Cricket - The ICC World Twenty20

Cricket - The ICC World Twenty20

The ICC T20 World Cup is the international championship of Twenty20 International cricket. Organised by cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament currently consists of 16 teams, comprising the top ten teams from the rankings at the given deadline and six other teams chosen through the T20 World Cup Qualifier. All matches are played as Twenty20 Internationals.

The event has generally been held every two years. However, the next edition of the tournament is scheduled to take place in 2020 in Australia, four years after the conclusion of the 2016 edition. In May 2016, the ICC put forward the idea of having a tournament in 2018, with South Africa being the possible host. But at the conclusion of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the ICC announced that the next edition of the World T20 would take place in 2020 in Australia, as originally scheduled.

Six tournaments have so far been played, and only the West Indies, who currently hold the title, has won the tournament on multiple occasions. The inaugural event, the 2007 World Twenty20, was staged in South Africa, and won by India, who defeated Pakistan in the final at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The 2009 tournament took place in England, and was won by the previous runner-up, Pakistan, who defeated Sri Lanka in the final at Lord's. The third tournament was held in 2010, hosted by the countries making up the West Indies cricket team. England defeated Australia in the final in Barbados, which was played at Kensington Oval, winning its first international tournament. The fourth tournament, the 2012 World Twenty20, was held in Asia for the first time, with all matches played in Sri Lanka. The West Indies won the tournament by defeating Sri Lanka in the final, winning its first international tournament since the 2004 Champions Trophy. The fifth tournament, the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, was hosted by Bangladesh, and was won by Sri Lanka defeating India, Sri Lanka being the first team to play in three finals. West Indies are the current T20 World Cup holders, beating England in the 2016 final, winning their second title.

When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the ECB needed another one day competition to fill its place. Cricketing authorities were looking to boost the game's popularity with the younger generation in response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship. It was intended to deliver fast-paced, exciting cricket accessible to thousands of fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game. Stuart Robertson, the marketing manager of the ECB, proposed a 20 over per innings game to county chairmen in 2001 and they voted 11–7 in favour of adopting the new format.

The first international cricket match was played between Canada and the United States, on 24 and 25 September 1844. However, the first credited Test match was played in 1877 between Australia and England, and the two teams competed regularly for The Ashes in subsequent years. South Africa was admitted to Test status in 1889. Representative cricket teams were selected to tour each other, resulting in bilateral competition. Cricket was also included as an Olympic sport at the 1900 Paris Games, where Great Britain defeated France to win the gold medal. This was the only appearance of cricket at the Summer Olympics.

The first multilateral competition at international level was the 1912 Triangular Tournament, a Test cricket tournament played in England between all three Test-playing nations at the time: England, Australia and South Africa. The event was not a success: the summer was exceptionally wet, making play difficult on damp uncovered pitches, and crowd attendances were poor, attributed to a "surfeit of cricket". Since then, international Test cricket has generally been organised as bilateral series: a multilateral Test tournament was not organised again until the triangular Asian Test Championship in 1999.

The number of nations playing Test cricket increased gradually over time, with the addition of West Indies in 1928, New Zealand in 1930, India in 1932, and Pakistan in 1952. However, international cricket continued to be played as bilateral Test matches over three, four or five days.

In the early 1960s, English county cricket teams began playing a shortened version of cricket which only lasted for one day. Starting in 1962 with a four-team knockout competition known as the Midlands Knock-Out Cup, and continuing with the inaugural Gillette Cup in 1963, one-day cricket grew in popularity in England. A national Sunday League was formed in 1969. The first One-Day International match was played on the fifth day of a rain-aborted Test match between England and Australia at Melbourne in 1971, to fill the time available and as compensation for the frustrated crowd. It was a forty over game with eight balls per over.

