London: With the International Cricket Council (ICC) all set to discuss the controversial four-day Tests format, it has now come to light that the global cricket governing body is also considering increasing the number of teams in men's World T20.
According to a report in telegraph.co.uk, the ICC is mulling to increase the number of teams in the World T20 to 20 for the 2023-2031 cycle.
At present, 16 teams participate in the World T20 and the same number will be there in this year's tournament slated to be played in Australia in October.
The report said that if the World T20 was expanded to 20 teams, several options could be considered for the format of the competition. One is about having all 20 teams enter at the same stage, meaning that a simple format of four groups of five teams each could be used, with the leading teams then advancing to the knockouts.
Another is about the two-tier format currently used in the World T20 - with leading countries only joining the tournament in the second stage, and other countries having to qualify from the first stage for the right to join them. The additional countries would then feed into an enlarged opening stage of the tournament.
It is said that the ICC is considering such measures to popularise cricket in the US, which it considers as a target market. If World T20 is increased to 20 teams, there would be increased chances of the US participating in the competition.
The report said that the ICC is also considering creating new Champions Trophy style events for both the T20 and ODI format, each featuring a select number of sides.
The next round of ICC meetings are scheduled to be held in March.