LAHORE - The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the squads which will be taking part in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy which will be staged in the United Kingdom from 1-18 June.

While a number of players will be returning to this short and sharp tournament, Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik stands out as he has been selected for his sixth successive tournament. Only eight other players have played in six ICC Champions Trophy tournaments. They are: Ricky Ponting (Australia), Rahul Dravid (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis (both South Africa) and Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara (all Sri Lanka).

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is one of the nine Pakistan players who will be making their ICC Champions Trophy debuts. While Shoaib will feature in his sixth event, Mohammad Hafeez will play in his third tournament. The other survivors from the 2013 event are Junaid Khan, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz, while Mohammad Amir played in the 2009 edition. Pakistan is currently eighth in the ICC ODI Team Rankings.

Shoaib made his tournament debut in the Colombo event in 2002 and then went on to play in the 2004 and 2013 events in the United Kingdom, the 2006 event in India and the 2009 tournament in South Africa. The 35-year-old has scored 326 runs and taken 10 wickets in 15 ICC Champions Trophy appearances, and since he has played in 247 ODIs, will be aiming to become the  42nd player overall to play in 250 or more ODIs when he takes the field in the third match against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on 12 June.

“I am happy to be part of the Pakistan squad in a quality event like the ICC Champions Trophy ,” Shoaib said. “If I look at the company of players who have played in the six events to date, I feel humbled and honoured as these gentlemen are some of the finest our sport has ever seen.

“The Champions Trophy is one of the most important events for Pakistan in recent times for a number of reasons. As the ODI squad, we need to re-establish ourselves as one of the top ODI sides by putting up strong performances against all teams. This will help our global ranking and help us to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Strong performances are also important to boost the morale of our team and millions of well-wishers back home and around the world. In this perspective, I think I personally have a bigger role to play in the tournament than just performing with the bat and the ball. I need to help the younger guys to overcome their nerves and showcase the talent they possess to themselves and the world that'll be watching.”

While it will be Shoaib’s sixth appearance, India’s Yuvraj Singh will be returning to this competition after 11 years. Yuvraj made his debut in the 2002 event in Kenya and featured in all events until 2006, before missing the 2009 and 2013 events. India has retained eight players from the successful team of 2013, namely Virat Kohli, who will captain India for the first time in a major ICC event, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Jadeja won the player of the final at Edgbaston four years ago following his 33 not out and two for 24 in a rain-reduced final, while Dhawan won the player of the tournament award for finishing as the lead run-scorer with 363 runs in five matches with two centuries and a half-century. For Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it will be his fourth appearance.

Australia captain Steve Smith has been selected for his maiden ICC Champions Trophy in a squad which has Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade and David Warner from the 2013 tournament. During the upcoming tournament, Maxwell will be targeting 2,000 ODI runs (he is 43 short), while Warner requires 54 runs to complete 4,000 runs in ODIs.

Bangladesh, which reached the ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-final in Australia/New Zealand in 2015, includes Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan who both played in the 2006 event, which was the Asian side’s last ICC Champions Trophy participation. Mashrafe will captain the side, while Shakib will start as the world’s number-one ranked all-rounder.

England, which reached the final on both the occasions when it hosted the event in 2004 and 2013, has retained five players from the previous tournament - Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Chris Woakes. Morgan is also the only England player who featured in the 2009 event in South Africa. England is presently ranked fifth in the ICC ODI Team Rankings.

New Zealand has retained seven players from the 2013 event, namely Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Luke Ronchi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor and captain Kane Williamson. Guptill and Taylor were also members of the New Zealand side which reached the final in 2009. New Zealand is presently ranked third in the ICC ODI Team Rankings. South Africa, which is the number-one side in the ICC ODI Team Rankings, has retained seven players from the last edition. They are captain AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Farhan Behardien, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller and Morne Morkel. For de Villiers, it will be the fourth tournament, while du Plessis will be aiming to complete 4,000 runs in ODIs as he is currently 57 runs short.

The Sri Lanka side includes six players from the 2013 campaign, namely captain Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Kulasekera, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera. For Malinga, this will be his fourth ICC Champions Trophy and he needs nine wickets to become the 13th overall and third Sri Lankan after Muttiah Muralidaran (534) and Chaminda Vaas (400) to complete 300 ODI wickets.

Teams can make changes to their squads without needing an ICC approval until May 24. All player replacement requests from 25 May onwards will require the approval of the Event Technical Committee.