The format for the tournament was a single group of 10 teams, with each team playing the other nine once, and the top four at the end of the group phase progressing to the semi-finals. The first semi-final was played between the teams finishing first and fourth in the league, while the second semi-final was played between the teams finishing second and third. Given the increase of ICC Full Members since the last World Cup, from 10 to 12, this is the first World Cup to be contested without all of the Full Member nations being present and the first to feature no ICC Associate Member nations.
The hosting rights were awarded in April 2006, after England and Wales withdrew their bid to host the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was played in Australia and New Zealand. It is the fifth time that the Cricket World Cup is being played in England and Wales, following the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups.