West Indies are the reigning champions of T20 World Cup, the last edition of which was held in 2016 in India. Image Credit: PTI

Kolkata: In a significant move, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has requested the management committee of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to work towards keeping themselves ready to host the event in the UAE with the possibility of including another venue in the Middle East.

The Board of Directors of the world governing body, which met virtually on Tuesday, kept a final decision on the host country on hold till ‘‘later this month.’’ India are still the official hosts of the event in October-November but the devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic - which forced the suspension of IPL midway in early May - has raised doubts among the member countries about their readiness to stage the event which involves 16 countries.

The Board also confirmed that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is held.

On a day of wide-ranging decision, the ICC Board also confirmed the schedule of ICC events from 2024- 2031 with both the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be expanded and a men’s Champions Trophy to be re-introduced.

Expansion of men's World Cup

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will become a 14-team, 54 match event in 2027 and 2031 while the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be expanded to a 20-team, 55-match event in 2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030. An eight-team Champions Trophy will be hosted in 2025 and 2029. ICC World Test Championship Finals will be hosted in 2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031.

The ICC Women’s event schedule has already been confirmed with the expansion of both the Cricket World Cup and T20 World Cup forming part of the ICC’s long-term commitment to growing the women’s game.

The ICC Men’s World Cup format will have two groups of seven, with the top three in each group progressing to a Super Six stage, followed by semi-finals and final. This is the same format that was used in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2003. The format of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will consist of four groups of five, with the top two from each group going through to a Super Eights stage, followed by the knockout stages of semi-finals and a final. The Champions Trophy will follow previous editions with two groups of four, semi-finals and final.