The ICC has announced a major format change for the 2027 World Cup and beyond, with the tournament being expanded from 10 teams to 14. This change has been met with mixed reactions, with some fans and pundits arguing that it will dilute the quality of the competition and make it more difficult for the big teams to win.
Here are some of the ways in which the format change could impact the big teams:
- Less margin for error: With more teams in the competition, the big teams will have less margin for error. A single loss in the round-robin stage could be enough to knock them out of the tournament, even if they win all of their other matches.
- More difficult to qualify for the semifinals: The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals, meaning that the big teams will have to face tougher competition in the group stage. In the current format, the top four teams from each group qualify for the quarterfinals, giving the big teams more leeway.
- More upsets: With more teams in the competition, there is a greater chance of upsets. Even the best teams in the world can have an off day, and if that happens in the group stage, it could be costly.
- Less time to prepare: The expanded World Cup will be played over a shorter period of time, giving the big teams less time to prepare. This could be a disadvantage, especially for teams that have to travel long distances to compete.
Of course, there are also some potential benefits for the big teams. For example, the expanded World Cup will provide more opportunities for players from associate and affiliate nations to compete at the highest level. This could help to raise the overall standard of cricket around the world, which could ultimately benefit the big teams as well.
Overall, the impact of the format change on the big teams is difficult to predict. It is possible that it will make it more difficult for them to win the World Cup, but it is also possible that it will motivate them to play even better cricket. Only time will tell what the true impact will be