The 2027 ODI World Cup will be played between 14 teams. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is keen to go back to the format after having the last World Cup in 2019 with 10 Test-playing nations. ICC has also decided to have 20 teams for T20 World Cup in the 2023-2031 cycle. The Champions Trophy will be brought back in 2025 and will be played between eight teams.
“The ICC board has discussed to get 14 teams for the next World Cup. It will help the sport to grow at a better pace. The 10-team format didn’t serve that purpose,” sources from the ICC’s board meeting said. The ICC board has also suggested reverting to ‘Super Six’ format of the tournament. The format was used from 1999 to 2007. It was junked after India failed to go beyond the first round in the 2007 World Cup in West Indies. The 2011 and 2015 World Cup had quarterfinals.
It is believed that the ODI Super League will gain greater significance over the next two years and ICC’s associate members will have greater incentive in promoting the game in their countries. “The 10-team format did have some quality cricket but it got long and winding. A lot of matches in the back-end of the league stage became inconsequential as most of the semifinalists were decided early,” the source said.
UAE & Oman as back venues for T20 WC
The Indian cricket board has got time till June 28 from ICC to take a call on how it wants to host the T20 World Cup in October-November. The BCCI had asked for some time to monitor the pandemic situation in the country which has already forced the board to suspend the IPL in the first week of May. UAE and Muscat are identified as backup plan for BCCI to host the event. A BCCI team is currently in UAE to figure out the logistics to host the remainder of the IPL in September-October.
“BCCI will be in talks with the central government on the feasibility of hosting the showpiece event in India itself. If the situation doesn’t seem conducive, then the tournament is likely to be moved to UAE. All the host venues in India have been told to continue with the preparations at the moment,” a BCCI official said.
WTC to continue
The ICC board also decided that the World Test Championship (WTC) will continue and another four more cycles have been agreed upon. The format of the WTC had come under the scanner. Greg Barclay, while assuming charge as ICC chairman last November, had expressed apprehensions about the championship. The next cycle of WTC begins with India’s five-Test series in England from August.