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THE ICC Champions Trophy went a long way to ensuring the continuance of one-day international cricket, according to the captains of finalists Australia and New Zealand.
Since the advent of the Twenty20 game, which has drawn huge crowds around the world, there has been increasing talk of the 50-over format falling away.
South Africa and England have already announced changes to their domestic one-day competitions in an effort to keep them in line with the excitement offered by the explosive T20 format.
But Ricky Ponting and Brendon McCullum, standing in for injured Blacks Caps skipper Daniel Vettori, said the success of the Champions Trophy would strengthen the case of the longer limited-overs format after Australia beat New Zealand by six wickets in Monday's final in Centurion.
"There's been a lot of talk about that since the 20-over game has become as popular as it has," Ponting said.
"There's plenty of space for both 20-over cricket and 50-over cricket to fit in alongside the Test game.
"The Test game is the form of the game I enjoy the most, but 50-over cricket, with tournaments like this, will certainly hold its own.
"I was worried at the time when 20-over cricket became as popular as it did that we might start playing a few less 50-over games, but I think tournaments like these can only help the game. I've really enjoyed the tournament and I think the fans around South Africa have enjoyed the tournament, so it's got some endorsement from me."
And McCullum agreed that the tournament, postponed by a year after it was moved from Pakistan for security reasons, had done wonders for the one-day format.
"If 50-over cricket is to remain in the calendar, it's a great way to certainly push it with tournaments like the Champions Trophy."
Ponting was named player of the tournament on Monday. - Sapa