Sanath Jayasuriya (left) and Sourav Ganguly lift the trophy: for the only time in history Champions Trophy had joint champions    Getty Images
Sanath Jayasuriya (left) and Sourav Ganguly lift the trophy: for the only time in history Champions Trophy had joint champions Getty Images

September 30, 2002. After knocking South Africa and Australia in the semi-finals, India and Sri Lanka met in what was scheduled to be a high-intensity finish to the tournament. Unfortunately, rain intervened. A result would still have been possible, but ICC s existing rules meant that the title had to be shared despite 110.4 overs of cricket in the final. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back.

Despite the success of the two previous editions, ICC decided to make two significant changes in the format of the tournament.

First, they made it a 12-team tournament, splitting the teams into four groups. This meant that there would be a league stage. One team from each group would go through to the semi-final. While this sounds a major change, it was not as big: instead of one team qualifying out of two after every round (the way it used to be), it became one out of three.

Of course, this meant a change of name of the tournament. It could not be called ICC Knockout anymore. They renamed it to Champions Trophy.

The other change was more significant. The original idea behind the inception of the event was to organise an international tournament to ensure some action between the World Cups: it would raise money for ICC and would help generate funds and interest in the host nation.

Accordingly, the first edition was played in Bangladesh. As discussed previously on these pages, the response had been unbelievable. Within two years Bangladesh had been granted Test status.

The second edition in Kenya had not seen success either, though not to the extent of the Bangladesh edition. It would perhaps have made sense to organise the third edition in another non-Test-playing nation. They chose Sri Lanka instead.

Of course, Sri Lanka had done a remarkable job when they hosted the Under-19 World Cup two years ago. However, the issue lay elsewhere: was the tournament not supposed to generate interest in countries beyond the Test world?

The ten Test-playing nations were all invited, as were Kenya, who had attained full ODI status. The 12th team was Netherlands, who had won a humdinger against Namibia in the 2001 ICC Trophy final against Namibia. Both Netherlands and Namibia had qualified for the 2003 World Cup, as had Canada, who had beaten Scotland in the third-place match.

All matches were scheduled at Colombo. Premadasa were allotted the Pools 2 (India, England, and Zimbabwe) and 4 (Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Netherlands) matches, while SSC got Pools 1 (Australia, New Zealand, and Bangladesh) and 3 (South Africa, West Indies, and Kenya). The 15 matches were spread out over 18 days.

There were, as always, a glitch or two. For example, India s participation in the tournament was uncertain till the last moment. ICC had objections with the sponsors of the Indian players. After all, the Global Cricket Corporation deal was worth $550 millions.

BCCI intervened, acting as mediators: it was decided that BCCI would support the cricketers if the sponsors sued them for abiding by ICC s terms terms that collided with the logos they bore. If ICC still did not agree, BCCI proposed to send a second-string side as they waited for the World Cup.

FICA voiced their support for the Indian cricketers, as did Australia, England (players of both sides faced the same issue), Pakistan, and West Indies on a matter of principle . India shortlisted 25 players to make sure they could send a second-string side if needed.

New Zealand were not affected, but NZCC President Martin Snedden pointed out that they would lose more than 30% of the predicted income over the next five years unless the issue was resolved. However, they agreed, albeit not too happily.

The West Indians joined the fray. With the tournament scheduled to begin on September 12, not a single player had signed the relevant contract till August 22.

On August 24, ECB announced that the English cricketers did not sign the contracts either, like their Australian counterparts.

Finally, on August 28, two days before the ICC deadline for submission of squads, the Indian cricketers let know that they were willing to concede for the duration of the Champions Trophy. There were, however, certain clauses: first, ICC would not hold rights for images of Indian cricketers (they were supposed to have the same till six months after the tournament); and second, cricketers were now eligible to advertise for their sponsors 17 days after the tournament (as per the agreement, it was 30 days before and after the tournament).

