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Sunday, November 28, 2021

ICC timetable explained: Hello again Pakistan, welcome America

The Indian Express goes beyond the dates and venue to explain the significance of ICC's timetable.

Written by Tushar Bhaduri , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 19, 2021 7:31:33 am
As many as 11 Full Members and three Associates will host two men’s World Cups, four men’s T20 World Cups and two men’s Champions Trophy events.

The major ICC events in the next eight-year cycle (2024-2031) have been more evenly distributed with old hosts being recalled and new grounds being broken, as the world body packs more mega tournaments with an eye to its bottom line. As many as 11 Full Members and three Associates will host two men’s World Cups, four men’s T20 World Cups and two men’s Champions Trophy events.

The Indian Express goes beyond the dates and venue to explain the significance of ICC’s timetable.

Pak returns as host

Pakistan last staged a major event in 1996, when it hosted the World Cup with India and Sri Lanka. It has now been awarded the 2025 Champions Trophy, the first time the tournament will be held since 2017, when Pakistan beat India in the final. It will be a big boost to cricket in the country, which has been trying to woo back teams after the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

American dream

Cricket will take its first big step in the United States when it co-hosts the T20 World Cup in June 2024 with the West Indies. The USA has staged All-Star legends’ games and occasional bilateral series in the past, but it will be the first time a major ICC event will reach American shores. The ICC has long tried to increase cricket’s footprint in the USA, a “strategic growth market”. The sizeable population, spending power, the various diasporas, and the general love of sport make it a huge untapped market for the sport.

India remains cricket’s heartbeat

India is the biggest market and driver of the game. A lion’s share of the ICC’s revenue is generated by India and Indian companies are the top sponsors of major events. A big tournament in the country generates unparalleled local passion and fan following. The world body has tried to capitalise on this factor by allocating as many as three big events to India during the eight-year cycle.

India, who will host the 2023 50-over World Cup, will next stage the 2026 T20 World Cup with Sri Lanka, the 2029 Champions Trophy all by itself, and then join hands with Bangladesh for the 2031 50-over World Cup.

Namibia enters the fray

The 50-over World Cup will return to African soil after 24 years when South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia host it in 2027. The 2003 tournament had Kenya as a co-host but Namibia, who impressed many with their skill and gumption at the recent T20 World Cup, will get to showcase itself for the biggest tournament in the sport.

England, Australia get one each

Traditional powerhouses England and Australia have had to be satisfied with just one big tournament to host in this cycle. While Australia – which will host the T20 World Cup a year from now – will co-host the 2028 edition along with New Zealand, England will join hands with Ireland and Scotland for the 2030 tournament.

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An annual affair

Big Boards like the BCCI have been wary of too frequent ICC events as it cuts into their scope of earning revenue by staging bilateral series. But the world body will stage a major men’s tournament each year in the next cycle with an eye to increasing its own income. In all, there will now be a big ICC men’s tournament every year from 2021 to 2031.

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