The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering expanding the T20 World Cup to 20 teams in an attempt to develop the game globally. The shortest format of the game has been viewed as a means to attract a larger audience around the world for quite a while now.
However, there will be no changes to the 2021 edition of the tournament that will see 16 teams participate. We could likely see a 20-team tournament from 2024 and the participating sides may possibly be split into four groups with five teams each.
The ICC has already confirmed its plans to expand the number of teams participating in the women’s competitions.
Could we see more teams in the ICC 50-over World Cup as well?
The move from the ICC could also prompt an increase in the number of teams taking part in the 50-over World Cup as well.
Over the last few years, the ICC has consistently cut down the number of teams taking part in the mega event due to broadcasters demands, who argued the streamlined format has the probability of fewer one-sided games.
16 teams featured in the 2007 World Cup, while that number was brought down to 14 in 2011 and 2015. In the 2019 edition of the tournament, just 10 teams took part.
But with the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics on the cards, the ICC seems to be in favour of balancing the growing popularity of the game with the monetary value of short-term broadcast deals. With more teams in the mix, an inter-continental tournament is also likely which could make the sport more interesting.
These matters were discussed in recent Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) meetings and there has been notable backing from the members to expand the sport.
During this meeting, both the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have expressed their desire to take part in the Olympics. The BCCI, though, have made it clear they will not tolerate any interference from the Indian Olympic Association.