T20 World Cup 2024: USA’s debut, expanded format and other things to know

Virat Kohli

The ICC World T20 is coming to the United States in 2024, as the country joins forces with the West Indies to stage the next installment of the prestigious event.

 Taking the Cricket World Cup to the USA is the latest attempt to revive the game in the country, with cricket organizers aiming to break through the lucrative US sports market.

 The United States has a very long history with cricket. Before the money-spinning days of the MLB and the NBA and the NFL, cricket was a big deal in the US.

 The first ever international cricket match in history was contested between the USA and Canada in New York in 1844, but the sport wouldn’t stand the test of time, with baseball soon replacing cricket as America’s favourite bat and ball game.

 It will take something truly special to usurp baseball from that position, with America’s top baseball competition, MLB wielding imposing financial and popularity muscles. Major League Baseball has got all the sponsors, ranging from big tech firms to financial organizations; kit manufacturing giants to betting companies.

 In recent times, there has been a particularly large influx of betting companies into baseball, as they leverage on the popularity of the league to further push their MLB betting promotions to American customers.

 Cricket in the US is a very long way from this status, but the sport is definitely giving it a shot; with the World Cup being another step towards finding its feet in the country.

 As we build up to the 9th ICC World T20, here are nine interesting things you should know.

USA is hosting a major cricket tournament for the first time

Of course, this is the first time the United States would host a major international cricket tournament. In partnership with the West Indies, the US will welcome the rest of the cricketing world to its shores, with World Cup matches set to hold from 4 June to 30 June 2024.

 The United States are expected to stage about a third of the matches, with Florida, Dallas, Morrisville and New York already earmarked to be the host cities in the country.

 There have been obstacles along the way, with some reports within the last year and a half suggesting that the US would be stripped of the hosting rights due to administrative and financial challenges, but those claims have since been shut down by the ICC.

 The Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas and Church Street Park in Morrisville have already had a taste of cricket’s big time, having served as host venues for the inaugural Major League Cricket staged in July 2023.

Co-hosts USA are making their first appearance at the ICC World T20

Not only are the United States hosting a major international cricket tournament for the first time, they are also making their debut at the ICC World T20, having gained automatic qualification by virtue of being co-hosts for the event.

West Indies are hosting the T20 World Cup for a second time

Unlike the USA, West Indies have prior experience at hosting the ICC World T20, having staged the event in 2010. They will hope for better fortunes in 2024, after failing to go beyond the Super 8s when the tournament last visited the Carribean.

The Windies also hosted the 50 over World Cup in 2007, so they’ve got plenty of expertise on that front!

The World Cup will feature 20 teams for the first time

The 2024 ICC World T20 will feature 20 teams, up from the previous record of 16. A total of 55 matches will be played- also a record at the ICC World T20.

The two co-hosts, USA and the West Indies, qualify automatically, along with the eight best performing teams from the previous ICC World T20 in Australia in 2022. These eight teams are England, Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Netherlands and Sri Lanka.

Two more qualifying spots were reserved for the highest ranked nations on the ICC Men’s T20I rankings that hadn’t already secured qualification as at the cut-off date of November 14, 2022. Those places were taken by Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The remaining eight participants are determined by regional qualifiers, with Africa, Asia and Europe getting two slots each, the Americas getting one more slot, and the final qualifying slot going to the East Asia and Pacific region.

Nine teams will compete in their 9th ICC World T20

By the time the ninth edition of the ICC World T20 comes around in 2024, nine teams would have featured in all nine editions of the tournament.

The perfect nine are: India, England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh.

The World Cup takes up a brand new format

With an increased number of teams comes a brand new format for the ICC World T20.

The 20 teams will be divided into four groups, each of which contains five teams. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super 8.

The final 8 teams are then split into two groups of 4, with the top two from each group progressing to the semi-finals, which will take a knockout format.

The winners of the two semi-finals will advance to the final.

2024 edition starts a sequence of T20 World Cup co-hosting

The ICC World T20 was hosted by two countries for the first time in 2021 when the UAE and Oman co-hosted the tournament, but that was only because India couldn’t stage the event due to coronavirus fears.

Hence, 2024 is the first time hosting rights would be awarded to two countries right from the onset.

This co-hosting trend will continue for the next three editions after 2024, with India and Sri Lanka set to co-host the 2026 tournament, Australia and New Zealand to stage the event in 2028, and England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland awarded hosting rights for the 2030 World T20.

England and West Indies going for the World T20 hat-trick

The ICC World T20 has produced six different champions over the years, with only England and West Indies winning the tournament on more than one occasion.

England head into the World Cup as defending champions, having won the last edition in Australia in 2022 to add to their previous triumph in the West Indies in 2010.

The Windies were champions in 2012 (hosted by Sri Lanka) and 2016 (in India).

Hence, both nations go into the 2024 tournament hoping to bag their third titles and claim the outright lead in the race for most ICC World T20 titles.

England are one of the favorites, having impressed in the white-ball game in recent years. They are the first and only team to have held both the T20 and 50 Over World titles at the same time.

India have not won the World T20 since the inaugural edition

It’s perhaps surprising to note that cricket juggernauts and IPL-inventors India haven’t won more than one ICC World T20 title.

One would have thought that after winning the inaugural World T20 in 2007 and launching the IPL in 2008, India would have gone on to be the dominant force in the shortest format of the game, but that hasn’t quite been the case.

They struggled after their initial triumph, failing to get beyond the second round in the next three tournaments.

Things have been looking up in recent times, with India finishing second in 2014, and making the semis in 2016 and 2022. Can the boys in blue claim a long-awaited second title in 2024?

Virat Kohli dominates ICC World Cup run-scoring stats

India may not have had things all their way at the ICC World T20, but they do have the highest run scorer in the competition’s history.

Unsurprisingly, that man is Virat Kohli – one of the greatest batters of all time.

Kohli has scored 1,141 runs in the World T20 at an incredible average of 81.50 (also a record). The great man has got fourteen 50+ scores in this tournament, more than any other player, and has finished as the leading run getter on two separate editions (2014 and 2022).

Kohli’s 319 runs in the 2014 event is the leading mark for runs scored in a single ICC World T20.