T20 Cricket: History, Rules & Its Popularity in 2024

T20 Cricket origin

T20, also known as Twenty20, was first played in 2003 after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) established its official rules. But did you know a similar format to T20 dates back to the 1990s? Thus, the question arises – where did T20 cricket originate? Let’s find out!

Where Did T20 Cricket Originate?

In 1990, many countries looked into the potential of a shorter cricket game. Former Test batsman Martin Crowe created a condensed version of the game called Cricket Max in New Zealand. In the Cricket Max format, each team bats for 10 eight-ball overs. Similarly, Australia considered Super 8s, where only 8 members can play for 7, 6 ball overs per team. The match would last for an hour.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also performed market research and suggested a 20-over-per-side match that would last for around three hours.

And so, the T20 cricket format for born!

The T20 game had fundamental rules similar to the long version of cricket. However, a single inning was limited to a maximum of 20 overs.

T20 Gets Recognized By ECB

The England and Wales Cricket Board required a replacement for the Benson & Hedges Cup. Benson & Hedges Cup is a one-day cricket match between first-class English counties, which was discontinued in 2002. To counteract the declining attendance and funding for the game, cricket officials sought to increase the game’s declining appeal to the younger demographic.

The goal was to make fast-paced, thrilling cricket accessible to thousands of spectators who were turned off by the longer variations of the game. The English county chairpersons voted 11-7 to embrace the new format after the ECB’s marketing manager, Stuart Robertson, suggested a 20-over per innings game to them in 2001.

When the England and Wales Cricket Boards initially issued the formal regulations in 2003, the Twenty20 format of cricket was born. The Twenty20 Cup didn’t immediately take off, but more people could see the thrilling matches as the format gained traction.

General Rules of T20

T20 matches are limited-over contests involving two teams, much like one-day internationals. There are 20 overs in each team’s single inning. A side can bat for a maximum of 20 overs (120 legal deliveries). Contrary to other formats, it is intriguing because batsmen do not enter or exit the locker rooms in the pavilions. They are sitting in a dugout.

Although there are a few exceptions in T20, the general rules (dismissals, scoring) apply to all forms:

  • The most a bowler can bowl in a T20 match is four overs because there are a maximum of 20 possible overs. It is comparable to ODIs because each bowler is limited to ten overs or one-fifth of the full 50 overs.
  • A bowler is penalized with a “free hit” on their following legal delivery if they miss a ball. A batter can only be removed from the game while being given a free hit by:
    • Running out
    • Striking the ball twice
    • Blocking the field
  • In a Twenty20 game, there may only be a maximum of five fielders on the leg or side of a batsman. Powerplay is used to describe the opening six overs of an inning. 
  • A maximum of five fielders from outside the circle are permitted after the first six overs.

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A Peak Into The History Of The T20 Format

The Twenty20 Cup’s first official Twenty20 match was on June 13, 2003, between the English counties. The Surrey Lions won the Twenty20 championship in England’s inaugural season by defeating the Warwickshire Bears by nine wickets in the championship game.

On August 5, 2004, Lord’s Stadium hosted the inaugural T20 international cricket match between the women’s teams of England and New Zealand. The outcome was a 9-run victory for the New Zealand squad. Since the county final in 1953, no cricket event had drawn as large of an audience (nearly 27,000) as the T20.

The game’s popularity got a massive impetus from this success, which made T20 a smashing hit. In fact, an ICC World Twenty20 tournament is now hosted every two years unless the ICC Cricket World Cup is scheduled for the same year. In this case, the competition will be held the year before.

The Worldwide Popularity Of The T20 Format

T20 gained international acclaim very quickly. Australia and New Zealand competed in the first men’s T20 International match on February 17, 2005. The match was tied after being played at Auckland, New Zealand’s Eden Park.

Australia won the game’s final super over to seal the victory and become the first Twenty20 World Champions. The Beige Brigade (New Zealand’s sports fans) requested that some participants participate in a competition among themselves for the best retro appearance. Several did so while sporting 1980s-inspired mustaches, beards, and hairstyles.

Pakistan also took notice of the T20 format and introduced ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup in 2005 – a domestic Twenty20 tournament in Pakistan.  There were 11 teams in Pak’s domestic National Twenty20 Cup. The league served as another example of T20’s resounding success, as more than 30,000 spectators watched the tournament’s championship game.

In 2008, the Stanford Super Series was played. It was a series of Twenty20 cricket matches between the English national cricket team and an all-star team from the Caribbean called Stanford Superstars. The Stanford Superstars faced England on November 1 in what was planned to be the first of five matches, with the winner taking home US$20,000,000 in each contest. The Stanford Superstars prevailed in the opening game, but no other contests were played because Allen Stanford was accused of fraud in 2009.

