No event in England till 2030 while associates like USA, Namibia and Scotland will all co-hosts different World Cups

Pakistan will be hosting a world tournament for the first time in nearly three decades when it co-hosts the Champions Trophy in February 2025. In another first, the USA will host its first ever global tournament as a co-host along with the West Indies for the men’s T20 World Cup in June 2024.

Those two events are part of the eight new men’s global tournaments that feature in the ICC’s next commercial cycle from 2024-31. The eight marquee tournaments comprise two ODI World Cups, four T20 World Cups and two editions of the Champions Trophy, which the ICC had decided to bring back.

On Monday, the ICC Board finalised the venues for the eight events based on the recommendations of a working group which shortlisted the hosting countries based on the bids put forth by the member countries. ESPNcricinfo has learned that overall there were 28 proposals from 17 countries, including 14 hosts.

The working group was led by former New Zealand fast bowler Martin Snedden, who is chairman of New Zealand Cricket and its representative on the ICC Board. Also part of the this working group were former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Cricket West Indies’ president Ricky Skerritt. Also part of this working group was former PCB chairman Ehsan Mani until he stepped down recently.

The hosting countries are in complete contrast to the previous cycle (2017-23) where majority of men’s global tournaments were distributed between the Big 3 countries comprising India, England and Australia. The last time a men’s global tournament was held in a non-Big 3 country was the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

However with the exponential growth of T20 cricket, the ICC has had a growing ambition to make the sport global. That has been the key element of the ICC’s global strategy and thus the distribution of the global events in the next FTP (Future Tours Programme) thus has been spread uniformly across all continents.

In the next cycle of global tournaments, which begins with the 2024 T20 World Cup, the ICC has decided to allow smaller countries to have the opportunity to play as hosts. Along with the USA, Namibia will be hosting their maiden global tournament as co-hosts for the ODI World Cup with South Africa and Zimbabwe in October-November 2027. It will also be the first men’s World Cup in Africa since South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe co-hosted the 2003 edition. Also Scotland and Ireland will play co-hosts along with England for the 2030 T20 World Cup. Australia and New Zealand will co-host the T20 World Cup in October 2028.

The biggest news remains the 2025 Champions Trophy that Pakistan will host. It will be the first time the tournament will be played since its abandonment after the 2017 edition. It is also a shot in the arm for the PCB which has worked hard to bring back international cricket to Pakistan after the 2009 terrorist attacks.

“By allocating a major global event to Pakistan, the ICC has expressed complete confidence and faith in our management, and operational capabilities and skills,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said soon after the ICC’s announcement. He also said that the 2025 event will be a “boon for millions of home fans” who will watch their “favourite international players from close quarters.”

The other significant decision was to appoint the USA, an associate, as co-host for the 2024 T20 World Cup with the West Indies. The decision, it is learned, is part of the strategic push by the ICC, which has identified the USA as a new market for growth of cricket. Aligned to that is the ICC’s keenness to get cricket on the Olympics roster. And keeping in mind the 2028 Summer Olympics are scheduled to be held in Los Angeles, the ICC wanted to host an event in the US market.

However the ICC has acknowledged once again that India remains its key commercial driver and has allotted three global tournaments. India will co-host the 2026 T20 World Cup along with Sri Lanka, then host the 2029 Champions Trophy and then join hands with Bangladesh to host the ODI World Cup in October-November 2031.

India are also scheduled to host the 2023 ODI World Cup, the last global event in the current FTP cycle. It will be the last time the World Cup will comprise 10 teams, the format the ICC decided after the 2015 World Cup. In June this year the ICC decided to expand the ODI World Cup to 14 teams from the next cycle starting with the 2027 edition. The tournament format will comprise the Super 6s stage, last seen in the 2003 World Cup, where the top three teams from two groups of seven will proceed. That will be followed by semi-finals and the final.

The T20 World Cup, too, will also witness a change of format with the pool expanded to 20 teams. Team will be split across four groups of five each with the top two entering the Super Eights stage followed by the knockouts.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

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