However, all was not well. Till the next day less than 24 hours before ICC s deadline BCCSL could not come to terms with the demands of the cricketers. That eventually materialised on the final day despite the board not willing to pay the cricketers 30% of the revenue earned from the tournament.

SACA probably took a risk by agreeing without the cricketers signing the contracts. The signatures eventually happened on September 4.

Then Pakistan put a request for three last-minute (non-injury) changes in the squad. ICC agreed to one (Misbah-ul-Haq replaced Azhar Mahmood) but not three. This meant that Saeed Anwar and Imran Nazir stayed on, while Imran Farhat did not take the Lahore-Colombo flight despite being given a ticket.

The tournament finally went underway despite the many problems. There was good news as well: for the first time on-field umpires were allowed to refer to the television umpire for LBWs, bat-pad catches, edges, and bump catches.

The prize money for the winning side was $300,000 in addition to $225,000 from the other matches. So not all was wrong.

Pool 1

The 2001-02 VB Series (where Australia failed to make it to the final at home) had changed the fate of three countries: it established Stephen Fleming as one of the shrewdest, most inspiring captains in world cricket; it helped Shaun Pollock s South Africa to erase the memories of match-fixing for good; and it put Steve Waugh s position in jeopardy.

The selectors dropped the Waugh twins from the ODI side, putting Ricky Ponting in charge. Mark s Test career would end later that year as well, but let us not get into that.

With Bangladesh nowhere close to what they are now, the only serious match of the group was expected to be between Australia and New Zealand. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden caused mayhem at the top, Damien Martyn got 73, and Australia piled up 296 for 7.

Then Glenn McGrath unleashed one of those spells. He conceded 8 off his first over. Then, at point, his figures read 6.2-1-30-5. At that stage New Zealand were 51 for 6. They soon became 82 for 9, and it took a 50-run, last-wicket stand (in 44 balls) between Kyle Mills and Shane Bond to provide some respectability.

Bangladesh became 13 for 4 against Australia. Alok Kapali scored a brave 45, but in the end they got to only 129. Australia chased it down in 20.4 overs.

New Zealand, already eliminated from the group, managed to score 244 for 9 in the last match. Mathew Sinclair, last-minute replacement for Craig McMillan (who had opted out citing security reasons), top-scored with 70. Bond then took 4 for 9 from his first 3 overs, and Bangladesh were bowled out for 77.

Pool 2

Zimbabwean cricket was at its peak. Three years back they had beaten India and South Africa to reach the Super Sixes in the World Cup. A few months down the line they would make it to the top six again.

Here, they reduced India to 87 for 5 in no time, all four wickets falling to Douglas Hondo. It was a bizarre-looking scorecard, since India were going at 6.53 an over after Virender Sehwag s 36-ball 48. At this stage Mohammad Kaif joined Rahul Dravid.

Kaif added 117 with Dravid (71) and an unbroken 84 with Anil Kumble. He remained unbeaten on a 112-ball 111, at that stage the highest ODI score by a No. 7 batsman. Incredibly, Kaif s previous innings was the famous 87 not out that helped India seal the NatWest Trophy at Lord s two months ago.

Andy Flower swept and reverse-swept his way to 145, but got little support. Brother Grant got 33 and Guy Whittall 29, but that was it. At one stage Zimbabwe needed 88 from 66 balls, then 54 from 36, but they fell short by 14 runs in the end.

Marcus Trescothick (115) and Nasser Hussain (75) added 141 to take England to 298 for 8 in the next match. There was little pressure, despite Hondo s second four-wicket haul. Zimbabwe, having already bowled two overs less, succumbed to pressure. They were never in the hunt, and it was only Heath Streak s unbeaten 50 that took them to 190 for 9.

The stage was set up for the virtual quarter-final. Ashish Nehra got India off to the perfect start, removing Trescothick for 1 and Hussain for a duck. Then Nick Knight got a round fifty, and though there were cameos, the performance of the England innings came from Ian Blackwell. He added 104 in 90 balls with Alec Stewart and made a 68-ball 82; England finished on 269 for 7.

