ICC Champions Trophy Best XI (1998 - 2013)
As we edge closer to the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy, it is time to take a step back and look at the stunning performers and performances throughout the tournament. Although the tournament is still less than two decades old, it has witnessed some exhilarating contests and stunning performers.
Some outstanding players have played in the first seven editions of the tournament and compiling the best is tricky. Some of the best players of this generation, ala Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and co. have either played too few games or failed to make as much of an impact. So it isn't surprising to note that only one active player features in the all-time Champions Trophy XI.
Here is the all-time Champions Trophy XI:
M: 17 | R: 791 | Avg: 52.73 | 100s: 3 | 50s: 1 | HS: 133*
W: 17 | Avg: 22.35 | SR: 22.35 | Eco: 4.48 | BBI: 3-3
Long before he became the T20 demi-god that he is now, Chris Gayle had another avatar. One in which he still murdered balls over the boundaries but aside from that, also delivered off-spinners that didn't spin and confounded the batsmen as a result.
The leading T20 run-getter is also the leading run-scorer in the history of the Champions Trophy. While he was the second leading run-getter for West Indies in their triumph in 2004, it was the advent of T20 that sparked his greatest success in the tournament. Gayle scored three hundreds in the 2006 edition in which he finished as the Player of the Tournament.
Sourav Ganguly (C)
M: 13 | R: 665 | Avg: 73.88 | 100s: 3 | 50s: 3 | HS: 141*
Although his two opening partners, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag have garnered more attention, it is Sourav Ganguly who makes it into this side. Two centuries in the space of two days in the semi-final and final of the 2000 edition alone warrant his inclusion in this side.
The fact that he averaged nearly 75, scored three fifties and centuries apiece and also won the tournament as skipper (2002) once only strengthens his credentials.