In what might come as a Women’s Day present, ICC announced plans to expand Women’s cricket tournaments globally on Monday. This expansion will witness more participation from around the world in both the formats of ODI and T20. ICC’s plans will also feature the inclusion of Women’s T20 Champions Cup, as a parallel to that of the Men’s tournament from the next cycle that’ll run from 2023 to 2031.
The revised structure for the women’s global cricket events sees a number of amendments being made. The number of World Cup teams will be increased to ten from eight. T20 WC will be expanded to 12 teams playing 33 matches from 2026 (an increase from 10 teams playing 23 matches till 2024). The proposed Women’s T20 Champions Cup has been decided to take place twice during the cycle (2027 and 2031), with six teams playing 16 matches. The new cycle will provide two fifty over World Cups and four T20 World Cups.
While talking about new plans for women’s cricket, ICC Chief Executive, Manu Sawhney said, “We have a clear focus and commitment to an ambitious long-term growth plan for the women’s game. We have been building momentum around the women’s game for the last four years investing in global broadcast coverage and marketing to drive fan engagement.”
The pandemic forced ICC to postpone the next Women’s T-20 World Cup to 2023 from 2022 to avoid cluster of big events in 2022. The 50 overs World Cup for women was also postponed to 2022 from 2021. There is a huge financial burden on ICC due to matches being played behind closed doors or limited entry, that has given a strong blow to the governing body and its ability to conduct tournaments. The governing body of cricket will be hoping that 2022 World Cup in New Zealand will have crowds back in the stadium.