The International Cricket Council (ICC) cleared the way on Tuesday for a shorter 2011 World Cup.
The ICC board decided on a 14-team format, reduced from 16 after the 2007 edition in West Indies was heavily criticised for being too long and unwieldy.
The duration of the tournament will also be cut from 47 to 38 days if a recommendation by ICC chief executives is implemented.
"The event will be held over a significantly shorter period than the previous one," said an ICC statement. "The detailed format, venues and schedule will be finalised in due course."
The next World Cup will be jointly staged by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The 2007 edition often attracted small attendances particularly for games involving non-test teams.
The ICC's 10 full members will automatically qualify for 2011 and will be joined by the four semi-finalists from next year's qualifiers in Dubai.