DUBAI: The ICC has opened discussions with broadcasters about organising World Twenty20 tournaments in 2018 and 2022, thus the event will be played every two years.
This means two extra World Cups will be added to the existing schedule as it looks to cash in on the booming popularity of the game’s shortest format.
After the success of the World Twenty20 in India recently, the ICC does not want to wait another four years for the next tournament, which is due to be staged in Australia in 2020.
This was proposed at the ICC recent board meeting in Dubai about holding a World Twenty20 every two years with West Indies a possibility for the proposed 2018 tournament and the UAE in 2022. The proposal is expected to be added to the agenda for the ICC’s annual general meeting in Edinburgh at the end of June for formal discussion.
An informal sounding out of broadcasters has begun about adding the tournaments to the recent $2 billion (£1.4 billion) rights deal signed with Star Sports in 2014 that runs until 2023. That deal included a World Twenty20 this year and in 2020 after the ICC decided to place its three global tournaments (the World Cup, Champions Trophy and World Twenty20) on a four year cycle.
But the collapse of the Twenty20 Champions League, which featured domestic teams from around the world, has left a hole in the calendar in September-October, a time which is suitable for cricket in seven of the nine Test playing nations.
Sources have confirmed the ICC has explored the possibility of holding the men’s World Twenty20 in the West Indies in 2018, possibly as a run in or at the same as the women’s version is due to take place in the Caribbean. But the problem with the Caribbean is the time difference makes it incompatible with the Indian market, where the vast broadcast deals are on offer.
Another possibility is South Africa, although the government there recently banned its cricket board from hosting global tournament because it had failed to meet racial quotas. The UAE has the infrastructure to host the tournament and the time difference works well with India. England is a non starter because this country is already hosting the 2017 Champions Trophy and 2019 World Cup.
The recent World Twenty20 was hailed by the ICC for bringing in record television ratings. The group match between Pakistan and India was watched by 83 million people and in this country the pulsating final between England and West Indies brought Sky Sports a peak of 2.45 million viewers, the channel’s highest rating for a cricket match.
Tweets about the World Twenty20 received 5.75 billion impressions and the ICC claimed 46 million people engaged with the tournament on Facebook. “It is a fact that the ICC World Twenty20 2016 engaged with fans, old and new, like never before,” said Dave Richardson, the ICC’s chief executive.