An ICC broadcast schedule revealed by Cricinfo suggests that a 6-team “Champions Cup”, alternating between T20 and ODI formats, is set to be introduced from 2023, with the current biennial T20 World Cup scaled back to a four-year cycle.
While the current cycle leaves a “fallow year” every four years where no ICC tournament is played (the last example of this being 2019), the new schedule means a big ICC women’s event every year from 2023.
Although this is good news for the “Big Three” in theory, it will put additional pressure on the multi-format Women’s Ashes, with the Test likely to be in the firing line once again should the schedule be deemed “too crowded” (despite the fact that the men managed to play an Ashes Test series and a World Cup in England last summer).
It is less good news for anyone else, who could find themselves excluded from the 6-team Champions Cups – based on the current ICC Championship standings, West Indies and Sri Lanka would be shut out. Potentially even more worrying for a team like Pakistan is the risk that politics, rather than performances on the field, becomes the key determinant of which countries get to participate, as it has in the men’s game in the past.
Cricinfo reports that although the new schedule has not been formally approved, it is likely to be ratified by the ICC Board later this year, with expressions of interest in hosting these events invited by mid-March.