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Update ICC announces decision to expand women's cricket from next cycle
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[Image: icc-has-decided-to-expand-the.jpg]

The International Cricket Council, on Monday (March 8), announced the expansion of cricket events for women post the 2023 cycle, with more teams participating in both the 50-over and T20 World Cups from 2026 onwards. The ICC announcement came on International Women's Day, with the cricket governing body stating that the decision was taken as part of a "long-term commitment to growing the game globally and in a sustainable fashion."

As per the ICC's revised structure for global events involving women, there'll be two fifty over World Cups and three 20-over World Cups from 2025 to 2031 while the ICC has also introduced a T20 Champions Cup which will be held twice in this cycle.

"The revised formats will give more teams the chance to compete on the global stage and importantly provides Members with a window to grow the game domestically and to challenge internationally as the changes take place," stated the ICC in a media release.

The 2025 50-over World Cup will involve eight teams in 31 matches while the event will be expanded to 10 teams and 48 matches in 2029. The T20 World Cups, in 2026, 2028 and 2030 will all include 12 teams participating in it, with each tournament having 33 matches. The T20 Champions Cup, which is slated to be held in 2027 and 2031, will involve six teams with a total of 16 matches in each edition.

"We have a clear focus and commitment to an ambitious long-term growth plan for the women's game. We have been building momentum around the women's game for the last four years investing in global broadcast coverage and marketing to drive fan engagement," said Manu Sawhney, the ICC Chief Executive. "The results speak for themselves with the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 attracting record numbers, 1.1 billion video views, making it the most-watched women's cricket event of all time and having 86,174 fans attending the final at the MCG, a record attendance for a women's cricket event.

"This decision to expand our women's events builds on these foundations and allows us to give more member countries greater opportunities to compete on a global stage. This means that more teams will also get the opportunity to compete in the qualification pathways for the respective ICC events over the coming years. I am sure these initiatives will go a long way in helping us achieve our strategic goal of continuing to build strength and depth in the women's game," he said.

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