Bishop & Sewell

Amid a low-key build-up and the expected razmataz and glitz at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the first game in the 2023 edition of the Men’s One Day International Cricket World Cup didn’t disappoint, so long as you weren’t an England supporter (i.e. pretty much the whole of the cricket fraternity). New Zealand thrashed the current world champions, England, soundly avenging their 2019 final defeat, writes David Little, a Partner in our Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

Nervous England supporters can take comfort from the fact that whilst their team is sitting at the bottom of the ten country league, who all have to play each other before the top four placed teams compete in two semi finals and then a final on November 19, there is a long way to go. In fact there’s a total of 48 matches.

It’s understandable that governing world federations should seek to maximise the commercial opportunity of their international tournaments. The current Rugby World Cup Tournament’s twenty competing teams is expected to be swelled to 24 nations in four years’ time. Football’s next World Cup in 2026 is being staged in three countries, the US, Canada and Mexico.

FIFA announced this week that the 2030 World Cup would be hosted in three continents, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. The 2030 tournament will mark the centenary of Uruguay’s inaugural World Cup win, but are five additional host countries required, as well…?

But back to the Cricket World Cup. If the first game demonstrated a lack of consistency on behalf of England’s players, the tournament organisers have questions to answer why the host country – India – didn’t play the current champions in the first game, thereby ensuring the 120,000 seater stadium was full, even on a weekday. For those who watched the game on TV it was a sorry spectacle, fewer than 12,000 fans were in the ground.

The only way for the tournament organisers from here, and England, is up, or out,


David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB425 on either 07968 027343 or 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 06 October 2023. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: News | Date: 6th Oct 2023

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