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The recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy ended in dramatic fashion and a surprising winner in Pakistan at The Oval. Surprising given the way they had started the tournament – a hammering from India – and the fact that they had qualified as the lowest ranked team. The tournament brings together the eight best-ranked teams in the world. And yet despite the scintillating finish, the tournament’s future is under a dark cloud. Instead, the sport’s governing body is contemplating a World T20 tournament comprising more teams.
“What we want to do is differentiate our global events from each other so that they can be standalone and create maximum interest every time the event happens,” ICC CEO Dave Richardson is quoted by Cricket.com.au. “At this stage, the next Champions Trophy is still scheduled for India in 2021. Whether that gets changed, the consideration has been given to changing to two T20s in a four-year cycle which would mean swapping the Champions Trophy for a World T20. The fact is that World T20s do attract a lot of interest, they generate significant revenue for the television companies, but most importantly from our point of view they provide us with an opportunity to give more opportunities to more teams,” he added.
“A 16-team World T20 – even a 20-team World T20 – down the line is something that we would like to look at. With a 10-team World Cup we’re hoping to increase the competitiveness of matches and the standard of the tournament as a whole. It might not be necessary to continue with two 50-over tournaments going forward,” he further explained.
India are scheduled to host the next Champions Trophy in four years’ time. The tournament has been held with a stop-gap policy since the inaugural event in 1998 and brings together the top-eight teams. World Cup, on the other hand, currently draws 10 teams. This much similarity between the events has led to ICC going back to the drawing board. As per latest plans, Australia will host the World T20 event in 2020 with India hosting the Champions Trophy in 2021. The ICC Annual Conference held in London on Monday is believed to have been a launchpad to discuss scheduling of matches.