No team had chased more than 244 at Premadasa till then, but then, the world had not seen another Sehwag either. He was dropped by Knight on 3, and there was no stopping him after that. The fifty took him 37 balls; the next fifty, another 39; and he eventually fell for a 104-ball 126. All Sourav Ganguly had to do in that 192-run stand was to rotate strike.

VVS Laxman was run out soon, but Ganguly took flight after that. He was on an 80-ball 57 when Laxman had got out; his next 60 runs took 29 balls. Such was his dominance that Sachin Tendulkar managed only 9 in an unbroken 71-run stand.

India whistled to the final with an 8-wicket win. Not only did they record the highest chase at Premadasa, they did it with 63 balls in hand.

Pool 3

South Africa and West Indies, finalists of the first edition, clashed in the first match of the group. The first eight West Indians reached double-figures, but none of them made to fifty. As a result West Indies remained confined to 238 for 8. Having been docked an over, South Africa had only 49 overs to chase.

The openers produced a study in contrast and probably deserve a mention. While Chris Gayle smashed 49 in 55 balls (38 of these runs came in boundaries), Shivnarine Chanderpaul took 98 balls for his 45.

West Indies started well, reducing South Africa to 61 for 3. Then Jonty Rhodes took charge with a 70-ball 61, while Boeta Dippenaar one of the finest (but seldom acknowledged) ODI batsmen to emerge from South Africa gave him company with 53. They added 117.

Then Carl Hooper removed both men in quick succession, leaving South Africa to score 60 from 60 balls. Mark Boucher got off the block soon, but Lance Klusener did not, and in the end they were left to score 13 off the last over.

Mervyn Dillon s first ball was a low full-toss. Pollock calmly lofted it for six. He ran two, then holed out to Chanderpaul. The batsmen had crossed. Now Klusener ran two before hitting straight to Chanderpaul. South Africa had got 10 of those runs, but they had taken 5 balls for that. Worse, Nicky Boje, the man on strike, was yet to face a ball.

But Dillon erred in line. The ball was outside leg-stump. Alan Dawson ran as soon as Dillon released the ball; not only was it a wide, they had also got that extra run.

With the scores levelled, Dawson gave the last ball everything he had: a single would have sufficed, but the edge ran towards the fence. Dawson punched the air in ecstasy as Boje tore down the pitch, leaving Dillon in exasperation…

Alan Dawson punches the air in ecstasy after his last-ball heroics; Nicky Boje is in the background    Getty Images
Alan Dawson punches the air in ecstasy after his last-ball heroics; Nicky Boje is in the background Getty Images

Everything would have been an anticlimax after the match. Brian Lara, who had a near-miraculous outing in Sri Lanka the previous winter, had an iffy start. He suffered from cramps during the innings. He survived a caught-behind appeal on 32 (Asoka de Silva was the umpire). But he held on to smash 111 to take West Indies to 261 for 6. He had to be hospitalised immediately after the innings, and was diagnosed with hepatitis.

Kenya, to their credit, refused to give in. They gave Steve Tikolo the platform he needed. He batted with purpose, innovating shots around the wicket. Unfortunately, he kept losing partners, and was finally yorked by Dillon for a 91-ball 93. Kenya lost by 29 runs.

South Africa merely had to beat Kenya to qualify, which they did with ease. Herschelle Gibbs got 116, Graeme Smith 69, and Jacques Kallis 60 in a total of 316 for 5. Then they bowled out Kenya for 140. Of course, they did not manage to restrain Tikolo, who got 69 out of the total.

Pool 4

With Sri Lanka in the group, Pool 4 was obviously the centre of attention of the first round. They played three fast bowlers against Pakistan in the tournament opener, who did half the job even before Muttiah Muralitharan came on.

As has been the case in later years, Misbah played a lone hand with a well-crafted 47. Pakistan were bowled out for 200 after Inzamam-ul-Haq was ruled out of the match with an ankle injury. Then Sanath Jayasuriya (102*) launched an onslaught despite a shoulder niggle. Aravinda de Silva (66*) played the perfect support role. The match got over in the 37th over.

