ICC announces major changes to World Cup schedule
Men's World Cups in both formats are expanded and the Champions Trophy returns as the ICC announces its schedule of major events for 2024-2031
2 June 2021, 07:29 AM AEST
The men's 50-over and 20-over World Cups will be expanded to 14 teams and 20 teams respectively while the Champions Trophy will also return under changes announced by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday.
The ICC has confirmed the schedule and format of men's global events between 2024 and 2031, which includes biennial editions of the T20 World Cup and World Test Championship Final as well as a major 50-over tournament every two years.
It will see a World Test Championship Final as well as a major 50-over event played every odd year – in 2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031 – while even years will feature a T20 World Cup.
The ICC announced changes to major women's events earlier this year, which will see a major women's tournament held every year from 2022 to 2031.
The ICC also gave its strongest indication yet that this year's T20 World Cup will be moved from India to the United Arab Emirates, and also flagged the prospect of another nation co-hosting the tournament with the UAE.
In a statement, the ICC said its board had "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", and added a final decision on the host nation or nations will be made later this month.
The most notable change for the global game announced on Tuesday is the expansion of the 50-over World Cup from 10 nations to 14 after the reduction to 10 teams for the 2019 and 2023 events was heavily criticised for limiting opportunities for developing nations.
The T20 World Cup, which will remain a 16-team event for the 2021 and 2022 editions, has also been expanded to 20 nations going forward, giving developing countries a greater opportunity to prove themselves on the biggest stage.
The 50-over World Cups will also welcome back the Super Six stage of the tournament that was last used in 2003, while the T20 event will feature a new Super Eights stage.
In the 54-match, 50-over events, the 14 teams will be split into two groups of seven with the top three in each group to progress to the Super Six stage before the semi-finals and final.
The T20 World Cups will feature a total of 55 games, starting with four groups of five. The top two from each group will progress to the Super Eights before the semi-final and final.
Under the old Super Six format, teams would play all those who were not in their initial group and wins in the group stage against teams who qualify for the Super Six stage carried over.
The 50-over Champions Trophy, which was scrapped after Pakistan won the 2017 event, also returns as a shorter, eight-team event every four years, with two groups of four to be followed by semi-finals and finals.
The host nations for the upcoming men's events will be decided in September.
Tuesday's announcement does not impact the upcoming T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022 and 50-over event in 2023.
ICC major events: 2024-2031
2024: Men's T20 World Cup, Women's T20 World Cup, Men's Under-19 World Cup
2025: World Test Championship Final, Men's Champions Trophy, Women's ODI World Cup, Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup
2026: Men’s T20 World Cup, Women's T20 World Cup, Men's Under-19 World Cup
2027: World Test Championship Final, Men's ODI World Cup, Women's T20 Champions Trophy, Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup
2028: Men's T20 World Cup, Women's T20 World Cup, Men's Under-19 World Cup
2029: World Test Championship Final, Men's Champions Trophy, Women's ODI World Cup, Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup
2030: Men's T20 World Cup, Women's T20 World Cup, Men's Under-19 World Cup
2031: World Test Championship Final, Men's ODI World Cup, Women's T20 Champions Trophy, Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup