Men’s ODI and T20I World Cup set to expand

In what will be welcome news to followers of associate cricket worldwide, the ODI and T20I World Cups will both expand by four teams from 2024 onwards

Afganistan wins ICC World Cup Qualifier
The ODI and T20I World Cups are both set to expand

The ICC has announced that both the Men’s World Cup and Men’s T20 World Cup will be expanding from 2024 and beyond. The ODI tournament will return to being a 14-team event for the 2027 and 2031 events. Meanwhile, the T20 World Cup will expand to twenty teams, and return to its biennial frequency from 2024 and beyond.

The ODI Men’s World Cup will reprise the format used at the 2003 event in South Africa. The 14 teams will be split into two groups of seven, with the top three advancing to the Super Six stage. Each team plays three further matches in the Super Six stage, before moving on to semi-finals. The format will be a welcome refresher for those with fond memories of the 2003 tournament, including a surprise semi-final for Associate nation Kenya. However, the format has also come under fire due to its long nature – at 54 games it will be the joint longest World Cup to date – and its convoluted Points Carried Forward system.

The expansion means that at least two of the current crop of Associate nations will qualify for the 2027 event. At present, there is no indication about how this expansion will affect the World Cup Super League, or the corresponding World Cup qualifying tournaments.

The ICC also announced that the T20 World Cup will expand to feature twenty teams starting at the 2024 event. The tournament will also return to being a biennial event, played in even-number years between 2024 and 2030.

The format was also confirmed in the ICC media’s release. The twenty participants will be divided into four groups of five. Each team will play four matches, before the top two in each group progress to the Super Eight stage. The remaining teams will be sorted into two groups of four, before moving on to the semi-finals and final. At 55 matches, the tournament will be 10 matches longer than the 2021 and 2022 events.

The 2024 event will feature no fewer than eight associate nations. With the controversial Preliminary Round scrapped in the new format, all Associate members will play fixtures against full member opposition.

Also included in the events schedule is the return of the ICC Champions Trophy. The tournament will reprise the 8-team, 15-match format last used in 2017. The Men’s U19 World Cup remains a biennial event, with the Women’s U19 World Cup taking place in alternate years. The Women’s U19 World Cup will be a T20I event.

The process of selecting hosts for the global events between 2024 is due to begin imminently, with a decision expected by September. The USA has expressed a strong interest in co-hosting a T20 World Cup with the West Indies, and Malaysia have also expressed an interest in hosting an event.

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