However, the match was not without incidents. Shoaib Malik became the first to be given out leg-before by the third umpire (Rudi Koertzen). Yousuf Youhana slipped on the pitch and was run out: it looked so ridiculous that there were match-fixing suspicions. Thankfully, Youhana was declared innocent by the Anti-Corruption Unit. Shahid Afridi lost his temper over an appeal and went into an argument with Aravinda. And after the humiliating defeat, Pakistan recalled coach Mudassar Nazar.

Sri Lanka got 292 for 6 in their second match. Netherlands were first reduced to 4 for 3; then Murali came on, took 4 for 15, and routed the hapless Dutch for 86.

They did marginally better against Pakistan to reach 136. Pakistan reached home in the 17th over, Afridi butchering the Netherlands bowlers with 55 not out off 18 balls. All but three of these runs came in boundaries.

Ten of the 12 league matches were one-sided, which did little for the sport. Unsurprisingly, 6 of these matches involved at least one of Bangladesh, Kenya, and Netherlands.

In his column for The Indian Express, Ajit Wadekar wrote: Holland, Kenya, and Bangladesh are not good enough to play A teams. It is a sheer waste of time seeing them play against Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka or India … Maybe relegation and promotion can take place later within the groups. This is the only way the ICC can genuinely think of globalising the game.

Prophetic, indeed.


The first semi-final ended in one of the most bizarre climaxes in the history of ODI cricket. India put up a decent 261 for 9, runs coming from Sehwag (59 in 58 balls), Dravid (49), and Yuvraj Singh (62) while Pollock took 3 for 43.

Smith perished early to an acrobatic catch from Yuvraj, but Gibbs took charge, pulverising the Indian attack. He did not even seem to make an effort. His fifty came up without anyone noticing, as did his hundred. The asking rate came down steadily. Kallis made sure there was no mishap at the other end. At one stage South Africa needed 83 in 102 balls with 9 wickets in hand. Four quiet overs later it came down to 70 from 78.

Then a small glimmer of hope came India s way. Gibbs was already battling cramps. Smith was running for him. However, at this stage he could not carry on any longer and had to retire hurt for a 119-ball 116. But even then, the target was within reach, there were wickets in hand and anyway, Gibbs would bat again if needed.

Only two singles came off the next over. Then Rhodes swept the second ball of Harbhajan Singh s over. The ball took the top edge and ballooned in the air; Yuvraj, at the peak of his youth, was manning short fine-leg; he flung himself to his right and came up with an outstanding catch with his wrong hand.

Three balls later Kumble caught Boeta Dippenaar at deep square-leg. They needed 67 from 66 balls after the over. The tables had turned, albeit slightly.

With 62 to score from 54 and the pitch getting slower and Kallis apparently playing for a draw (Wisden), Ganguly introduced Sehwag. And when Harbhajan bowled out his 10 overs, he brought back Kumble.

The asking rate climbed. With 49 to score from 40 balls, Boucher went for a slog-sweep. Once again there was a top edge; this time Yuvraj ran behind Dravid (who was keeping wickets) to complete the catch.

The stage was set an onslaught, but Klusener could not get his timing right ( he batted like a blind man teeing off , reported Wisden). To make things worse, Kallis was mysteriously intent on blocking everything. Ganguly read the situation perfectly: when Kumble bowled out, he tossed the ball to Tendulkar, ensuring the South Africans never had the ball to come on to the bat. Not before the 49th over did he replace Tendulkar with Zaheer Khan.

The target moved further and further away: 48 from 36; 42 from 30; 39 from 24; 30 from 18; 25 from 12; and finally, 21 from 6. There was a solitary boundary in the South African innings between the 33rd and the final over a four by Kallis off Tendulkar in the 47th over.

Then, as the last over began, it suddenly dawned upon Kallis that he had left it for too late. When Sehwag came around the wicket, he neatly slog-swept him for six, making everyone wonder why he had not attempted that earlier.

He tried an encore, but could manage an edge that ricocheted off his body; Dravid collected an easy catch. Kallis had scored 97, but it had taken him 133 balls; and before that final six he had scored 41 from 54 balls, allowing the asking rate to go beyond reach.

But then, there was Klusener, who was perfectly capable of getting 15 from 4 balls. Unfortunately, all he managed was two twos before falling off the last ball of the match.

South Africa needed under 5 an over at one stage. They scored a mere 73 in the last 17 overs to lose the match meekly to justify the C-tag (the word that rhymed with jokers ).

There was nothing as spectacular about the second semi-final, where Sri Lanka put up one of their greatest shows in limited-overs cricket. They knew their spinners held the key against Australia, so they crammed their side with a handful: Murali, Kumar Dharmasena, and Upul Chandana, backed by Jayasuriya, Aravinda, and Russel Arnold. So confident were they of their strength that they did not have an issue with having Chaminda Vaas at seven.

Gilchrist and Hayden raced to 42 in 5 overs. Then Jayasuriya decided that enough was enough, and replaced Pulasthi Gunaratne with Dharmasena, and then Vaas with Aravinda (but not Murali).

Funny things began to happen at this stage. After being unable to force the pace, Gilchrist finally managed to get a single off the fourth ball. Hayden gave Aravinda the charge the next ball, missed the line, and was bowled. He was so far outside the crease that Kumar Sangakkara would have had ample time to stump him anyway.

Gilchrist lofted the first ball of the next over. Atapattu took the skier at cover. Then desperation crept in. Australia were 48 after 6 overs; the next 5 overs yielded 8.

Run outs were missed. They ran desperately for singles. But both Dharmasena and Aravinda bowled straight and slow, not allowing Ponting or Martyn to chance their arms. To make things worse for the Australians, Aravinda was even getting his off-breaks to turn. Murali must have licked his lips in anticipation.

Jayasuriya replaced Dharmasena with Vaas, who trapped Ponting leg-before with his second ball. Darren Lehmann, getting desperate for a single, leg-glanced one and set off for an impossible single; Martyn sent him back, but Jayasuriya had already thrown the stumps down.

Michael Bevan joined Martyn, but little happened. There were two consecutive maidens. Murali replaced Vaas; Dharmasena replaced Murali; but Aravinda, the good old man of Sri Lankan cricket, approaching the end of his glorious career, kept bowling unchanged: when he started his final over his figures read 9-2-9-1.

Then the unthinkable happened: Aravinda conceded a four. Martyn slashed at one and edged it, but it was a four nevertheless. The joy did not last: two balls later Martyn pushed one towards mid-wicket and set off, but Arnold s direct throw found him short. Aravinda finished with 10-2-16-1.

Ignore the celebrations for a while. Note the three men who shaped Sri Lankan cricket over years. From left: Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya    Getty Images
Ignore the celebrations for a while. Note the three men who shaped Sri Lankan cricket over years. From left: Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya Getty Images

Bevan slog-swept Dharmasena in the next over; Arnold leapt up at mid-wicket and caught it both-handed.

There was little resistance after that: Shane Watson top-edged Murali to fine-leg; Brett Lee made room to cut one, but Jayasuriya s ball hurried on to hit timber; Murali spun one across the entirety of Warne, Sangakkara gathered it down leg, and dove to hit the stumps; and poor McGrath was bowled through the gate.

Australia reigning world champions crashed to 162. Between them the five spinners returned figures of 39.4-3-105-8.

With Jayasuriya, Atapattu, and Sangakkara all crossing forty, the 7-wicket victory was achieved in 40 overs. He took only one wicket, but there was little doubt that Aravinda would be named Man of the Match.

The wicket was too slow and turned too much for a one-day wicket, complained Ponting at the post-match press conference.

