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More teams for ICC World Cups, India get till June 28 to decide T20 WC venue

The International cricket council (ICC) has deferred until June 28 a decision on the host venue for the October-November T20 World Cup. This decision was made at its Board meeting after tournament hosts BCCI sought more time, considering the grim pandemic situation in India.

Though BCCI has shortlisted nine cities in India, the UAE as the contingent venue is likely to get the nod. BCCI will retain its hosting rights. Its officials, led by secretary Jay Shah, are in the UAE to firm up arrangements for the rest of the halted IPL that will be played before the World Cup.

“The ICC Board has requested management focus its planning efforts for the T20 World Cup 2021 on the event being staged in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East,” an ICC statement said. Oman is likely to become a venue besides Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. A window of nearly a month also gives BCCI time to continue talks with its government to secure tax exemptions for hosting the World Cup.

ICC EVENT EVERY YEAR

The next ICC events cycle (2024-31) will have a limited-overs world event every year. The ICC board announced that there would be four T20 World Cups with a gap of two years each (2024-30), two ODI World Cup (2027, 2031) and Champions Trophy (2025, 2029) editions.

This after the Big 3 boards of India, England and Australia climbed down from their earlier stance to have six, and not eight, ICC events in the next cycle. The ICC Chairmanship elections were fought on this primary agenda, with the richer boards wanting to protect the window for their bilateral calendar and T20 leagues.

“Having the ICC event schedule confirmed through to 2031 is a significant step forward for cricket and will form the basis of our growth strategy for the next decade,” ICC acting CEO Geoff Allardice said.

20-TEAM T20 WC, 14-TEAM ODI WC

ICC has also okayed greater participation in World Cups, T20 as well as ODI. The T20 World Cup, seen as a vehicle to grow the sport, will be a 55-match event played by 20 teams 2024 onwards, up from 16 teams. The 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia will be in the current form. The ODI World Cup will expand to a 14-team 54-match event in the next rights cycle, after the 10-team 2023 edition in India. Champions Trophy will have eight teams.

“Many associate nations wanted the World Cups to be made more inclusive. Everyone including the Indian board gave it the green signal,” an ICC board official said. The 14-team World Cup will revert to the Super Six format, after three teams each qualify from two groups of seven. The T20 World Cup will be played in a Super Eights format, with the top two from four groups of five qualifying, followed by the semis and final. The Champions Trophy will have two groups of four, semi-finals and final.

It was also decided that the World Test Championship will continue to be played every two years (2025-31). India face New Zealand in the inaugural WTC final in Southampton from June 18.

After the ICC AGM next month, fresh ICC media rights tenders will be floated.

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