New Delhi:The teams in this year's ICC Champions Trophy (ICC CT) in South Africa will be battling it out for a record prize pool of US$4 million, it was confirmed by a press release on Monday.
The figure is an-almost four-fold increase in the prize money on the 2004 and 2006 editions of the tournament, which saw a total of US$1.15 million on offer on each of those occasions.
The funds are at stake during a re-modelled short, sharp event of 15 matches in only 14 days in September and October taking place at two venues - Centurion Park and The Wanderers.
The official statement also said that details of how the prize money will be divided up will be announced in due course but the new format and the increased prize pool are just two of a series of innovations, with others to be announced in the coming weeks, which illustrate the importance and value of the ICC CT.
For the first time the ICC CT will feature only the top eight sides in the world in the only global multi-team 50-over-a-side tournament between the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean and the next edition of that event, in the Asian sub-continent in two years' time.
Those teams - Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, hosts South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies - have been divided into two pools of four, with the top two from each pool progressing to the semi-finals stage.
The action begins on September 22 (Tuesday) with hosts South Africa in action against Sri Lanka in a day-night encounter at Centurion Park (the location for the women's world cup final of 2005) and it will end with a day-night final at the same venue on October 5 (Monday).