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How will the World Cup formats change from 2023 onwards?

Changes to ICC World Cup structures
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The ICC has announced several major changes to the global events that will take place in the 2023-2031 FTP cycle, with the ODI and T20 World Cup set to expand to 14 and 20 teams respectively.

The return of the Champions Trophy from 2025 aside, the ICC has also decided to go more global with an expansion of the two major tournaments – the ODI World Cups in 2027 and 2031 will have 14 teams each, expanded from 10, while the T20 World Cup, to be held every two years, will have 20 teams.

What changes will the ODI World Cup see?

There will be 54 matches in the World Cup in 2027 and 2031 with a return to the Super Six format that was followed for the 2003 ODI World Cup in South Africa. The 2019 World Cup had a league format where each of the 10 teams were clubbed together, each playing every other team once, with the top four making the semi-finals. This is set to be followed in the upcoming edition in India in 2023 too.

For the ODI World Cups in the 2023-2031 FTP cycle, the 14 teams will be split into two groups of seven teams each. The top three from each group will qualify to make the Super Six. The two sets of three teams will each play against one another in the Super Six after which the semi-finalists are decided.

The status of the Cricket World Cup Super League, that currently determines the teams in the 2023 World Cup, is unclear. As of now, 13 teams play in the World Cup Super League with the top seven and hosts gaining automatic qualification to the World Cup. The remaining five teams play a qualifying tournament in 2022 along with five other Associate nations to determine the final 10 to contest in the World Cup.

What changes will the T20 World Cup see?

The T20 format is seen by the ICC as one that can help globalize the game. The T20 World Cups in the 2023-2031 cycle will feature 20 teams, expanded from the 16 set to play in the 2021 (moved from 2020) edition.

Also, the current first round, effectively another qualifying competition, will be done away with. Instead, the teams will be split into four groups of five teams each with the top two from each group entering a Super Eight. This is followed by the semi-final and final.

The T20 World Cups will have 55 matches each and there are four in the next cycle: 2024, 2026, 2028, and 2030

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