Howzat! Azimo’s team-by-team guide to the Champions Trophy 2017

As a company built by migrants for migrants, we’re determined to make money transfer cheaper, faster and simpler, and help our customers build a better world in the process. Our market-leading platform means you can send money to more than 190 countries across the globe in just a few clicks via our website or app. We bring people together – no matter where they are in the world.

Sport is another great way to bring people together and this month’s Champions Trophy cricket tournament will see fans from Mumbai to Melbourne cheering on their heroes as they battle it out for victory. So to get you all in the mood, we’ve got a round-up of the teams, the odds and who to watch out for when the run-fest begins – enjoy!


England 11/4

Best result: Runners-up (2004, 2013)World ranking: 5th
World ranking: 5th
Azimo prediction: Winners

England are hitting the world for six at the moment with match-winning players throughout the ODI team, from tattooed box-office superstar Ben Stokes to in-form Irish-born captain Eoin Morgan. They’re the bookies’ favourite to win the tournament on home turf, and with the crowd behind them it could be their best chance ever to win the trophy. Let’s just hope that fan pressure doesn’t make them choke against giant-killers Bangladesh – that really would spoil the party!

One to watch: Mark Wood

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Australia 3/1

Best result: Winners (2006, 2009)
World ranking: 2nd
Azimo prediction: Semi-finals

They’re a long way from home, but two-time Champions Trophy winners and current World Champions Australia are hot favourites to make it to the semi-finals from Group A along with hosts England. Conditions should favour their battery of fast bowlers – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins – and they also have plenty of powerhouse batting from the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Warner and captain fantastic Steve Smith. They open up against local rivals NZ.

One to watch: Pat Cummins

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New Zealand 17/2

Best result: Winners (2000)
World ranking: 4th
Azimo prediction: Group stage

Pre-Trophy confidence isn’t exactly sky-high for the Black Caps. They’ve lost to India and tournament outsiders Bangladesh in the last couple of weeks, and the fixture list looks pretty tough – World Champions Australia first up followed by clear favourites England. But the dark horses from Down Under have plenty of big-hitters in the squad, such as Martin Guptill and Luke Ronchi, and the bowling line-up is a decent mix of speed and spin.

One to watch: Mitchell McClenaghan

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Bangladesh 40/1

Best result: Group stage (2002, 2004)
World ranking: 6th
Azimo prediction: Group stage

Bangladesh are on the rise, having just beaten New Zealand in an ODI and jumped up to sixth in the rankings. Group A is tricky, though, and their opening match against England at the Oval will be a daunting prospect. So it’s no surprise that the bookies have made them rank outsiders to pick up the trophy on 18th June. That said, they could just spring a surprise this summer if the likes of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan (the current No.1 all-rounder in the world) fire on all cylinders.

One to watch: Mustafizur Rahman

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India 9/2

Best result: Winners (2002, 2013)
World ranking: 3rd
Azimo prediction: Runners-up

India is cricket-mad, so anything less than victory in England will be seen as a failure by the millions of fans back home. The signs are looking good for the reigning champions, though: the batting line-up is full of bankable stars such as Kohli and Rohit Sharma, spin twins Ashwin and Jadeja can be lethal in the right conditions, and 23-year-old Hardik Pandya is a brilliantly talented all-rounder. The opening match against arch rivals Pakistan should be a firecracker!

One to watch: Virat Kohli

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South Africa 10/3

Best result: Winners (1998)
World ranking: 1st
Azimo prediction: Semi-finals

The South Africans have just been beaten by England in a three-match warm-up competition, but the World No.1 team won’t let that shake their confidence – especially as they had England on the ropes at 20-6 in the final game. The team is littered with talent: they can call on the world’s two top-ranked bowlers (Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir) and the world’s top-ranked batsman (all-round national hero AB de Villiers). Expect them to make the last four at the very least.

One to watch: Kagiso Rabada

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Pakistan 14/1

Best result: Semi-finals (2000, 2004, 2009)
World ranking: 8th
Azimo prediction: Group stage

Pakistan have made the Champions Trophy semi-finals twice, but they’re the bottom-ranked side in the 2017 tournament and only just scraped through to the group stages ahead of a woefully under-par West Indies team. Their first match is against the old enemy, India, and victory over Virat Kohli’s side would be almost as sweet as winning the competition outright for new captain Sarfraz Ahmed and his men.

One to watch: Imad Wasim

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Sri Lanka 25/1

Best result: Joint winners (2002)
World ranking: 7th
Azimo prediction: Group stage

Considering its size, Sri Lanka has a decent record at the Champions Trophy and they were joint winners with India in 2002 (the rain was the real winner, washing out the final twice). That was 15 years ago, though, and many of their finest players have now hung up their ODI boots for good. This is a team with no Muralitharan, no Jayawardene and no Sangakkarra. Malinga and Mathews are still world-class, but a shock warm-up defeat to minnows Scotland backs up their long odds.

One to watch: Upul Tharanga

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Betting odds courtesy of Paddy Power