The eight best teams in international one-day cricket compete for the last-ever ICC Champions Trophy this summer with all the action only on Sky Sports.
Ahead of their Ashes visit later this summer, Australia will be aiming to claim their third consecutive Champions Trophy title in a row having won the competition in convincing fashion four years ago in South Africa and in India back in 2006.
They will face fierce competition from India, the number one ranked side in the world and current World Cup holders, hosts England, led by captain Alastair Cook, and a strong South African side.
Fellow international heavyweights Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will also fancy their chances in the star-studded tournament, which starts on June 6.
Three grounds in England and Wales play host to the last Champions Trophy tournament, with the opening match between India and South Africa at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on June 6.
Scheduled to be replaced by the ICC World Test Championship in the coming years, this mini-World Cup tournament features only the cream of international one-day cricket’s crop.
Some commentators have called for the Champions Trophy to be dropped from the overcrowded international cricket schedule, while others have praised its short, two-week format in contrast to the long-drawn-out ICC World Cup, which lasted six weeks in 2011.
Cardiff, Edgbaston and The Oval each host four group matches in the competition which sees the eight teams divided into two pools of four.
England have been drawn in Group A with Sri Lanka, New Zealand and two-time defending champions Australia, but they’ll have to wait until the third day to begin their campaign.
India and South Africa will be the first two teams out of the gate when they contest the opening Group B clash at Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium on Thursday, June 6, with the West Indies and Pakistan also in their group.
The top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals, hosted at the Oval and Cardiff, with the winners then progressing to the final at Edgbaston on Sunday, June 23.
With England playing on home soil the tournament offers Alastair Cook’s side a strong chance of landing their first major 50-over title, though the ODI series defeat to New Zealand in the build-up has put a slight question marks over their chances.
They will look to draw inspiration from the 2004 staging of the tournament in England, when Michael Vaughan’s team reached the final after beating a strong Australian side in a memorable semi-final.
Australia, Champions Trophy winners in both 2006 and 2009, are second in the current world rankings, but lost in humiliating fashion to India by 243 runs in their final warm-up match ahead of the competition, after being bowled out for 65.
Captain Michael Clarke’s back injury is also a major worry ahead of the tournament, with the Aussies facing England first up in an appetiser for the forthcoming Ashes series.
World champions India are the number on ranked side in ODI cricket, but whether they can thrive in English conditions is another question.
On paper they look weaker than Pakistan and South Africa, but with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni leading the batting and Ravi Ashwin and Ishant Sharma the bowling they have a strong chance of winning.
Despite the patchy recent ODI form of the hosts, there are no clear favourites for this tournament which will make this two-week internatinal cricketing carnival even more intriguing.
Details of how to follow the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy below:
Sky Sports has exclusive television coverage of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy held across three venues in England and Wales this June.
Cricket fans will not miss a catch, run or wicket with Sky’s decorated team of experts providing comprehensive coverage of every match through to the final at Edgbaston on June 23.
David Gower, Ian Ward and Charles Colvile will share presenting duties across Sky Sports’ extensive live coverage of all 15 games and nightly highlights.
ICC’s global TV rights partner STAR Sports will be responsible for producing the live match coverage of each game during the tournament to around 180 territories worldwide.
They will produce high-definition coverage using 29 cameras at each of the three grounds, including Spydercam, enhanced Hawkeye cameras, Hot Spot and Ultra Motion cameras.
In the commentary box, STAR has assembled a top class team of leading figures from the world of cricket broadcasting.
These include Sky Sports regulars Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Michael Holding and David Lloyd.
A further 12 commentators from the leading participating countries will also be involved, including Australian legend Shane Warne, Pommie Mbangwa, Ramiz Raja, Russell Arnold, Sanjay Manjrekar, Simon Doull, Sourav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar, Tom Moody, Wasim Akram, Alan Wilkins and Harsha Bhogle.
Further analysis and comment in the Sky Sports studio will come from the likes of Sir Ian Botham, Nick Knight, Bob Willis and Dominic Cork.