In the late 1970s, Kerry Packer established the rival World Series Cricket (WSC) competition. It introduced many of the now commonplace features of One Day International cricket, including coloured uniforms, matches played at night under floodlights with a white ball and dark sight screens, and, for television broadcasts, multiple camera angles, effects microphones to capture sounds from the players on the pitch, and on-screen graphics. The first of the matches with coloured uniforms was the WSC Australians in wattle gold versus WSC West Indians in coral pink, played at VFL Park in Melbourne on 17 January 1979. The success and popularity of the domestic one-day competitions in England and other parts of the world, as well as the early One-Day Internationals, prompted the ICC to consider organising a Cricket World Cup.

Domestic tournaments

The first official Twenty20 matches were played on 13 June 2003 between the English counties in the Twenty20 Cup. The first season of Twenty20 in England was a relative success, with the Surrey Lions defeating the Warwickshire Bears by 9 wickets in the final to claim the title. The first Twenty20 match held at Lord's, on 15 July 2004 between Middlesex and Surrey, attracted a crowd of 27,509, the largest attendance for any county cricket game at the ground other than a one-day final since 1953.

Soon after with the adoption of Twenty20 matches by other cricket boards, the popularity of the format grew with unexpected crowd attendance, new domestic tournaments such as Pakistan's Faysal Bank T20 Cup and Stanford 20/20 tournament, and the financial incentive in the format.

The West Indies regional teams competed in what was named the Stanford 20/20 tournament. The event was financially backed by convicted fraudster Allen Stanford, who gave at least US$28,000,000 funding money, the fruit of his massive Ponzi scheme.

It was intended that the tournament would be an annual event. Guyana won the inaugural event, defeating Trinidad and Tobago by 5 wickets, securing US$1,000,000 in prize money.

A spin-off tournament, the Stanford Super Series, was held in October 2008 between Middlesex and Trinidad and Tobago, the respective winners of the English and Caribbean Twenty20 competitions, and a Stanford Superstars team formed from West Indies domestic players; Trinidad and Tobago won the competition, securing US$280,000 prize money. On 1 November, the Stanford Superstars played England in what was expected to be the first of five fixtures in as many years with the winner claiming a US$20,000,000 in each match.

Twenty20 Internationals

On 17 February 2005 Australia defeated New Zealand in the first men's full international Twenty20 match, played at Eden Park in Auckland. The game was played in a light-hearted manner – both sides turned out in kit similar to that worn in the 1980s, the New Zealand team's a direct copy of that worn by the Beige Brigade.

Some of the players also sported moustaches/beards and hair styles popular in the 1980s taking part in a competition amongst themselves for best retro look, at the request of the Beige Brigade. Australia won the game comprehensively, and as the result became obvious towards the end of the NZ innings, the players and umpires took things less seriously – Glenn McGrath jokingly replayed the Trevor Chappell underarm incident from a 1981 ODI between the two sides, and Billy Bowden showed him a mock red card (red cards are not normally used in cricket) in response.

Inaugural tournaments

It was first decided that every two years an ICC World Twenty20 tournament is to take place, except in the event of a Cricket World Cup being scheduled in the same year, in which case it will be held the year before. The first tournament was in 2007 in South Africa where India defeated Pakistan in the final. Kenya and Scotland had to qualify via the 2007 ICC World Cricket League Division One which was a 50-over competition that took place in Nairobi. In December 2007 it was decided to hold a qualifying tournament with a 20-over format to better prepare the teams. With six participants, two would qualify for the 2009 World Twenty20 and would each receive $250,000 in prize money. The second tournament was won by Pakistan who beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in England on 21 June 2009. The 2010 ICC World Twenty20 tournament was held in West Indies in May 2010, where England defeated Australia by 7 wickets. The 2012 ICC World Twenty20 was won by the West-Indies, by defeating Sri Lanka at the finals. For the first time, a host nation competed in the final of the ICC World Twenty20. There were 12 participants for the title including Ireland and Afghanistan as 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. It was the first time the T20 World Cup tournament took place in an Asian country.

Expansion to 16 teams

The 2012 edition was to be expanded into a 16 team format however this was reverted to 12. The 2014 tournament, held in Bangladesh was the first to feature 16 teams including all ten full members and six associate members who qualified through the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. However the top eight full member teams in the ICC T20I Championship rankings on 8 October 2012 were given a place in the Super 10 stage. The remaining eight teams competed in the group stage, from which two teams advance to the Super 10 stage. Three new teams (Nepal, Hong Kong and UAE) made their debut in this tournament.

