The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reportedly planning to introduce a T20 Champions Cup in the 2023-2031 cycle. The proposed event would see world’s top 10 nations fighting for glory. The tournament will have a total of 48 matches – the same number as last year’s 50-over World Cup.
The ICC members, however, are still not impressed with the proposal as the T20 Champions Cup is the most contentious event in the ICC’s proposed suite of tournaments for the 2023 to 2031 broadcast rights cycle. According to ESPNcricinfo, the full suite of proposed events for the next broadcast rights cycle is at the heart of the current struggle between the ICC and its richest member nations.
The ICC had tabled the proposal for the first time in October last year and since then, there has been vigorous debate between the the apex body of the game and its members. Under the proposal, there would be a T20 Champions Cup in 2024 and 2028 and an ODI Champions Cup in 2025 and 2029, alongside the T20 World Cups in 2026 and 2030, and the ODI World Cups in 2027 and 2031.
The ODI Champions Cup has been outlined as a brief event similar to the Champions Trophy. It would feature world’s top six ODI teams and would have 16 games. However, the T20 Champions Cup is effectively another World Cup in size, with its 48 matches just seven fewer than the T20 World Cup proper and the same number of games as the ODI World Cup itself.
Member countries have been given until March 15 to submit expressions of interest to bid for global events in the 2023-2031 cycle. The ICC and its chief executive Manu Sawhney have argued that there needs to be at least one ICC event in each year of the cycle to provide consistent cashflow from events revenue to the game’s smaller countries. However, the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the ECB are not ready to accept the proposal as they want the window for bilateral series which remains the biggest money raiser for the cricket boards.
Member boards have argued that the number of days required for these events will eat significantly into available time for bilateral cricket as well as for the World Test Championship. Not only that, the BCCI is also planning to expand the size of Indian Premier League (IPL) which will further crush a calendar that has very limited window for any other event to take place.