The International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved 14 teams for the 50-over World Cup and 20 teams for the T20 WC in the next cycle of Future Tours Programme. In the eight-year cycle starting from 2023 to 2031, there will now be eight global tournaments that sees the return of the Champions Trophy. The decisions were taken by the all-powerful executive board meeting of the ICC, which was held virtually on Tuesday (June1).
54 matches will be held in the ODI World Cup in 2027 and 2031 with the ICC opting to follow the format that was used in 2003. The 14 teams will be split into two groups with the top three from each group making it to the Super Six. The four best teams will then proceed to the semi-final followed by the final. The ICC also confirmed that the World Test Championship Final will be hosted in 2025, 2027, 2029 and in 2031.
The T20 WC will see the 20 teams split into four groups with the top two teams from each group progressing to the next stage – the Super Eight – which will then be followed by the semifinals and the final. Four T20 WCs have been scheduled to be held in 2024, 2026, 2028 and in 2030. The Champions Trophy, which will now make a return in 2025 after eight years, will be played in the same format where eight teams get split into two groups of four followed by the semifinals and final.
The ICC also confirmed that the hosts for the Men's events will be finalised in September this year with the selection process getting underway this month. There could be first-time hosts for the Women's and U19 events as well, according to the governing body,
“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,” ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice. “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.”
A confirmation on the matter is awaited but the biggest takeaway from the board meeting, it looks like, the Big Three boards – Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) – have dropped their opposition to the increased number of events in the next FTP cycle, something that has been contentiously dividing point among boards of the ICC.
The three boards, over the years, have been fighting for more bilateral matches than global events. But the powerful boards, it is understood, have reconciled to the fact that more global events will lead to more revenue for the world body which, in turn, help the smaller nations affiliated to the ICC.
THE ICC EVENTS – YEAR-WISE (MEN)
2024: T20 WC – 20 teams and 55 games
2025: Champions Trophy – 8 teams and 15 games
2025: World Test Championship final – 2 teams and 1 game
2026: T20 WC – 20 teams and 55 games
2027: ODI World Cup – 14 teams and 54 games
2027: World Test Championship final – 2 teams and 1 game
2028: T20 WC – 20 teams and 55 games
2029: Champions Trophy – 8 teams and 15 games
2029: World Test Championship final – 2 teams and 1 game
2030: T20 WC – 20 teams and 55 games
2031: ODI World Cup – 14 teams and 54 games
2031: World Test Championship final – 2 teams and 1 game