Rise Of T20 International Cricket

T20 gained validity and seriousness with T20 internationals, while the leagues all around the world gave it popularity. The Women’s Cricket Super League’s inaugural international T20 match, which saw New Zealand’s women’s team defeat England’s women’s team by 9 runs, marked the official debut of T20 as the third format of cricket on August 5, 2004.

On February 17, 2005, when New Zealand hosted Australia in a T20I, the men could also able enjoy the excitement of the inaugural game. In contrast to the competitive cricket matches between the two adversaries, the atmosphere and spirit of the game were considerably different. The teams arrived wearing vintage attire and took a more playful approach to the game.

England, one of Australia’s main opponents and the nation where Twenty20 was initially played, also welcomed Australia for a T20I international encounter. On June 13, 2005, England defeated India with a score of 100. On January 9, 2006, South Africa played with Australia, drawing 38,894 spectators to The Gabba.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has staked a claim on T20s as the format that will internationalize cricket due to its accessibility and high-action matches. As each T20 game between members of the ICC is given international status, there are currently a lot of T20I games played all around the world every year.

T20 World Cup by ICC

Since 2007, the ICC T20 World Cup has been instrumental in developing the format and growing the sport’s popularity. Thirteen teams are participating in the competition, with twelve active International Cricket Council members.

The first international T20 tournament was held when ICC approved the format. The 2007 ICC World Twenty20 altered the game and changed how people perceived it as a global sport. A young Indian team defeated Pakistan in a thrilling final to win the global championship.

List of top T20 Cricket leagues

In 2008, the official Indian Premier League was introduced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Fans have amused numerous franchise-based T20 leagues since then.

List of top t20 cricket leagues

The most well-liked ones are listed below:

  • Indian Premier League (IPL): The current brand value of the IPL, the world’s top T20 league, is roughly Rs 3,65,00 cr. Along with Indian players, the league also includes top international cricketers. It began in 2008 and now has ten teams. Gujarat Titans took first place in the most recent competition.

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  • Big Bash League (BBL): The BBL, which Cricket Australia founded in 2011, has eight city-based franchises. The league is renowned for technical advancements, including helmet cams and flashing wickets. Perth Scorchers won the most recent competition.
  • Bangladesh Premier League (BPL): There are six teams in it, and it started in 2012. Comilla Victorians won the most recent competition.
  • Pakistan Super League (PSL): The ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup was succeeded by PSL, which was launched in 2016. Lahore Qalandars won the most recent season of the league, which has six clubs.
  • Caribbean Premier League (CPL): West Indies domestic players worked for a new local T20 competition after the privately run Stanford 20/20 league expired in 2008. CPL has developed into a hugely popular competition since the inaugural edition debuted in 2013. St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots won the most recent competition, which had six teams.

Top T20 Cricket Leagues – Ranking

Here are the Men’s T20I cricket team rankings. Last updated on 18th January 2023:

 4.South Africa41
 5.New Zealand50
 7.West Indies51
 8.Sri Lanka53

Here are the Women’s T20I cricket team rankings. Last updated on 11th January 2023:

 3.New Zealand 24
 5.South Africa 17
 6.West Indies19
 7.Pakistan 24
 8.Sri Lanka23

Cricket’s biggest success story, T20, began as an experiment. Fans of cricket adore the thrilling T20I international matches and the many T20 cricket leagues that include fantastic teams and big-name players. Sports bettors enjoy the format as well because of the nonstop activity and thrilling prospects.

Where Did T20 Cricket Originate? FAQs

Where was the first T20 cricket played?

In the 1990s, former Test batsman Martin Crowe invented a shortened version of cricket in New Zealand known as Cricket Max, but the England and Wales Cricket Board established the T20 competition’s official rules, and the English county teams participated in the first match in 2003.

How many players are there in cricket?

Each cricket team has 11 players. The team includes 4 substitute players also. Read this article to know the responsibility of each player in the team.

Are T20 and IPL the same?

Yes. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is an Indian professional T20 cricket league established in 2008. Now play IPL-based cricket trump cards on Zupee with Trump Cards Mania and stand a chance to win up to 10 lakhs!

Who had the first century in Twenty20?

Chris Gayle of the West Indies recorded the first century in a T20I contest, making 117 against South Africa in the first ICC World Twenty20. Only 18 times in history did the side whose man scored the century lose the game, and South Africa did so in this instance.

In T20, who scored the most 50?

Virat Kohli, the swashbuckling batsman for India, passed colleague Rohit Sharma to take the lead in terms of the record for most fifty-plus scores in T20 international matches. In T20I cricket, Virat Kohli has scored 33 fifties and Rohit Sharma 32 half-centuries.

In T20, who scored a double century?

Rahkeem Cornwall entered T20 cricket history by reaching a double century. In the ongoing Atlanta Open 2022 League, he accomplished the feat.

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