ICC to expand World Cup to 14 teams from 2027, Champions Trophy to return from 2025
The ICC World Cup is all set to become even more competitive as the tournament would be expanded to 14 teams, along with 54 matches, to be played in 2027 and 2031. Also, the ICC Champions Trophy makes its return from 2025, eight years since being scrapped.
In what comes as good news for associate cricketing nations, the ICC World Cup would be expanded to 14 teams from its current ten-team format, starting 2027 to 2031. As for the groups, it would have a couple of groups, with seven teams each, along with the Super Six stage, similar to that of the 2003 World Cup, followed by the semis and final.
Similarly, the ICC World T20 would become more competitive, with 20 teams fighting it out in 55 matches, set to be held every two years between 2024-30. The tournament grouping would involve four groups of five teams each, followed by a Super Eight stage, involving the top two teams from each group. The semis and the final would follow it.
On the same lines, the International Cricket Council, which met on Tuesday, decided to re-introduce the Champions Trophy eight years since being scrapped. It would be played every four years, starting 2025, while the last edition was held in 2017, in England, won by Pakistan, which beat India in the final. Consisting of eight teams, it would have two groups of four teams each, followed by the semis and final.
Meanwhile, the ICC has also decided to stop the bidding process and introduce a selection process to determine the host of the global events. For the men’s events, the process begins in September. As for the women and U-19, it starts in November, with opportunities to be considered for the first-time host.
In the meantime, the venue for 2021 WT20 remains undecided. However, the ICC is pondering on hosting it in the United Arab Emirates, along with a possibility of another Middle East venue (possibly Oman) being added.
While the final decision on the same would be taken later this month, the ICC has confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India would remain the actual host. India’s current COVID situation, which is going through the second wave, along with a possibility of a third wave, later in October-November, has forced ICC to think about moving the global event from the country to the gulf.
“Having the ICC event schedule confirmed through to 2031 is a significant step forward for cricket and will form the basis of our growth strategy for the next decade. The revised approach to selecting hosts for our events will give us much more flexibility to grow the game and engage new fans. There is a smaller pool of countries with the infrastructure needed to host our senior Men’s events, which narrows the selection process. Additionally, many of our Members expressed interest in hosting Women’s and U19 events, which gives us a great opportunity to stage events in established and emerging cricket nations,” said Geoff Allardice, ICC CEO, in a statement.
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