ICC Allows More Teams in ODI World Cup and T20 World Cup
Fourteen teams will participate in the men’s ODI World Cup in 2027 after a decision by the ICC to allow more teams in the quadrennial competition in the next event cycle. The ICC made the decision at a meeting on Tuesday (June 1), in which it made many changes to the calendar of events in the 2023-2031 cycle. The changes also included an expansion of the T20 world cup which would happen every two years to allow 20 participating teams. Cricket’s governing body also decided to bring back the Champions Trophy ODI competition.
Champions League and World Test Championship to Continue Unchanged
The Champions Trophy will remain unchanged from its 2017 format in which eight top-ranked teams featured. The competition will take place in 2025 and 2029. The ICC decided that the World Test Championship (WTC) would continue in its current format involving nine teams who would each feature in six series, with a bi-annual final. According to the plan, WTC finals will take place in 2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031. India and New Zealand are due to face off in the final of the inaugural edition of the WTC in Southampton on 18 June. The ICC plans to start the second cycle immediately after the final is over.
ODI World Cup to Feature 54 Matches
The expanded 2027 and 2031 World Cups are considered the most important developments emanating from the ICC meeting. The tournaments are set to witness 54 games each. Calls to increase the number of participating teams began in 2015 and grew louder after the ICC announced that future world cups would feature only 10 teams. In the past, the ICC has flip-flopped on the matter of how many teams will feature in a world cup and the event in 2023 to be hosted in India will be the last of the decade to have 10 participating teams. The world cup in 2027 will revert to the format of the 2003 edition which featured a super 6s stage, with the best three teams from two groups of seven each proceeding to the next stage, which would, in turn, be followed by the semifinals and the final.
Fate of Super League Unknown
There is however no clarity as to how the expansion of the ODI world cup will affect the 13-team ODI Super League. The league is currently used as a pathway to the world cup. For instance, the World Cup in 2023 will allow the hosts (India) and seven top-ranked teams to qualify automatically for the tournament. The bottom five teams of the league and the five highest-ranked Associate sides will compete to decide the ninth and tenth teams for the world cup.
T20 World Cup to Have 20 Teams
The ICC’s preferred vehicle to making cricket more popular, the T20 World Cup will henceforth have 20 teams, divided into five each in four groups. The two best teams in each group will qualify for the super 8s stage, which will be followed in turn by the knockouts, the semifinals and the final. Fifty-five matches will take place in the T20 world cups, scheduled to happen in 2024, 2026, 2028, and 2030.
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