World Cup returns to England
England can start planning to stage its fifth World Cup in 2019 - 20 years after the last one in this country.
The International Cricket Council confirmed England as the 2019 hosts, in accordance with a provisional agreement reached last month.
The same arrangement also means the second Twenty20 World Championship is set to take place in England in 2009.
An undertaking to opt out of the race to stage the 2015 World Cup left England as sole bidders to host the next one.
A joint bid by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh earned them the 2011 event, with the 2015 tournament going to Australia and New Zealand.
That left England, who staged the first three World Cups from 1975 to 1983 and last hosted the tournament in 1999, unopposed for 2019.
All of the above is to be ratified at the ICC’s annual conference in July.
That, however, ought to be a formality, leaving the England and Wales Cricket Board free to begin considerations both for the Twenty20 tournament, which will coincide with the next home Ashes summer, and the World Cup 10 years later.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman David Morgan said: “We entered into this process with the goal of being awarded a Twenty20 event and a World Cup.
“It is great news for cricket in England and Wales that these two major events have been secured and we have a wonderful opportunity to build our international calendar around these showpiece occasions.
“The full support of the ICC Board for the staging of these two important events in England is a clear indication of the prominent role that the ECB continues to hold in international cricket.”
ICC president Ehsan Mani said: “The ECB should be very pleased with the outcome of these negotiations.
“They produced an excellent submission to host both the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Twenty20 World Championship and they have earned the right to host both events.
“A lot of credit must go to David Morgan for the astute manner in which he handled some very complex discussions. England will be a fitting venue for the ICC Twenty20 World Championships at the climax of our centenary year in 2009.”
England’s avowed intent after dismal World Cup showings in 2003 and on home ground four years earlier is to have a team capable of winning this country’s first one-day title when the competition is staged in the Caribbean next spring.
They must also hope they have a new generation in place by the time the World Cup returns to this country to make a significantly better challenge than they managed when they were eliminated at the group stage in 1999.
The prospect of a World Cup in England, albeit still in a relatively distant future, is also sure to focus the attention of counties who aspire to holding matches.
Cardiff, a surprise choice to stage an Ashes Test in 2009, will be another venue - away from the more established international grounds - to enter the reckoning to stage World Cup matches.
England staged the first three World Cups from 1975 to 1983, during which time group matches were staged at a wide range of venues - including county out-grounds such as Kent’s Tunbridge Wells.