The two finals

Following two sensational semi-finals, there was little doubt that a high-intensity final was on the cards. It indeed seemed so, after Sri Lanka accumulated 244 for 5, all their batsmen reaching double-figures. It was an imposing target, given that the pitch got slower with every passing over.

India had drafted in Javagal Srinath for Nehra, who had split the webbing between his index- and middle-fingers. Unfortunately, Srinath did not look at his best: after all, he had little time to prepare when he was almost lifted out of Leicestershire. They must have rued the selection, more so because they already had Zaheer and Ajit Agarkar in the side and had left out Anil Kumble. The decision looked worse after Harbhajan picked up 3 for 27 and Sehwag bowled his 10 overs conceding 32 runs.

Ganguly sent Dinesh Mongia to open, holding Tendulkar and himself back presumably because the two of them could score runs against spin on a slow pitch better than anyone. Sehwag began well, smashing three fours off the second over, from Gunaratne.

India were 14 after 2 overs. Then the skies opened, and no further play was possible. The day s play had to be called off.

Of course, there was a reserve day. However, as per the laws the match would not resume; the entire match would be replayed instead.

This time Ganguly picked Kumble, leaving out Srinath. Zaheer caused a stir when Jayasuriya inside-edged the first ball of the match on to the stumps. It was the first time in 10 innings that Jayasuriya failed to cross 35.

Aravinda, batting at four, took Agarkar for four fours in an over before top-edging a catch off Kumble. His last international innings on home soil was a 24-ball 27 including 6 fours.

Then the Indian spinners extended their stranglehold to the extent that Sri Lanka crawled to 155 for 4 after 41 overs. Then they went for the big shots, losing wickets in the process.

Mahela Jayawardene got a crucial 55. Vaas played a crucial cameo with 2 fours and 3 twos in 10 balls. And Arnold remained unbeaten on 56. The last 9 overs got Sri Lanka 67. Sri Lanka finished on 222 for 7.

Mongia perished for a duck this time, but Sehwag kept the charge on. Tendulkar came at three. India reached 28 for 1 after 8 overs. Then Sehwag went after Dilhara Fernando, taking him for a four and a six from the first four balls. Then, amidst lightning and thunderstorm, it poured down again for the second time in 24 hours.

Steve Bucknor and David Shepherd waded through the puddles, but in vain. There was no way there could have been a cricket match under those circumstances. The trophy and prize money had to be shared.

The image of Steve Bucknor checking the conditions linger in one   s mind    Getty Images
The image of Steve Bucknor checking the conditions linger in one s mind Getty Images

Ironically, 52 overs of cricket were played on the first day. There were another 58.4 overs on the reserve day, amounting to a total of 110.4 overs 64 balls more than a regular ODI.

To think about it, replays are somewhat unfair as well. That became more evident in the 2003 World Cup final, when it suddenly rained during the early stages of the Indian innings after Australia had amassed 359 for 2. A replay would have killed all advantage Australia had secured.

It s [a rematch] by far superior to anything else, including playing a game from where it finished the night before. That simply cannot work effectively, ICC media spokesperson Brendan McClements told BBC.

Some of the cricket fraternity did not support. Farokh Engineer, for example, was quite vocal: I think it s [a rematch] absolutely daft. It doesn t make any sense … They should look at that rule straight away and change it. The obvious thing is to continue from where they left off.

It was a disappointing, if fair result, with the two teams most adept on slow, turning pitches sharing the $300,000 prize, pointed out Wisden. While that was true, there is no doubt that an event of such magnitude deserved a champion.

Brief scores:

First day:

Sri Lanka 244 for 5 in 50 overs (Sanath Jayasuriya 74, Kumar Sangakkara 54; Harbhajan Singh 3 for 27) vs India 14 for no loss in 2 overs: match abandoned.

Reserve day:

Sri Lanka 222 for 7 in 50 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 76, Russel Arnold 56*; Zaheer Khan 3 for 44) vs India 38 for 1 in 8.4 overs: match abandoned.