ICC unveils expansion plans in women’s cricket on International Women’s Day
On the eve of International Women’s Day, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced its expansion plans for women’s cricket, stating that more teams will participate from 2026 onwards.
The governing body has stated that the T20 World Cup will have 12 teams instead of 10 from the 2026 edition, while the ODI World Cup will also be expanded from eight teams to 10 from the 2029 edition.
"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," ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement.
Until 2026, however, the current norm will follow. This means the ICC Women’s T20I World Cup 2024 will continue to have 10 teams competing, while the next two ICC Women’s ODI World Cups will have eight teams fighting it out for the title.
The ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 final, which was played between the Australian women cricket team and the India women cricket team at the MCG, had an attendance of 86,174 fans. And the ICC chief executive highlighted the numbers to back their decision.
"The results speak for themselves with the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 attracting record numbers, 1.1 billion video views...," Sawhney added.
"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," Sawhney added.
The ICC is also coming up with the Women's T20 Champions Cup, scheduled to be held from 2027 onwards, where six teams will be participating.
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ William West