In the ICC board meeting held on Tuesday (June 1), the cricketing board announced the schedule for its gala events from 2024-2031. The following decisions were taken during the meeting:
ICC Men's World Cup
After the criticism it received in 2019 for cutting down the World Cup to just 10 teams, the ICC has decided that the 2027 and 2031 editions will have 14 teams in them. 2023 will however continue to be played amongst 10 teams.
The teams will be divided into two groups of seven each. The top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six stage, which will be followed by the semi-final and final. A similar format was used in the 2003 World Cup, held in South Africa.
ICC Men's T20 World Cup
The T20 World Cup will feature as many as 20 teams from the 2024 edition. The mega event will also be held in 2026, 2028 and 2030 - all of which will include participants from 20 countries, which was earlier restricted to just 16 countries.
Five teams will be divided into four groups. The top two teams will progress to the Super Eight stage, followed by the knockout stages of semi-final and final.
ICC World Test Championship Final
The final of the inaugural edition of the WTC is scheduled to be played between India and England in Southampton from June 18. The next cycle - 2021-23 - will kick start with the five-match Test series between India and England on August 4, with the final to be held sometime in 2023.
The ICC announced that the WTC final will also be held in 2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031.
Return of ICC Champions Trophy
The ICC Champions Trophy which was last held in England in 2017, will make a comeback from 2025. There will be no changes to the format. Eight teams will participate and a total of 15 matches will be played in the event. The teams will be divided into two groups of four. The teams finishing top two in their groups qualify for the semi-final. The winners of that match will then compete in the final. Pakistan are the defending champions, having beaten India in the final in 2017.
As far as women's cricket is concerned, the ICC announced its expansion plans earlier this year, which will come into effect from 2026.
According to the ICC media release, the hosts for all the events will be decided in September. "The ICC Board also approved the process for determining the hosts for all Men’s, Women’s and U19 events in the next cycle. The hosts for the Men’s events will be decided in September following a selection process that will get underway this month. The hosting process for Women’s and U19 events will commence in November and will be an opportunity to engage with a wider range of Members including first-time hosts," the release said.
India who are scheduled to host the T20 World Cup later this year, have been given till June 28 to take a call on whether it can host the mega event in the country. The Covid-19 surge in the country forced the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be cancelled midway and there was been doubts about India's ability to host the marquee event. If India cannot, UAE seems to be the most likely venue for the T20 World Cup.