‘Whether we move to perhaps increasing the size of the tournament by adding one or two teams, or one team to each group in that first round’
‘I think if we can do that, we will provide more opportunities to other teams but if you do lose two matches, you have still got a chance in a group of five whereas, in a group of four, you are dead and buried’
International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson is satisfied with the current format of the World T20 but said he would like to see the inclusion of two more teams in the first and second rounds in future competitions.
"I think, the format itself works. Whether we promoted those first round matches well enough, that is a question we need to answer at a later stage and review it," Richardson told Cricket Radio ahead of the World T20 finals of the men's and women's teams.
"The format has worked in that all the matches, first round and second round, it is designed to create even contests between the teams and to that extent it has worked exceptionally well," he added.
"Whether we move to perhaps increasing the size of the tournament by adding one or two teams, or one team to each group in that first round, I think if we can do that, number one, we will provide more opportunities to other teams but, number two, if you do lose two matches, you have still got a chance in a group of five whereas, in a group of four, you are dead and buried," quipped the former Protea wicketkeeper.
"That might be useful and then even maybe increasing, instead of having a Super 10 have a Super 12 maybe which will again increase the number of matches but, I think, it will give more opportunities for the Associate members to participate in the second round of the tournament itself," he elaborated.
The ICC chief executive further said that a four-year gap between two editions of the World T20 and a 10-team 2019 World Cup are being planned keeping in mind the ‘financial health’ of all the formats at ICC events and that, all members will benefit financially, regardless of their participation.
"The danger of course is that if we keep pushing T20 and keep playing T20 events every two years, it will effectively cannibalise the other two," Richardson said.
"We want to make sure that we keep an even and more reasonable balance between the three formats. Hence, the decision to go with one men's World T20 in a four-year cycle."
"Again, the reason to go with a 10-team (2019 World Cup) tournament was done for a number of reasons. Number one, probably it was a format that would generate more competitive cricket and secondly, more value.
"If we are honest with ourselves, a tournament which involves a guaranteed nine Indian matches is worth substantially more than a tournament with less Indian matches. And, of course, the money that is generated from that event is for the benefit of all members including the Associate members."
As for cricket as an Olympic sport, the ICC chief executive said that for cricket to be included in the 2024 Summer Games, collective support has to come from the ICC's membership base, Board of Control for Cricket in India in particular.
"(The IOC is) not interested in beach cricket or six-a-side cricket. They would want the T20 format to be used in the Olympics," Richardson said. "I think, the IOC would like cricket but they would only take us if all the members were fully committed including India. Now the matter is being discussed again at the April meeting," Richardson added.
"Number one, all the member countries have to decide whether they would like to participate and whether there is enough benefit for them, both individually and collectively, and then, secondly, we also need to make sure that participation in the Olympics in a T20 event would not devalue our own World T20 and, of course, that would be counter-productive."