ICC announces Women’s World Cup expansion; 12 teams to feature from T20 World Cup 2026, 10 teams in Cricket World Cup 2029

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ICC has announced its decision to expand the Women’s global events on Monday (March 8). T20 World Cups from 2026 will feature 12 teams whereas Cricket World Cup 2029 will have 10 teams, ICC said in a press release on International Women’s Day.

“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,” Manu Sawhney, ICC Chief Executive said.

Currently eight teams feature in the ODI World Cups and ten teams participate in T20 World Cups. Next ODI World Cup set in New Zealand in 2022 and 2025 will continue to have the same format with 31 matches being played. T20 World Cup is currently played between 10 teams with teams divided into two groups playing a total of 23 matches.

From 2026, T20 World Cups will have 12 teams playing 33 matches and the 50-over version in 2029 will have 10 teams competing for the coveted title in 48 matches. ICC T20 Champions cup is to commence from 2027 and will feature six teams and 16 matches.

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ICC Women’s World Cups to feature more teams and matches ©Women’sCricZone

“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,” Sawhney added.

“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.”

England are the currently the ODI champions having won the 2017 edition at home defeating India in the final at Lords and Australia holds the T20 World Cup title with their historic triumph at the MCG in March last year.