On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the world body of cricket – the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the expansion of women’s cricket events post the 2023 cycle. The ICC tournaments for women cricketers will have more teams from 2026 onwards with the governing body announcing its expansion plan for the game to mark international women’s day. ICC said the T20 World Cup will have 12 teams instead of 10 from the 2026 edition. The ODI World Cup will also be expanded — from eight teams to 10 — from the 2029 edition.Also Read - Murali Kartik Hails Virat Kohli; Backs Ex-RCB Captain to Make India's T20 World Cup Squad
“More teams will compete in both the Women’s World Cup and the Women’s T20 World Cup from 2026 onwards as part of the ICC’s long-term commitment to growing the game globally and in a sustainable fashion,”CC stated in a media release. Also Read - Virat Kohli Admits Future Goals Amid IPL 2022, Says 'Want to Win Asia Cup, T20 World Cup For India'
The revised formats will give more teams the chance to compete on the global stage and importantly provides members with a window to grow the game domestically to challenge internationally as the changes take place. Also Read - Harbhajan Singh Wants Umran Malik to Partner Jasprit Bumrah When India Play in Australia
Two 50-over World Cups will be played in 2025 and 2029 while four T20 World Cups have been scheduled for 2024, 2026, 2028, and 2030.
The sport’s governing body has also announced the advent of a new tournament, called Women’s T20 Champions Cup and it will be played in 2027 and 2031.
Manu Sawhney, ICC Chief Executive 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 results speak for themselves with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 attracting record numbers, 1.1 billion video views, making it the most-watched women’s cricket event of all time and having 86,174 fans attending the final at the MCG, a record attendance for a women’s cricket event.
“This decision to expand our women’s events builds on these foundations and allows us to give more member countries greater opportunities to compete on a global stage. This means that more teams will also get the opportunity to compete in the qualification pathways for the respective ICC events over the coming years. I am sure these initiatives will go a long way in helping us achieve our strategic goal of continuing to build strength and depth in the women’s game,” he added.
In 2020, the Women’s T20 World Cup final was contested between Australia and India in front of a record audience at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). More than 80,000 people turned up to watch Australia lift the title.