After India won the first Twenty20 World Cup in 2007, four more countries went on to win the title in the next four editions. The fifth tournament, which was the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, was won by Sri Lanka. It's the only team as of now to play in three finals. The three more editions in between were won by Pakistan (defeating Sri Lanka in the final), England (defeating Australia in the final), and West Indies, who snatched a wonderful victory from Sri Lanka in the final. 

While India's win against Pakistan is the closest finish so far, the victory by a huge margin came to Pakistan when it won against Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in 2009. The final between Australia and England in 2010 saw a comfortable victory for the latter. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are among the heavyweight teams that have never won T20

world cup.

A brief history... 


Venue: South Africa

Winner: India

Runner-up: Pakistan

Teams: 12

Format: Four groups of three, then two groups of four in quarterfinals; top two into semi-finals.

The tournament was a huge success, following the Caribbean's 50-over fiasco World Cup in March and April. It had everything required for top quality entertainment, including the world's best players and packed out stadiums. The tournament got underway with a stunning display of power hitting from Chris Gayle against South Africa. He clouted 117 off 57 balls, including 10 sixes. Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini- nobody was spared. If this wasn't enough, Yuvraj Singh achieved cricketing nirvana by hitting England's Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over, during a barnstorming and unlikely 12-ball fifty.

It wasn't entirely all batsmen-led action however, as Brett Lee claimed the first hat-trick in Twenty20 internationals, for Australia against Bangladesh. The breathless tournament culminated in a final that thrilled from start to finish, as India and Pakistan - who else? - battled it out for the trophy.

The match went down to a final-over thriller, with Pakistan needing six from the last four balls. But India eventually triumphed as Misbah-ul-Haq's attempted scoop landed in the hands of Sreesanth at short fine-leg.


Venue: England Winner: Pakistan Runner-up: Sri Lanka Teams: 12 Format: Four groups of three, then two groups of four in quarter-finals; top two into semi-finals.

It was a competition full of surprise victories, as favourites fell at the hands of underdogs. The hosts, England, set the ball rolling in the first match of the tournament as they were embarrassed by Netherlands in a final-ball thriller. Australia were dominated by West Indies, largely thanks to a thunderous innings by Chris Gayle, as he hit 88 off 50 balls, including some of the largest sixes seen in England. Australia were then defeated by Sri Lanka, who bowled tightly and batted with dominance, including quick-fire half centuries from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.

South Africa hadn't lost a group stage match going in to the semi-finals against Pakistan, but Shahid Afridi produced a match winning performance with both bat and ball. He blasted his way to 51 and bagged two wickets for 16 runs to secure victory. The final at Lord's was a repeat of a group stage match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan; the latter lost the previous encounter. Pakistan managed to remove Dilshan, the Player of the Series, without scoring, which had a big impact on the Sri Lanka innings. Sangakkara put up a fight scoring an unbeaten 64, but a target of 138 wasn't going to be easy to defend. Afridi proved this to be correct, hitting an unbeaten 54, which helped Pakistan win the trophy with 8 balls to spare.

This was a momentous win for Pakistan, with their country at war and surrounded by political turmoil. They were written off with any chance of winning before the tournament began, and celebrations erupted in the streets of Islamabad; an area that would otherwise be riddled with trouble.


Venue: West Indies Winner: England Runner-up: Australia Teams: 12 Format: Four groups of three, then two groups of four in quarter-finals; top two into semi-finals.

Never let it be said the ICC is in thrall to commercial pressures, but ludicrously the Caribbean hosted the third World Twenty20 a little over eight months after the previous tournament.

That is came immediately after the bloated IPL meant audiences were close to Twenty20 saturation. Fortunately, the cricket was generally of a high standard even if the crowds, as with the World Cup three years earlier, were largely disappointing, the 9.30am starts, arranged for the Indian TV market, a big turn off. However, many of the logistical blunders which marred 2007 had been addressed.

