Cricket’s biggest general body, the International Cricket Council revealed the next phase for their Future Tours Programme including the ODI League that will unfold over the next couple of years.
The body announced the concept of the ICC ODI League which will get underway in May 2020 with 13 teams battling for the qualification spots in the 2023 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in India.
The ICC went on to announce that the 12 test-playing nations would partake in the tournament alongside Netherlands, who gained access to the ODI League after having won the ICC World Cricket League last year.
India, being the host nation will not be required to participate in the qualification program having already qualified.
As per the ICC, each side in the ICC ODI League will compete against one other in eight series over a two-year period on a home and away basis. The qualification league is slated to end on 31st March 2022. As per the format, the seven top ranked teams apart from the hosts India will gain automatic qualification for the biggest tournament in the sport.
The remaining sides that failed to make the cut will receive a lifeline through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers. The steps taken by the governing body which also includes the introduction of the ICC World Test Championship, aims to ensure the increase of cricketing action for budding nations such as Afghanistan and Ireland.
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom, expressed his thoughts over the latest changes made by the ICC. Deutrom said:
“From the moment we were granted Full Membership of the ICC, two of the key priorities for Cricket Ireland were to play our first Test match and to negotiate a comprehensive fixture schedule as part of the FTP. We have now delivered both, and we believe the players and Irish cricket fans will be excited by the enticing programme ahead.”
“We are looking at a minimum of 135 men’s matches across the three formats from 2018-2023, both home and away. This does not include any additional bilateral matches we will play against Associate Member sides, qualifying tournament matches for various ICC tournaments, or other bilateral content against those Full Members where a playing window is yet to be finalised.
“All up, this is a vastly increased workload for players, coaches and administrators, but for the fans it is a feast of regular world-class cricket to enjoy.”
The introduction of the ICC ODI League is surely set to expand the horizons of the game in the coming years and will most likely see a significant increase in cricket for the upcoming nations and their revenue.
Do you feel the introduction of the qualification league is a good initiative taken by the ICC? Let us know in the comments section below.