T20 or Twenty20 Cricket is the latest format to be introduced into the sport of cricket. It is the shortest and the most entertaining format played in just over three hours. Although, the format is not orthodox and conventional, yet the T20 format enables cricketers to exude some exquisite skills. Certainly, the T20 has appealed to many young cricket followers across the globe.
T20 cricket was introduced by the England and Wales cricket board in the year 2003. The motive behind the introduction was to attract people to the ground and also keep the television viewers glued to their sets. After the initial success in the England domestic circuit, the T20 was introduced as an international fixture too.
The first T20 international game was played between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland in on 17 February, 2005. As the cricketing authorities got convinced of the T20 model, soon a T20 World Cup was launched in the year 2007. South Africa played hosts to the event which saw India and Pakistan enter the finals. In the end, India was crowned as the inaugural T20 Champions of the world.
Present and Future
The World Cup is played once in two years, with the upcoming edition to be held in Bangladesh in March. Given the wide acceptance and the popularity of the format, many countries have gone ahead and launched their own domestic T20 leagues. Many marquee cricketers have enjoyed travelling to different countries and playing for several clubs. Yes, they have been called mercenaries, but who can argue with the financial comfort it gives to a professional cricketer? Many experts, journalists have even argued and lamented over the running of the T20 format. Questions have also been raised on how often inordinate T20 games have been scheduled between international teams.
All said, the format has generated tremendous interest amongst people of all generations. Given the roaring success of the format thus far, it would be fitting to say that T20 is here to stay for good.
Blast from the Past
Given the nature of the tournament, it is impossible to rule out a tie between teams. And yes, this format has already seen eight T20I tied. The very first tied game involved the West Indies and New Zealand in 2006 at Auckland.
The second tied game has been the most glorified tie in the history of T20 cricket. India-Pakistan went toe-to-toe at the 2007 World Cup. In the end, the winner had to be decided by a Bowl Out, which India won.
And how can anybody forget the reaction of the West Indies team after winning the World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2012? For a team which was marred and beleaguered by poor results, this victory couldn’t have come at any better time. What followed were some wild celebrations from the Caribbean boys. That moment will forever be etched in the memory of every cricket fan.