England proved the surprise package, winning their first major limited-overs trophy with a comprehensive victory over Australia in the final. The Australians had provided amazing fireworks in the semi-final when Pakistan appeared on course for a second final only for Michael Hussey to smash 26 from five deliveries (in a 24-ball 60 not out) to win the game with a ball to spare.

The significant strugglers were India and South Africa; one disturbed by the short ball, the other unable to pace a run chase. To the frustration of the commercial gurus in the game, India's elimination before the semi-finals again meant lost revenue. The two Associates - Ireland and Afghanistan - far from disgraced themselves.


Venue: Sri Lanka Winner: West Indies Runner-up: Sri Lanka Teams: 12 Format: The preliminary round divided all the teams into four groups, and two from each progressed into the Super Eights. At this stage, the eight teams made up two groups, and the top two from each moved onto the semi-finals.

The tournament heralded West Indies' resurgence in the global game as they danced their way to a first World title since 1979. Amid the Gangnam and Gayle force, the most abiding image of the event was the Caribbean boys dusting away at Marlon Samuels to enhance the lustre of one of the best T20 performances - 78 off 56 to revive his side and 1 for 15 to seal victory in the final.

It wasn't a faultless campaign, but they avenged their group losses to Australia and Sri Lanka in the knockouts. As evidence of West Indies' stock of multiple match-winners, Sunil Narine had nine wickets at an economy under six and Chris Gayle and Samuels were among the top-five run-getters.

Sri Lanka's consolation came in the form of Ajantha Mendis, who took 15 wickets (the most in a World T20) including 6 for 8 against Zimbabwe (the best figures in T20Is) and Mahela Jayawardene, who amassed 243 runs including the most fours by any batsman during the tournament. Jayawardene relinquished captaincy after failing in the last hurdle.

Former champions India endured a frustrating time as their campaign was tripped up by their only loss - a Shane Watson-inspired beating at the hands of Australia. New Zealand fared worse in their search for luck, kicked out after being on the wrong end of Gayle and Lasith Malinga in two one-over eliminators. West Indies had had a cushion of 14 runs but Ross Taylor took them to within one run of victory and Tim Southee almost defended eight in the final over against Sri Lanka.

Brendon McCullum became the only man to score two international T20 hundreds and Gayle became one of three players to bat through the first innings of a T20 twice.


Venue: Bangladesh Winner: Sri Lanka Runner-up: India Teams: 16 Format: Two groups of four teams - six Associates and Bangladesh and Zimbabwe - played for a spot in the two groups of the main draw. Then each team from each group played the other four and the top two progressed into the semi-final to vie for a place in the final.

A few players felt Sri Lanka's triumph was destiny after Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene marked the event as their T20I swansong, and it was hard to argue against when they handed India their only defeat in the tournament to earn Sri Lanka's first world title in 18 years.

The Associates bolstered their reputations, and the new format's, with Hong Kong and Nepal upsetting Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the preliminary round. The coup de grace was Netherlands blazing into the main draw by chasing 190 in 13.5 overs against Ireland, and making the most of the opportunity by stunning a sullen England, who were already out of the running. A helpful consolation for the Dutch after being skittled for 39 all out, the lowest T20I score against Sri Lanka.

The blueprint of T20 spin bowling was rewritten by Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir and R Ashwin who braved tossing the balls up consistently, even in the death. Rangana Herath took it to the next level in his first appearance when he broke New Zealand with a spell of 3.3-2-3-5 as Sri Lanka defended 119 and won handsomely in a virtual quarter-final.

Bangladesh's first opportunity to host and participate in a world event was marred by their team losing all four of their main draw matches. Chittagong suffered multiple floodlight failure and a freak hail storm in Dhaka knocked the holders West Indies out during the semi-final.

Australia's rampant success in the Ashes at home and then in South Africa came to a grinding halt in the group stage as the pre-tournament favourites struggled to utilise and combat spin.

Virat Kohli was the batsman of the tournament and a masterclass in the semi-final prolonged South Africa's 16-year wait for ICC silverware.

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