The ICC, in an official release on Tuesday, confirmed that the 2024-31 cycle will see the return of the Champions Trophy and also revealed that the T20 World Cup will be expanded to 20 teams. Meanwhile, the 2027 and 2031 World Cups will be a 14-team affair and will include the ‘Super Six’ stage.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have taken the first step towards globalizing the sport of Cricket as the governing body, on Tuesday, confirmed the expansion of the T20 World Cup (2024 onwards) to 20 teams. The ICC, over the years, have been chastised for their refusal to expand the sport, but on Tuesday the council confirmed that all World T20 events in the 2024-31 cycle will be 20-team affairs. The cycle will oversee a T20 World Cup being played every two years, meaning there will be a total of four World Cups played in the eight-year-period.
Not just the World T20, the conventional 50-over World Cup has also been expanded as the council confirmed that the 2027 and 2031 World Cups will see the participation of 14 teams, four more than the 2019 and 2023 editions. That is not the only change with respect to 50-over World Cups, though, as the ICC also confirmed that the 2027 and 2031 editions will see the return of the ‘Super Six’ stage that was last seen in 2003. Essentially, as per the new format, 14 teams will be split into two groups of seven, from which the Top 3 teams from each group will progress to the next round and play out the ‘Super Six’ stage.
“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will become a 14 team, 54 match event in 2027 and 2031, whilst the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be expanded to a 20 team, 55 match event in 2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030,” the ICC’s release read.
“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup format will have two groups of seven, with the top three in each group progressing to a Super Six stage, followed by semi-finals and final. This is the same format that was used in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2003. The format of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will consist of four groups of five, with the top two from each group going through to a Super Eights stage, followed by the knockout stages of semi-finals and a final.”
The biggest piece of news, however, arguably is the return of the Champions Trophy. The 50-over competition was last played in 2017 and was scrapped in order to accommodate an extra World T20, but the ICC confirmed that the competition will resume from 2025.
“The Champions Trophy will follow previous editions with two groups of four, semi-finals and final,” the release added.
In the release, the council also confirmed that a decision on where the 2021 World T20 will be hosted will be taken later this month, but clarified that ‘BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is played.’
“The ICC Board has requested management focus its planning efforts for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on the event being staged in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East. A final decision on the host country will be taken later this month. The Board also confirmed that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is played.”