While we see close to 32 nations playing a football World Cup (WC), cricket had just 10 teams playing the ODI World Cup in 2019. One of the major concerns everybody has had with the International Cricket Council (ICC) is that they look to decrease the number of teams playing in a WC. Recent reports suggest that the ICC is planning on extending the number of teams to 20. The T20 World Cup might be increased to incorporate 20 teams as a part of the ICC’s attempts to develop the sport globally. ICC has always looked at T20s as a tool to experiment their ideas. They believe that they can spread and propagate the sport through the shortest format of the game.


England are current holders of the ICC World Cup


According to a report by ESPN Cricinfo, there are plans to increase that number of teams in the T20 WC from the 2024 edition. Current thinking suggests that version of the event will feature four groups of 5 teams in its opening phase. The new approach and attitude is astonishing to say the least as the ICC have always looked to reduced the number of teams in an ICC trophy. This is probably the first time where we are seeing reports of ICC attempting to increase the number of teams in an ICC trophy. “The ICC has long seen the T20 format as a vehicle for the game’s expansion and there has been previous talk about such an expansion. The ICC have already confirmed their plans to increase the number of teams in their women’s competitions,” A report said. The report further added that ” “It is understood that the subject of the Olympics was raised at a recent CEC meeting by the ECB’s Tom Harrison. The BCCI have also recently signaled their desire for involvement, albeit with the caveat that they will not tolerate interference from the Indian Olympic Association,” The 2021 T20 WC which is all set to take place in India as of now will go on with the same amount of teams as decided and this is officially confirmed by the officials.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly (L) along with Jay Shah(R), during the recent unveiling of the ICC World T20 Trophy

Additionally, there are a few more reports that state that the next ODI WC is going to feature 14 teams and not 10 teams like the previous World Cup. According to Cricbuzz, the ICC members have been debating and arguing on the size of the World Cup periodically through various meetings and conferences, and a couple of members of the world body had confirmed that the endgame is fast emerging and a 14-team format for the ODI World Cup in next eight-year cycle seems inevitable, from 2023 to 31. There was certainly a requirement to possess 16 teams too, like in 2007, but the thought doesn’t have the approval of the bulk . The 2019 WC was severely criticized for having only 10 teams and thus, the best way for ICC to satisfy everyone is to include more number of teams.

By Arvind Krishnan

Cricket writer, statistician and analyst. An unorthodox media student, marketing runs in his blood. Sports Marketer and analyst.