world t20
World T20 main draw likely to see 12 teams

A two more teams are likely to be included in the main draw of the World T20 in 2018. Ongoing discussions during the Associates meeting of the ICC annual conference also hints that from now on, the Associate nations’ representatives on the ICC board may get the opportunity of full voting rights as well.

“What I have heard described is that two teams will go through from [each] first group to create a Super 12,” the Hong Kong Cricket Association chief executive Tim Cutler told ESPNcricinfo. “That seems to be the agreed format at the moment. Hopefully, that means with two [more] going through, potentially two more could come into the qualifiers to make 18 but the sound of it at the moment is it’s going to be 16 into 12. It’s a move in the right direction.”

If this format is introduced for the tournament then Netherlands despite being knocked out after a washout and Zimbabwe, after losing just one of their three matches, could make a move to the second round. But there is also an opportunity for two more guaranteed spots for the Associates in the main draw.

Meanwhile, in terms of applying for an Olympic T20 tournament in 2024, representatives from Italy and France assured ICC that they are already in contact with their respective Olympic Associations to avail support for cricket’s introduction if Rome or Paris manages to win the hosting rights.

This campaigning seemed quite necessary as IOC planning to ready the direct entry path – which the ICC was wants – to register a sport in the Olympics. If that happens, cricket’s inclusion in all future Games will depend on solely the host nation’s nod.

There is also good news for the Associates as their three representatives might receive the ICC full voting privileges and subsequently a strong voice when in case of any decision making. According to sources present, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar has made the announcement and it could be ratified later in the week.

“Everything we’re hearing from the ICC chairman really does point towards a new era in ICC governance and the structures behind that,” Cutler said. “We talk about one man, one vote, are we going to have a 105-member federation with votes? Highly unlikely in the short term but if we do get to a point where the three Associate directors have a vote each, that really does shift the paradigm that was the ICC board and really moving things in the right direction where emerging nations really do have a true voice at the top table.”

According to latest reports, there has also been a change in Associate representation on the ICC board with Cricket Ireland’s Ross McCollum winning a vote to replace Bermuda’s Neil Speight. The other two incumbents – Singapore’s Imran Khawaja and Namibia’s Francois Erasmus – still maintain their positions on the board.

A significant talking point this week will be the restructuring of the controversial ‘Big Three’, which was inducted in 2014 and concentrated power and money in the hands of India, Australia and England. “(There is) a mood to address what happened two years ago (the conference that ratified the Big Three),” ICC chief executive Dave Richardson earlier said. “We are a body that addresses 105 members.”


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