ICC, the game’s highest governing body has taken a U-turn and now is in favor of having more teams in the World T20. Last year, the ICC was condemned heavily by ardent fans of the game after it was decided to make the 2019 ICC World Cup just a 10 team affair. Doing so would take away all the motivation of the budding Associate teams as their ambitions of participating in the 50 over World Cup were on the verge of being shattered.
However, after seeing the success of Associates in T20 cricket, the ICC has now decided to include more teams in the upcoming editions of the World T20. The next edition of the World T20 will be held in Australia in 2020, and will have as many as 16 participating teams. It seems that the ICC is finally taking some measures to redeem its previous deeds.
ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson said increasing the number of teams to 16 was a wise move. “Whether we move to perhaps increasing the size of the tournament by adding one or two teams, or one team to each group in that first round, I think if we can do that number one we’ll provide more opportunities to other teams but number two, if you do lose two matches you’ve still got a chance in a group of five whereas in a group of four, you’re dead and buried. That might be useful and then even maybe increasing, instead of having a Super 10 have a Super 12 maybe which will again increase the number of matches but I think it will give more opportunities for the Associate members to participate in the second round of the tournament itself.”
Richardson also justified the ICC’s decision to host a World T20 once in every 4 years. The ICC Chief Executive said that if the World T20 was held within every 2 years, then it would lead to an overdose of the same format. Richardson also said that it was essential to host the World T20 once in 4 years as it added more balance to all the forms of the game.
“The danger, of course, is that if we keep pushing T20 and keep playing T20 events every two years, it’ll effectively cannibalize the other two,” Richardson said. “We want to make sure that we keep an even and more reasonable balance between the three formats, hence, the decision to go with one men’s World T20 in a four-year cycle,” said Richardson.
When asked about the ICC’s decision to have just 10 teams in the 2019 ICC World Cup, Richardson said that this was done in order to add “more value” to the game. “Again, the reason to go to a 10-team 2019 World Cup tournament was done for a number of reasons some time back. Number one probably it was a format that would generate more competitive cricket and secondly more value. If we’re honest with ourselves, a tournament which involves a guaranteed nine Indian matches is worth substantially more than a tournament with less Indian matches. And of course, the money that’s generated from that event is for the benefit of all members including the Associate members.”