The International Cricket Council is considering ditching the Champions Trophy in favour of staging the World Twenty20 on a biennial basis.

While the final of the ICC’s secondary 50-over competition attracted an estimated televised audience of hundreds of millions as Pakistan crushed India at The Oval, the governing body is keen to capitalise on the exponential rise of its shortest format.

India are slated to host the ninth staging of the Champions Trophy in four years’ time but ICC chief executive Dave Richardson revealed it is far from a certainty.

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This month’s Champions Trophy, held intermittently since 1998, was contested between only the top eight sides in the world, while the World Cup is currently scheduled to include just 10 teams.

It is a similarity between two of its biggest events that has led to a rethink, while Richardson expressed his hope that future World Twenty20s could become more inclusive with up to 20 nations invited to participate.

On the eve of the ICC’s annual conference, he said: “What we want to do is differentiate our global events from each other so that they can be standalone and create maximum interest every time the event happens.

“At this stage, the next Champions Trophy is still scheduled for India in 2021. Whether that gets changed, the consideration has been given to changing to two T20s in a four-year cycle which would mean swapping the Champions Trophy for a World T20.

“The fact is that World T20s do attract a lot of interest, they generate significant revenue for the television companies, but most importantly from our point of view they provide us with an opportunity to give more opportunities to more teams.

“A 16-team World T20 – even a 20-team World T20 – down the line is something that we would like to look at.

Dave Richardson
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson says the ninth staging of the Champions Trophy in India in 2021 is not set in stone (Empics Sport)

“With a 10-team World Cup we’re hoping to increase the competitiveness of matches and the standard of the tournament as a whole.

“It might not be necessary to continue with two 50-over tournaments going forward.”

This week’s conference at The Oval is set to resolve a number of key issues, among them whether Ireland and Afghanistan will be granted Test status.

Richardson added: “It’s never wise to try and make a call too early, but certainly the applications of both are very well founded.

“They both, on the face of it, meet the majority, if not all, of the full member criteria that has been set. I’m optimistic that they’ll be given serious consideration to have every chance of succeeding.”