The ICC have today announced details of the prize money and new format for the next World Cup, to be hosted by England in 2017.
Prize money for the 2017 tournament will now stand at $1 million, a huge rise from previous tournaments. While prize money for the men’s event (currently £2.5 million) is still significantly more, the ICC Board has also agreed that the 2021 event, in New Zealand, will be worth $1.2 million overall, and this therefore does appear to be a step in the direction of equal prize money for both sports.
Additionally, it has been announced that the 2017 World Cup will be an eight team round-robin competition, with the top four sides progressing to the semi-finals, followed by the final. This guarantees each team at least seven matches, and is a change from the 2013 tournament format, whereby the 8 participating teams were split into two groups and played 3 games each, before the top sides progressed to the “Super Sixes”.
Lastly, the ICC has confirmed that the Women’s Championship, which sees all of the top 8 teams in the world play each other in order to determine who automatically qualifies for the next World Cup, will continue after 2017 into a second cycle. The Championship has effectively acted as a Future Tours Programme for the women’s game since it was introduced in 2014, and its continuation is welcome news for the sport.