The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that there will be a prize fund pool of some $US 4 million for the upcoming Champions Trophy, to be held in South Africa in September and October.
The amount of money on offer dwarfs the sums on offer in both 2004 and 2006, the last two editions of the tournament, which was originally scheduled to be held in Pakistan before South Africa stepped in.
The tournament, described by the ICC as short and sharp, sees the eight top teams in One-Day International cricket square off against each other, in two groups of four before the top two meet in semi-finals ahead of a final.
The action kicks off on 22nd September and the final takes place on 5th October at Centurion Park while the other stadium in use will be the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Previous winners of the tournament are South Africa (1998), New Zealand (2000), India and Sri Lanka (2002), the West Indies (2004), Australia (2006).
ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat commented: "We are delighted to announce the fixtures and prize money for this year's ICC Champions Trophy.
"This short, sharp event, with its new format involving only the top eight sides in the world in nation-versus-nation action, should be a fantastic spectacle to follow on from the others that have already taken place in the ICC's centenary year.
"The format, with two pools of four leading to the semi-finals and final, means that every match counts and each side has to hit the ground running.
"We are delighted to confirm a significant increase in the prize pool for the event which should provide the players with a major additional incentive to do well, on top of collecting what is, alongside the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC World Twenty20 title, one of international cricket's crown jewels.
"The significant increase in prize money is just the first of a series of innovations that we will be announcing as it draws nearer that mark out the ICC Champions Trophy as a high-value tournament for players, spectators and our members.
"We are extremely grateful to South Africa for stepping in to host the event after it was postponed last year because of security concerns in the original host country, Pakistan, and we are also grateful to our members for finding a slot for it in what is a busy year for the global game.
"Thanks to our commercial and broadcast agreements the ICC Champions Trophy generates significant funds for those members which allow them to grow the game in their own constituencies, and that gives it additional value beyond the prestige of the title itself.
"And as the one global multi-team 50-over event between ICC Cricket World Cups, it will provide the world with an invaluable barometer of the form of these top sides in this version of the game ahead of the 2011 tournament in the Asian sub-continent.
"The new format is simple and means we have eight teams, 15 matches and one prize ? it should be a great advertisement for the 50-over format of our great sport and I look forward to a prestigious and outstanding event."
© Cricket World 2009