The 50-over World Cup is likely to revert to a 14-team event with a Super Six format included, according to a report in Telegraph Sport. The change is set to happen from 2027, with the tournament set to follow the 2003 model. The 14 teams will be split into two groups of seven each. Each team plays six matches in the group stage, before the top three enter the Super Six stage with points being carried forward.
Each team will play three matches in the Super Six stage before the tournament proceeds to semifinals stage.
The change is likely as the existing 10-team format is seen as too restrictive for the spread of the game. The format was used in 2019 and will be used in 2023. It gave the broadcasters an assurance that India will play at least nine matches, which is the biggest advantage from a financial perspective.
The report said the format is being discussed at the ICC board meeting, beginning Tuesday, but confirmation could take until the end of the year.
The 2011 and 2015 World Cups too had 14 teams participating. They were split into two groups of seven each, and the group stage was followed by a quarter-final. Reportedly, that is not being considered as there are fewer chances of an upset in such a scenario.
“A 14-team format with a Super Six is considered the best-balanced option. It is favoured both because it creates more opportunities for emerging nations to qualify and it ensures enough high-stakes games early on in the tournament," the report said.
The World Cup 2019 saw 48 matches in total, while a change, if approved, will increase that number to 54.