16 UP: ICC announces expansion of Women’s World Cups in new 2024-31 structure

Twelve months to the day since the final of 2020 T20 World Cup, the ICC has announced a revised schedule of ICC Women’s events from 2024-31. The new structure not only scraps the two proposed ’ODI Champions Cups’ but also increases the total number of available slots at global events over the period from a previously reported 60 to 76.

‘More teams will compete in both the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup from 2026 onwards,’ celebrated the announcement.

The new 2024-31 schedule supplants a proposal that was tabled in February 2020 which saw the same number of women’s events over the period, eight, but now with an additional 16 available slots for teams to participate.

During the current cycle (2016-23) 56 teams will compete over six tournaments.

The majority of the increase comes from the replacing of two six-team ‘T20 Champions Cups’ in 2024 and 2028 with a ten and twelve team T20 World Cup, respectively, returning the event to a regular biennial schedule.

There are also an additional two berths at the global events in 2026 (T20), 2029 (ODI) and 2030 (T20).

(That 2020 proposal – despite seeing eight (i.e., two more) events over the period – halved the number of women’s events with more than eight teams from four to two. The new structure has five such tournaments.)

The revised structure will be as follows: 

ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup2025
8 teams, 31 matches
10 teams, 48 matches
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup2024*
10 teams, 23 matches
12 teams, 33 matches
12 teams, 33 matches
12 teams, 33 matches
ICC Women’s T20 Champions Cup2027#
6 teams, 16 matches
Revised 2024-31 ICC Women’s global event cycle

^ Additional two teams
* Replaces six-team ‘T20 Champions Cup’
# Replaces ‘ODI Champions Cup’
` Replaces 2023 ODI Champions Cup’)

Manu Sawhney, ICC Chief Executive said, ‘We have a clear focus and commitment to an ambitious long-term growth plan for the women’s game. We have been building momentum around the women’s game for the last four years investing in global broadcast coverage and marketing to drive fan engagement.

‘The results speak for themselves with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 attracting record numbers, 1.1 billion video views, making it the most watched women’s cricket event of all time and having 86,174 fans attending the final at the MCG, a record attendance for a women’s cricket event.

‘This decision to expand our women’s events builds on these foundations and allows us to give more member countries greater opportunities to compete on a global stage. This means that more teams will also get the opportunity to compete in the qualification pathways for the respective ICC events over the coming years. I am sure these initiatives will go a long way in helping us achieve our strategic goal of continuing to build strength and depth in the women’s game.’

The release made no mention of the Women’s U19 Cricket World Cups or the possibility of cricket being in the 2028 Olympics.

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