After the exciting T20 World Cup in Australia (arguably the best competition across the format despite bad weather and a lack of local interest outside of games featuring teams from South Asia), the focus is on Moving on to the 2024 landmark event hosted by the United States and the Caribbean.
It looms as the tournament that defines the era of cricket. Its managers have long coveted the United States, the largest target market for the growth of the venerable British sport, alongside the flamboyant offerings of its American rivals.
But the faster, three-hour T20 format is expected to appeal to countries that already have a large and growing foreign community from South Asia, making the United States one of cricket’s largest broadcast markets. is pushed up to
The conservative sport of cricket has often been bound by traditional boundaries due to member-driven boards dominated by self-interest, but a belated focus has been placed on pushing cricket into new territory. It is written.
To do so, a showpiece that needs to provide opportunities and expand to emerging countries such as the United States, which are below the so-called full member tier, the top 12 countries that receive more money, equipment and influence. It’s an event.
Only 10 teams will qualify for next year’s 50-over World Cup, and the recent T20 World Cup featured 16 teams, half of whom were put to a modest first round.
“It’s not a World Cup with a small number of teams,” said the board director, referring to the soccer and basketball events with 32 teams each.
There was always the fear that the smaller nations considered associates in cricket’s inexplicably layered membership system were uncompetitive and farce was guaranteed if competing with the big ones.
But the gap has closed amidst the growth of the top associates, who shined in the T20 World Cup with some memorable upsets highlighted by the shocking upset of the Netherlands knocking out South Africa. rice field.
These countries clearly deserve more opportunities on the big stage, and after a heated debate in recent years on the Board, the format of the upcoming World Cup will change and become more inclusive. There will be 14 teams in the 50-over World Cup and 20 teams in the 2024 T20 World Cup.
Discarding the window dressing of the first round and the subsequent Super 12 stage, the upcoming T20 World Cup will be divided into four groups of five teams each, with the top two teams in these groups advancing to the Super 8 phase.
As host nations, the United States automatically qualified, but the Netherlands’ impressive win over South Africa also ensured their place as one of the top eight teams in the 2022 edition.
The format, while still fairly complex compared to rival sports’ compelling and digestible 32-team competitions, ultimately guarantees a rare opportunity for a small nation aspiring to do something.
It was part of a push within the Governing Council to “change the system” from small states, with Zimbabwe’s Tavenga Mukhulani raising his hand in the election for chairman, followed by a delayed withdrawal and incumbent Greg Barkley failing to vote. The way to be elected was opened.
However, sources say the International Cricket Council has made a compromise with Mukhulani’s faction, made up of smaller nations wanting greater influence, for looming financial distribution from carving out new media rights deals. was performed.
The unopposed re-election of Imran Khwaja as Vice-Chairman was part of this at a time when the focus seemed to be shifting from the cricket’s leading brokers.
The larger and more inclusive T20 World Cup in 2024 is expected to be the harbinger of cricket as it takes place in a highly coveted location in the United States.