugural tournament in 1998.

The group stages at Edgbaston will also include two eagerly anticipated head-to-head contests between arch sporting rivals Australia and New Zealand (June 12) and India and Pakistan (June 15).

Cardiff, Edgbaston and The Oval will each host four group matches in the competition which will see the eight teams divided into two pools of four.

Group A will feature Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka with India, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies contesting Group B.

The top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals, to be hosted at The Oval and Cardiff, with the winners then progressing to the final at Edgbaston on June 23.

Tournament director Steve Elworthy said: “This will be an incredible opportunity for fans to see the world’s very best ODI sides in action over the space of less than three weeks and the fixture schedule has thrown up a host of exciting head-to-head contests.

“The format means every match counts and all eight teams will feel that they are capable of winning the tournament in a competition which is set to be one of the highlights of the 2013 summer.”

Group stage line-ups

Group A: Australia, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka

Group B: India, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies

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