ICC could axe Champions Trophy for more T20 World Cups

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ICC could axe Champions Trophy for more T20 World Cups

LONDON: The Champions Trophy could be scrapped in favour of staging the World Twenty20 every two years, according to International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson.

Pakistan thrashed India by 180 runs to win this year’s edition of the Champions Trophy at The Oval on Sunday, with a worldwide television audience of millions watching the stunning final.

But some officials believe the eight-team event is now too similar to the World Cup which the ICC, controversially, has decided should be contested by just 10 teams from the 2019 event in England.

India are due to stage the next Champions Trophy in 2021 but Richardson warned Monday it was by no means certain the event would go ahead, with the former South Africa wicketkeeper saying future World Twenty20s could feature up to 20 teams.

“What we want to do is differentiate our global events from each other so that they can be standalone and create maximum interest every time the event happens,” Richardson told reporters via telephone on the eve of the ICC’s annual conference in London.

“At this stage, the next Champions Trophy is still scheduled for India in 2021. Whether that gets changed, the consideration has been given to changing to two T20s in a four-year cycle which would mean swapping the Champions Trophy for a World T20.”

He added: “The fact is that World T20s do attract a lot of interest, they generate significant revenue for the television companies, but most importantly from our point of view they provide us with an opportunity to give more opportunities to more teams.

“A 16-team World T20 — even a 20-team World T20 — down the line is something that we would like to look at.

“With a 10-team World Cup we’re hoping to increase the competitiveness of matches and the standard of the tournament as a whole.

“It might not be necessary to continue with two 50-over tournaments going forward.”

This week’s ICC gathering at The Oval is also set to decide whether to grant Test status to Ireland and Afghanistan, with an announcement expected on Thursday.

“It’s never wise to try and make a call too early, but certainly the applications of both are very well founded,” said Richardson.

“They both, on the face of it, meet the majority, if not all, of the full member criteria that has been set.

“I’m optimistic that they’ll be given serious consideration to have every chance of succeeding.”

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