Surely there cannot be any further talk about the ICC Champions Trophy being “the unwanted stepchild of international cricket’’ after what we have witnessed in England over the past 18 days.

This uncharitable term was used to describe the tournament after the 2006 edition in India even as there was the general opinion that there was no need for the competition - which at the time was held every two years - especially with there already being a Fifty50 World Cup. Also in succeeding years there was the fear that the Champions Trophy would lose out in importance following the success of the Twenty20 World Cup and the mushrooming growth of T-20 leagues the world over following the tremendous success of the IPL. In a cricketing world that was fast embracing the shortest format of the game where was the need of another Fifty50 competition was the question that was most being asked.

Stretching the gap between tournaments to four years has helped but the main point in favour of the Champions Trophy is that there are no easy matches. There are no associate members like is the case with the World Cup and with the contestants being the eight top teams one bad day could mean elimination at the group stage itself.

This is exactly what happened with Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand. India were the exception for despite the proverbial bad day at the office against Sri Lanka little went wrong for them against South Africa and they ended up topping the group. Australia were perhaps a bit unfortunate with the inclement weather robbing them of victory over Bangladesh. On the other hand they were lucky to get a point against New Zealand when they were in a shaky position before rain halted play once and for all.

I had mentioned in my last column written on the eve of the competition that while India, South Africa, England and Australia were widely expected to make the semifinals it would not be a major surprise if one of them was eliminated at the group stage itself. Well, as it happened not one but two of the fancied teams made their exit in the preliminary rounds.

The wet weather did play its part but overall the two outsiders Pakistan and Bangladesh made their way into the knock out rounds because of the proverbial one good day at the office. The former got the better of South Africa and the latter surprised New Zealand so their entry into the semifinals was merited.

Going into the tournament England were the favourites and after being the only team to win all their three group games they remained the team to beat. With their explosive batting line-up and bowlers who seemed the best suited to utilize the conditions they looked quite invincible and only India it appeared could prevent them from winning their first Champions Trophy title.

The proverbial good day and bad day at the office decided their encounter against Pakistan while in the other semifinal Bangladesh despite all the bravado talk were clearly no match for India. Kudos however to Bangladesh for making the penultimate round and this coming on top of their quarterfinal entry at the 2015 World Cup cemented their progress in the limited overs game.

India vs Pakistan is a marquee encounter bound to attract unprecedented attention and in the rarest of rare cases the teams met not just once but twice in the same competition and to top it all the second was the title clash. This was heaven sent for the spectators, the passionate cricket followers of the two nations, the media, the marketing chaps and just about everyone. It is another matter that neither contest lived up to all the hype and the final in fact turned out to be a damp squib. Full marks however to Pakistan for recovering admirably from their loss to India in the opening game and then winning four straight matches for the title. When the competition started they were, at No 8, the lowest ranked among the participating teams but they lived up to the mercurial reputation. Indeed their performance brought back memories of the triumphant 1992 World Cup campaign when after being on the verge of elimination midway through they recovered magnificently to take the trophy.

As far as India is concerned, as expected the recriminations have started. As always the criticism consists of wild accusations and imbalanced statements that hinge on being wise after the event. I suppose more than the defeat it is the margin of defeat that is difficult to digest particularly as Virat Kohli and his men were the favourites to win the final.

However disappointing the result may be for the Indian cricket fan one should not see too much into it. After all didn’t the Indian captain himself say on the eve of the final that it was “just another match’’? Perhaps Kohli was trying to minimize the pressure factor but that’s how it should be taken – just a bad day at the office with everything going right for Pakistan and nothing going right for India.

There is no point in moping over it for overall one should not lose the full picture. The Indians after all did top the group and provided much good cricket along the way signified by the fact that out of the top five run getters three were from the Indian team.