CAPE TOWN - Twenty20 cricket is the way of the future, that is much certain after the International Cricket Council concluded their board meeting in Kolkata on Thursday.
The ICC Champions Trophy is under the most threat to head towards a path of extinction after the Board approved replacing the 2021 Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in India, with a World T20. This will follow immediately after the ICC World T20 2020 in Australia the previous year, resulting in back-to-back World T20 competitions.
This has only previously happened in 2009 and 2010 when England and the West Indies hosted the World T20 respectively. Since then it has occurred on a bi-annual basis, although there is currently a four-year gap between the last World T20 held in India 2016 and Australia 2020.
The ICC also granted 104 member nations - both men and women's team - T20 International status along with a global ranking system. At present, there are 18 members with T20I status - 12 full members plus Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong, UAE, Oman and Nepal.
“We are particularly pleased with the unanimous agreement to award all T20 bilateral games international status and the move to create a global ranking system for T20Is. We are committed to growing the game and T20 is the vehicle through which we’ll do this and removing restrictions and having all members ranked is a positive step forward,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said.
“We have already introduced a regional qualification pathway for the ICC World T20 in 2020 which is now underway and we will continue to evolve our qualification structures across all three formats to enable Members to play regular cricket and grow the game.”
The ICC also received a presentation around regulations and sanctioning of events including domestic T20 leagues and player release. There has been a sharp increase in the number of T20 leagues seeking member and ICC approval and the associated ongoing challenge to ensure the best players are playing international cricket.
"There are occasions where they [T20 leagues] are competing with international bilateral series. We need to look at our regulations to see how we can allow that to happen," Richardson said.
The Future Tours Programme (FTP) signed off for 2019-2023 also incorporates the introduction of a World Test Championship.
The final structure of the FTP (19-23), which received unanimous backing, includes the following:
ICC Cricket World Cup – 2019, 2023
ICC World T20 – 2020, 2021
ICC World Test Championship Final – 2021, 2023
World Test Championship - Cycle 1 – 2019-2021, Cycle 2 – 2021-2023
ICC Cricket World Cup Qualification League – 2020-2022
All bilateral Tests, ODIs and T20Is outside of the above competitions