ICC to hold Under-19 World Cup for Women in 2021
An Under-19 World Cup for the women will be held for the first time in 2021, with the tournament set to be played once every two years. The decision was taken during the ICC board meetings in Dubai which concluded on Monday (October 14), with the cricket governing body also announcing that the eight-year cricketing cycle starting from 2023 will include one major men's and women's ICC event every year along with four events apiece for Under-19 men and women cricketers.
"In examining a whole range of options, the Board felt a major Men's and Women's event each year will bring consistency to our calendar whilst complementing bilateral cricket, giving our sport a strong future foundation," ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said. "It will provide clear structure and context to enable the growth of the sport and greater engagement opportunities for all of our stakeholders. The move towards a bidding model will give equal opportunities to all Members to host ICC events post 2023."
The first edition of the Under-19 Women's World Cup will be played in Bangladesh in 2021 while the ICC also announced that the bidding process for the women's and Under-19 events for the eight year cycle starting from 2023 will begin in early 2020.
In what comes as a further boost to women's cricket, the ICC announced an increase of USD 2.6 million in prize money for women's events. As per the ICC, the prize pot for Women's World T20 in 2020 - USD 1 million for the winners and USD 500,000 for the runners-up - is a 320 percent increase from the amount that was on offer for 2018 while the prize money for the 50-over World Cup in 2021 will be USD 3.5 million, an increase of 1.5 million compared to 2017.
"We have already stated our long-term commitment to reach parity across men's and women's cricket as part of a broader plan to grow and develop the women's game. We want to build a long-term sustainable foundation for women's cricket and that is about more than just prize money. It is about building a product that fans want to watch, that kids want to take up, that sponsors and broadcasters want to be part of. Creating a Women's U19 event also improves the pathway available to young cricketers and ensures they have the same opportunities as their male counterparts," ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said.
"This is a journey we started in earnest in 2017 and next year it's our ambition to fill the MCG on International Women's Day for the final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 which would be a world record for a women's sporting event. This significant increase in prize money and the introduction of a Women's U19 event is part of a much larger effort to grow the women's game around the world," he added.
ICC governance structure re-look
A governance working group has been approved by the ICC which will "consider future governance structure of the ICC". Chaired by Cricket Australia's Earl Eddings, the working group includes Greg Barclay (New Zealand Cricket), Tony Brian (Cricket Scotland), Ehsan Mani (Pakistan Cricket Board), Chris Nenzani (Cricket South Africa) and Ricky Skerritt (Cricket West Indies).