The International Cricket Council (ICC) has signed top cricketers for the upcoming Champions Trophy for the role of a commentator. The list includes likes of former captains such as India’s Sourav Ganguly, Australia’s Ricky Ponting, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, South Africa’s Graeme Smith and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum.

Earlier, there were rumours that Sourav Ganguly might make a comeback to the commentary box for Champions Trophy and the news was confirmed by the apex cricketing body.

Here is the full list of commentators for the ICC tournament –

Ricky Ponting, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, Graeme Smith, Sourav Ganguly, Shane Warne, Michael Slater, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Shaun Pollock, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, Simon Doull and Athar Ali Khan.

Here is what the former skippers said after being given the role:

Ricky Ponting: “As a player, I always looked forward to the Champions Trophy. Winning it on two occasions was a big thrill. This year I’m really looking forward to it being staged in England and being a part of the commentary team.

“I’m expecting Australia and England to make the final with Pat Cummins and Jason Roy, two guys to stand out across the two weeks. I can’t wait!”

Brendon McCullum: “The ICC Champions Trophy is one event I look back on with many fond memories. Each team will be desperate to do well and put their stamp on the 50-over game. 

“To now be in the commentary box for such a prestigious tournament is something I am really looking forward to. Working with names like Ponting, Ganguly and Smith is going to be great fun and hopefully, we can give the viewers a unique insight on the action unfolding out in the middle.”

Graeme Smith: “I was very excited when I was asked to commentate at this year’s Champions Trophy and didn’t hesitate to accept.  The Champions Trophy is a great tournament where every team has a chance to do well.  I am sure there will be a few surprises and many memorable performances, so there’s a lot to look forward to!”

Kumar Sangakkara: “The Champions Trophy is a special tournament which I loved playing in and am honoured to have enjoyed success in. Now, as a commentator, I am very much looking forward to being part of the tournament and watching the best players in the world go head to head.

There are few highlighting absentees from the list as there is neither Harsha Bhogle nor Ravi Shastri in the list, who are two of the famous and renowned storytellers in international cricket. The missing name of Alan Wilkins from the list also raises few questions.

Champions Trophy will kick off from June 1 with the clash between the hosts England and visiting team Bangladesh.

The Indian team will be going into the tournament as the defending champions by virtue of defeating England in the final of the tournament in the year 2013. They will take on Pakistan on June 4 in their first encounter.

As of now, no cricket association has announced squad for the upcoming ICC tournament.

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