After the International Cricket Council decided to include an extra ICC tournament in the next eight year rights cycle, Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said that it could just burden the already packed international cricket schedule, which includes bilateral series’ and domestic tournaments such as the IPL.
“The ICC schedule of tournaments is certainly something that is absolutely up for discussion at the moment and will continue in the months ahead," Roberts told SEN Radio on Thursday, October 24. “There’s a sense that fans really value World Cups and international events in general, and in this last cycle on the men’s side I think we’ve had six world events in the eight years whereas the previous cycle we had one event per year with the Champions Trophy as part of that.
“We need a healthy balance of World Cups along with international cricket that occurs between World Cups and the space for great domestic leagues like the BBL and the IPL to thrive into the future. What we’re really keen to work on with the ICC and what we will be working on with the ICC and other ICC members is what parts of the annual calendar might the ICC events occupy in future, how many days of the calendar does that represent and how do we ensure the bilateral international cricket between ourselves and other nations is really embraced and respected in the process."
The next eight year cricket cycle will see four T20 World Cups being played, along with two fifty over World Cups. With another Champions Trophy like tournament included in between all of this, Roberts feels it might have an impact on the ICC Test Championship.
“It all comes down to where everything fits across the 52 weeks of the year, it’d be fantastic if you could help us create a 56-week year, but I’m not sure that we can do that. So there’s no aversion to another tournament but absolutely we’ve got to take care to make sure the pieces of the puzzle fit together as best they can," Roberts added.
“I think everyone’s excited about the extent to which World Cups are really resonating with cricket fans and then the opportunity to keep improving the experience of those for fans and for players. Because playing in World Cups in sports like cricket is something that’s really difficult for a lot of athletes to do in other codes and it’s a real competitive advantage for us in cricket that we want to capitalise on.
“We’re (the boards) supportive of the principle and we all know we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us on this calendar from 2023 to 2031. Broadly speaking the discussion and debate is around the opportunity to move from six events in a cycle back to eight events in a cycle which we used to have, and then the big question around all of that is if international cricket goes that way, then what will those tournaments look like, and that’s the piece that remains unresolved."