ICC news May 26, 2016

ICC hopeful of World T20 return in 2018

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The ICC will take a further step towards ensuring the World Twenty20 returns in 2018 when senior figures meet with Star Sports later today. South Africa is believed to be the preferred option to host the 2018 WT20, which could place pressure on the South African government to review its recent decision to ban CSA from bidding to host world events for a year because of failing to meet transformation guidelines.

ICC members are overwhelmingly behind the idea to restore the WT20 to every two years, leaving the main question whether Star Sports agree to buy two extra WT20 tournaments - in 2018 and 2022 - in addition to the 2020 tournament already agreed during the current rights cycle. The ICC is also considering expanding the Super 10s to include two teams, which would go some way towards assuaging Associates who complained of being excluded during this year's WT20.

It is understood that the ICC is optimistic an agreement will be reached with Star Sports, after the huge success of the last WT20 tournament in India. Over 80 million in India watched India's semi-final and games against Australia and Pakistan, while there were over 750 million views worldwide for online videos of matches, compared to 250 million during the 2015 World Cup. Assuming an agreement is reached, it would then be voted on at the ICC Annual Conference in June.

The 2018 and 2022 WT20 tournaments would be likely to take place in September and early October, during the three-week window previously reserved for the Champions League. This timing would ease broadcasters' concerns that the extra WT20 tournaments could reduce interest in the IPL.

The UAE is another possible venue - like South Africa, it has a timezone well suited to India and a climate that would fit the available window. However, South Africa is the preferred option. The country has not staged any ICC events since the 2009 Champions Trophy and felt particularly aggrieved by the ICC restructuring in 2014. Hosting a WT20 event there would symbolise a new era for world cricket.

"Of course we would be delighted to host any major ICC event," Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat told ESPNcricinfo. "We have proven in the past what a perfect destination South Africa is."

CSA is working with the government to resolve its issues, and it is believed that the ban on bidding to host world events could be reviewed after the municipal elections in South Africa in August. The timezone factor counts against the West Indies, which has already been awarded the 2018 Women's World T20.

Including the qualification tournament held in Ireland and Scotland last year, the most recent WT20 generated around $250m in profits for the ICC, suggesting that two more events during the ICC's eight-year cycle would generate around an additional $500m. This money would then be distributed to the ICC's 105 members, which could transform the finances not just of Associates but also of poorer Full Members.

The ICC has long held the view that T20 is the best format to globalise the game. This belief was reinforced by the worldwide interest in the last WT20 and the competitive performances of Associates, led by Afghanistan, who defeated West Indies in the Super 10s. The most likely format for the tournament in 2018 is similar to that used this year, but with two teams from each pool in the first stage, rather than one, advancing to the second stage, which would become the Super 12s.

Further forward, the ICC hopes to adopt far more radical changes to how T20 is played at international level. Senior figures favour introducing regional qualifiers, akin to football, for the WT20, although these are unlikely to be in place for the next couple of tournaments. The ICC is also considering mandating a huge increase in the number of countries allowed to play official T20 internationals, which is currently 18.

Some might view two additional WT20s during each eight-year cycle as aiding the ascent of T20 at the expense of Test cricket, but the ICC takes a different view. It is envisaged that the extra sums generated would safeguard the Test game, by helping to fund the proposed introduction of divisions in Test cricket: seven teams in Division One and five in Division Two remains the most likely option.

It is also understood that the ICC has formed a working group to discuss how to fund the envisaged changes to the structure, and one concept being mooted is whether to pool revenue from all matches. The sums would then be divided up according to a revenue distribution formula. The largest countries would still receive more but the mechanism is seen as a way to safeguard the finances of smaller nations and reduce their dependence on incoming tours from India.

Tim Wigmore is a freelance journalist and author of Second XI: Cricket in its Outposts

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bernard Arthur on May 27, 2016, 11:44 GMT

    I think it would be very good for T20 Cricket to become an Olympic Sport and I certainly agree that it is the most suitable format for such an event, but I would also like Test Cricket to be promoted by a World Cup Competition with semi-finals and finals to be held every five years after a qualifying competition involving home and away three· match series involving nine nations over the previous four years. That would allow each of the nine competing nations to play six home test matches per year.

  • Dhawala on May 27, 2016, 10:42 GMT

    India can win it by schedule the 2017 IPL in southafrica and then play the wt20 in 2018 to grab it from sa ha ha ha

  • Dean on May 27, 2016, 10:06 GMT

    @Arunan Raguhpathi, You can't have a tri annual CT as it will inadvertently end up clashing with either the WT20 or WC. The whole idea is to have 1 ICC global event each year. On a 4yr cycle that's the WC, CT & WT20 & 1 other. The ICC have made attempts to try and make the other a Test Championship but they now appear to have admitted defeat in that hence the WT20 will probably happen Biannually.

  • Cricinfouser on May 27, 2016, 6:29 GMT

    I really hope that UAE gets to host an ICC event soon...World T20 would be perfect as crowd will come in more...

  • Kazi on May 27, 2016, 4:11 GMT

    @RAKERJNAM: Test cricket will start dying one day. In this fast world people can not afford to watch a 5 day game. Short format cricket (T20 or ODIs) is the only way to make cricket more appealing to the world. If you say it should be named something else and not "cricket" that does not matter as long as it will prevail over the time. In most cases a good batsman or a good bowler can perform equally well in longer and shorter versions. Very few exceptions to this scenario. So short format cricket is no inferior to test cricket. It is more thrilling, sportive, bold, entertaining than its counterpart 'test cricket'. In addition it generates more attention and money. So no doubt it will continue to spread and the rest of the world will know the name of sports 'cricket'. It has the poetential to enter olympics. A day will come the cricket boards will face hard time finding players for bilateral test series as they are likely to be scheduled for lucrative T20s somewhere on earth !

  • brenta on May 27, 2016, 3:55 GMT

    Why does the T20 world cup have to be every 2 years and the 50 over tournament is not?

  •   Arunan Raghupathi on May 27, 2016, 3:15 GMT

    Make t20 wc biennial, champions trophy triennial and 50 ovs wc quadrennial. This way, world cricket will not be deprived of major event one year. Since cricket doesn't boast of worldwide following as football it cannot have events lik copa america, euro etc which are continental. having a cycle like above will be perfect.. But at least 2 games per day is mandatory.Even a multi-country hosting format for the above would be also great so that viewership doesn't get affected..

  • Debra on May 27, 2016, 0:30 GMT

    Reading Cooljack_143 and some other comments below, I might agree with World T20 every two years, provided that associates and 'minnow' and 'outsiders' are included. If that be the case, I would not mind a 20 team league either. (just that, make the groups such that all 20 play together, rather than first the associates etc, and once they are cruelly eliminated, the top 8 enter the fray.

    if the world T20 shrinks the number of teams, then please have it every 4 or even 8 years.

  • rob on May 26, 2016, 22:13 GMT

    That's the way boys. You milk that cash cow. As a wise man once said, 'when you find a good thing, flog it to death'.

  • Anup on May 26, 2016, 19:12 GMT

    2018 could be Dhoni's last chance to win a second World T20 title for India.

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