ICC Expands International Cricket Tournaments

The International Cricket Council (ICC) made significant changes in their international cricket tournaments following June 1. There has been an expansion to the World Cup tournaments, format continuation of the World Test Championship, and the Champions Trophy’s return. 

This also includes the changes to the Women’s and Under-19’s tournament and both their events getting team expansions. These changes will come into effect when the new cycle begins, held from 2024 to 2031. 

We will take a deep look at what changes the governing body of cricket has made and what it will mean for the teams participating in the new-look events. 

Men’s tournaments

Cricket World Cup

Men’s events have always made a massive enjoyable cricketing world. For years there has always been the talk of expanding the game globally. Adding more teams to participate and make the tournament enjoyable. But these matches, especially with the lower-ranked sides and Associate nation teams, have often caused “mismatched” games. 

This left out the associative nations from the tournament following the announcement in 2015 that the next edition of 50 overs Cricket World Cup will be played between only ten teams for the 2019 and 2023 editions. The change in the format meant that be eligible top member side would miss out on the event for the first time in the tournament’s history.

England World Cup Champions 2019
The 14-men team format returns to Cricket World Cup

The public did not take the new decision well enough but had to live on it, and despite all the criticism, the 2019 World Cup went on being the most-watched cricket competition. 

The ICC decided to bring back the 14 team edition with the same grouping format of two groups with seven teams. However, this time the ICC went back further. They added “Super 6s” as of the next round, something we have already seen in the 2003 World Cup before. The top three teams from each group will qualify for the Super 6 stage, with their points also carrying forward. From that group of six, the top four will be eligible for the semi-finals. There will be a total of 54 matches to be played in the format. 

The 2027 and 2031 editions have been scheduled with the format, with the 2023 World Cup, which is to be held in India, will be the last time the ten teams edition will be played. 

T20 World Cup

Ever since its inception, the ICC targeted to globalized the shortest format of international cricket. They believed that T20 cricket is far more reaching to the younger audience. For the first four editions of the tournament, 12 teams participated. In the 2014 and 2016 editions, the teams were expanded to 16. It was the most teams that participated in an ICC event, equalling the 2007 World Cup. 

Now, another change the governing body has announced in its format. The T20 World Cup has been expanded to 20 teams, the most teams that will ever participate in a single tournament. The design follows with four groups of five teams each. The top two from each group will qualify for the “Super 8s” stage. This Super 8 stage is different. In this round, there will be two more groups with four teams qualifying. This is something similar to the first four editions of the T20 World Cup. The rest is the same; The top two teams from each group qualify for the semi-finals. 

West Indies Wt20 2016 Champions
The T20 World Cup from 2024 onwards will feature 20 teams. It will be the most teams ever played in an ICC event

Another change was the T20 World Cup would be hosted every after two years again. 2024, 2026, 2028, and 2030 editions are scheduled with the formats. 

Champions Trophy 

Twice the ICC decided to scape the Champions Trophy in favor of the Test Championship. First, they announced in 2013 that the edition would be the last and that the 2017 edition would exactly be replaced with the Test Championship. However, the Champions Trophy was called back to fill the spot in 2014 after the Test Championship could not be approved. 

Shortly after Pakistan’s victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy, the event was scrapped, and the World Test Championship was announced. The ICC scraped the tournament, keeping in mind the ten-team World Cup was already there. 

But for this cycle, the eight-team tournament returns for the editions of 2025 and 2029 with the same format. Eight teams will be placed in two groups of four, with the top two teams qualifying for the next round. 

World Test Championship

No significant changes have been made to the WTC tournament. The event will be held four times this cycle in 2025, 2027, 2029, and 2031. Nine teams will once again compete with each other in the tournament playing six series each. 

Women’s tournaments

The last successful international cricket tournament was the first stand-alone 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, where Australia defeated India in the final at the MCG to win their fifth title. Since then, the world pandemic has halted the events. 

The 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup was a successful women’s tournament, and the ICC wanted to promote women’s sports more. The expansions of the teams were announced, and a new contest was announced for the women. These will be incepted from 2026 onwards, with 2024 and 2025 having the same format for the T20 World Cup and Women’s World Cup. 

Women’s World Cup

In this cycle, there is only two Women’s World Cup tournament scheduled. One in 2025 and the other in 2029. The main difference between these two tournaments is that the 2025 edition is based on the same format that was played fin the 2017 format; eight teams all in a single group playing round-robin stage. The top four teams qualify for the semi-finals. The 2029 edition is the same, except that two more teams will play in the tournament. The event will become as same as Men’s 2019 Cricket World Cup.

T20 World Cup

The T20 World Cup will be held in the same year where the Men’s T20 World Cup happens. Until the 2024 edition, there will be ten teams divided into two groups of five. From the 2026 edition onwards, two more sections will be added. Twelve teams will be divided into two groups of six, with the top two qualifyings for knockouts. 

Champions Trophy

Yes, the Women’s tournament will feature the Champions Trophy as well. However, unlike the male counterparts, this will be a 20-over Champions Trophy featuring six teams. This new tournament will take place in 2027 and 2031.

Under-19’s tournaments

There hasn’t been much said about the youth tournaments. The boys’ U-19 World Cup will be held every two years as it always has been. No changes have been announced in the format. 

A new tournament has been added for the girls called the women’s T20 World Cup. It is unclear how this format will go. 

Read more: How Pakistan’s T20 World Cup Squad is Logical but not Justifiable?

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