The stakes will rise at the 2024 T20 World Cup




As West Indies leave the T20 World Cup ahead of the Super 12 stage, similar failures from the past come to mind.

Most famously, India and Pakistan failed to reach the Super 8s in the 2007 World Cup aged 50. It was this 2007 financial disaster that prompted the ICC to try to ensure that something similar would never happen again by manipulating future World Cup formats.

This is largely why we have the current odd format of 16 teams competing at the World Cup, but with the top eight ranked nations starting in the second round. However, from the next T20 World Cup in 2024, there will be 20 teams with everyone competing in the first round.

We’ll revert to something akin to the format of the 2007 World Cup: 20 teams divided into four groups of five teams, with only the top two from each group qualifying for the Super 8s.

Prepare for more upheaval, like what we just saw with the West Indies, only the stakes will be even higher.

(Photo by Steve Bell – ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

For starters, it will be five teams in a group and not four like in recent T20 World Cups. Second, all teams are competing, not just the lowest-ranked countries. This means, for example, that unlike Sri Lanka who have a chance to rectify their first defeat against Namibia, any mistake in the future can mean an early exit.

The ICC is taking a huge risk by changing the formats of the next World Cups in the 2024-31 cycle. The 50+ World Cup will also see a similar change, with only the top three teams from two groups of seven reaching the Super 6 stage.

It would come as no surprise to any cricket fan to know that a tournament organizer (whether national councils or the ICC itself) desperately relies on the sale of broadcast rights in India to achieve a profit, and to a lesser extent in other cricket-crazed Asian countries.

When India and Pakistan failed to reach the Super 8s in 2007, the ICC missed at least 11 more games featuring India and Pakistan, which they surely expected, and perhaps be budgeted.

The result was a format change for the 2011 World Cup, with an expanded first round ensuring each team would play a minimum of six matches, down from the three in 2007. Then an even more drastic change was introduced for the World Cup 2019 with a 10-team League ensuring each team plays at least nine matches.

However, the changes made by the ICC this time do not have quite the same level of risk as in 2007. Each team will have four guaranteed games and there will only be three more to come in the stage. Super 8s. However, it remains a courageous and commendable decision by the ICC.

The format is much fairer and gives all competing teams the same chance as each other, regardless of their ranking, as a World Cup should.

Imagine a hypothetical but entirely possible group in 2024: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Namibia and the Netherlands. I guess India and Pakistan will always continue to be together in the same group because the ticket sales and viewership for this match is too big a source of revenue for the ICC.

If the loser of the India-Pakistan game loses another game, he probably won’t make the Super 8.

These changes in formats ensure that every match in future World Cups will be critical and feature plenty of upsets. It might not be India, but due to the unpredictable nature of the T20s, you can bet every T20 World Cup will feature one of the traditional cricketing nations coming out early, even Australia at one point.




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