It was inaugurated as the ICC KnockOut Tournament in 1998 and has been played approximately every four years since. Its name was changed to the Champions Trophy in 2002.
The ICC conceived the idea of the Champions Trophy – a short cricket tournament to raise funds for the development of the game in non-test playing countries, with the first tournaments being held in Bangladesh and Kenya. Due to its massive commercial success, the tournament has been held in nations like India and England as a revenue generator for the ICC, and the number of teams has been reduced to eight. The tournament, later dubbed as the mini-World Cup as it involved all of the full members of the ICC, was planned as a knock-out tournament so that it was short and did not reduce the value and importance of the World Cup. However, from 2002, the tournament has had a round-robin format, followed by a few knockout games but the tournament still takes places over a short period of time – about two weeks.
The number of teams competing has varied over the years; originally all the ICC's full members took part, and from 2000 to 2004 associate members were also involved. Since 2009, the tournament has only involved the eight highest-ranked teams in the ICC ODI Rankings as of six months prior to the beginning of the tournament. The tournament has been held in 7 different countries since its inception, with England hosting it thrice.
A total of thirteen teams competed in the eight editions of the tournament, with eight competing in the last edition in 2017. ICC Champions Trophy was scrapped keeping in line with ICC's goal of having only one pinnacle tournament for each of the three formats of international cricket. Australia and India have won the tournament twice each (India's 2002 win was shared with Sri Lanka due to the final being washed out twice), while South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka (shared with India), West Indies and Pakistan have won it once each. No non-full member team has ever crossed the first round of the Champions Trophy.