The next edition of the ICC T20 World Cup is set to take place in Australia later this year where 16 teams will square-off for the right to be eventually called the World Champions in the shortest format of the game. The format that will be employed will be a two-tier concept where the top-ten sides will join the two qualifying sides of the first stage to form a Super-12 where the sides’ will be divided into two groups of six each.
But, if the reports are to be believed, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is mulling over increasing the number of teams to 20 in the Men’s T20 World Cup, as part of broader discussions of shaping the international calendar for the next cycle-2023-2031. The first T20 World Cup of the next cycle will take place in 2021, and if the reports in the Telegraph are to be believed, the 2024 edition may well have as many as 20 sides, competing for the T20 World Cup crown.
It is understood that if the T20 World Cup is extended to 20 teams, several options are being explored for the format of the competition. One of the concepts is for all the 20 teams to enter the competition at the same stage, with five teams divided into four groups. Another option that is being explored is the current two-tier format where the top International sides only join the qualifying sides from the first round in the second stage.
The agenda is set to be discussed in the next round of ICC meetings in March
In the past few years, the ICC has been criticized for reducing the 50-over World Cup to just ten sides, but the apex body has long viewed T20 cricket as the best way to expand the game, and with the FIFA World Cup set to increase the teams’ to 48 from the 2026 event, increasing the teams to 20 in the T20 World Cup, could be cricket’s answer towards keeping pace with other sports.
The next round of ICC meetings are in March where issues like staging four-day Tests from the next Test championship cycle will be discussed- but the final decision on the final shape of the international calendar are not expected till later this year or even beyond.
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