Commenting on his involvement with the host broadcast for the tournament, Sky’s Nasser Hussain said: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Star Sports commentary team for the ICC Champions Trophy for what I’m sure will be top class coverage of the event.
“It’s great to have the best eight teams in the world here in England and Wales. The atmosphere will be electric.”
Michael Atherton added: “The ICC Champions Trophy is one of the best events in cricket. Every game matters and they’ll be played in front of big crowds in the UK.
“All the teams have a chance of winning – it’s absolutely wide open. I can’t wait to join the Star Sports team.”
Fans can keep up-to-date with all the latest news, statistics and latest scores from the tournament via the Sky Sports cricket website.
In addition to exclusive TV coverage, Sky Sports subscribers can can watch every game on Sky Go via their computer, mobile or tablet.
BBC’s Test Match Special will have exclusive radio commentary of every match at the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.
All 15 games will be broadcast in full on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, while coverage of England’s three group games, the semi-finals and final will also feature via the traditional wireless on BBC Radio 4 Long Wave.
Jonathan Agnew will lead the commentary team alongside TMS regulars Henry Blofeld, Simon Mann, Michael Vaughan, Phil Tufnell and Ed Smith, as well as a selection of top international commentators.
Live streaming of TMS radio coverage will available to listen to via the BBC Sport website and the BBC iPlayer Radio app.
Televised Warm-up Matches Thursday 30th May Pakistan v Sri Lanka Start Time: 13:00 | Edgbaston | Match Abandoned LIVE: 12.55pm-9.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Saturday 1st June India v Sri Lanka Start Time: 10:30 | Edgbaston | IND won by 5 wickets LIVE: 10.25am-6.30pm – Sky Sports 2 Monday 3rd June South Africa v Pakistan Start Time: 10:30 | The Oval | PAK won by 6 wickets
LIVE: 10.25am-6.30pm – Sky Sports 1 Tuesday 4th June Australia v India Start Time: 10:30 | Cardiff | IND won by 243 runs
LIVE: 10.25am-6.30pm – Sky Sports 1 ICC Champions Trophy: England & Wales 2013 Thursday 6th June INDIA v SOUTH AFRICA - Group B Start Time: 10:30 | Cardiff LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Friday 7th June PAKISTAN v WEST INDIES – Group B Start Time: 10:30 | The Oval LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Saturday 8th June ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA – Group A Start Time: 10:30 | Edgbaston LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Sunday 9th June NEW ZEALAND v SRI LANKA – Group A Start Time: 10:30 | Cardiff LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Monday 10th June PAKISTAN v SOUTH AFRICA – Group B Start Time: 13:00 | Edgbaston LIVE: 12.30pm-9.30pm - Sky Sports 1 Tuesday 11th June INDIA v WEST INDIES – Group B Start Time: 10:30 | The Oval LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Wednesday 12th June AUSTRALIA v NEW ZEALAND – Group A Start Time: 10:30 | Edgbaston LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm - Sky Sports 1 Thursday 13th June ENGLAND v SRI LANKA – Group A Start Time: 13:00 (D/N) | The Oval LIVE: 12.30pm-9.30pm – Sky Sports 1 Friday 14th June SOUTH AFRICA v WEST INDIES – Group B Start Time: 10:30 | Cardiff LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm - Sky Sports 1 Saturday 15th June INDIA v PAKISTAN – Group B Start Time: 10:30 | Edgbaston LIVE: 10.00am-6.30pm – Sky Sports 1 Sunday 16th June ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND – Group A Start Time: 10:30 | Cardiff LIVE: 10.00am-6.30pm - Sky Sports 1 Monday 17th June AUSTRALIA v SRI LANKA – Group A Start Time: 13:00 (D/N) | The Oval LIVE: 12.30pm-9.30pm – Sky Sports 1 Wednesday 19th June Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B – Semi Final 1 Start Time: 10:30 | The Oval LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Thursday 20th June Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A – Semi-Final 2 Start Time: 10:30 | Cardiff LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Sunday 23rd June ICC Champions Trophy Final 2013 Start: 10:30 | Edgbaston LIVE: 10.00am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 . . .