The History of the T20 World Cup

The histiry of the T20 World Cup
Shane Hand Bet india

Chief Editor, Shane Hand

Updated 07/10/2021

Categories: News, Opinion

The T20 cricket has truly revolutionised the way we perceive the sport. Many will even agree that it is far more entertaining than Test or ODI formats although, each has its own merits. The history of the T20 World Cup is an interesting one and with the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup right around the corner, let’s look into its past.

Let’s discover how the format came to be and how the competition evolved through the years!


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History of the T20 World Cup: First Sanctioned in 2003

The T20 format was developed as a way to make cricket more appealing. And as expected in the world of cricket, the Englishmen led the charge.

In 2002, the English Cricket Board (ECB) was looking for a one-day competition to replace the now-defunct Benson & Hedges Cup – a cricket competition that featured first-class counties in England and Wales. The tournament had suffered from dwindling popularity, reduced sponsorship, and a lack of general interest from the younger generation.

The objective was to transform the game into an exciting, fast-paced format that most importantly, was nowhere as long as the other versions of the sport.

Enter Stuart Robertson – the marketing manager of the ECB back then, who carried out extensive research exploring the feasibility of such a format. He found that people would be interested in watching cricket if it was shorter and started in the late afternoon. The precedent was also set for him to follow – in the late 1990s,  New Zealand saw a T10 competition titled Cricket Max which entailed 10 overs per inning.

Robertson made the presentation to the county board proposing the 20-over format – the vote was passed 11-7 in favour.

Friday the 13th for a Lucky Start

It was Friday the 13th in June 2003 when the very first sanctioned T20 match was played in the world. It came in the Twenty20 Cup – now known as T20 Blast or Vitality Blast – between Hampshire and Sussex. Hampshire won that match by five runs, scoring 153 runs in the first inning.

The very same day also saw four other T20 matches in the competition – and all of them proved to be a big hit.

Despite hosting the matches on the unlucky figure of Friday, the 13th, the entire experiment proved to be a boon rather than a bane. The reception was positive and people loved the newly invented cricket.

The next edition of the competition saw its first match at the iconic Lord’s between Middlesex and Surrey in July 2004. It attracted a crowd of 27,509 – the largest attendance for any county match at the venue in recent history.

From that point on, the format grew exponentially. On the back of unanticipated crowd numbers and popularity, other cricketing nations also started to adopt the T20 format. Even the world of online cricket betting was benefiting from this, seeing that there were smart, profitable bets to be made with a short turnaround time.

International Matches to Prime to Format Further

Australia and New Zealand played the very first T20 international match was played as a one-off game. Neither side took the match that seriously; it was more like a light-hearted fun affair to entertain the crowds.

The following years saw more standalone T20 matches played across the globe. England, South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka – all cricketing nations got a T20I match or two under their belts.

India played its first match in this format against South Africa in December 2006 in Johannesburg. India won that match by 6 wickets with 1 ball to spare, chasing down Protean’s 126.

Seeing the overwhelming acceptance of the game globally, it was evident that the T20 format is here to stay.

These matches also paved the way for other big T20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, among others.


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The World Cup Begins

It was decided that the T20 World Cup would take place every two years. However, in case that the 50-Over Cricket World Cup is scheduled to take place in the same year as the T20 one, the latter would be moved to the year before.

The first ICC Twenty 20 World Cup took place in South Africa. It featured the 10 cricketing nations along with Kenya and Scotland.

India defeated Pakistan in the iconic final to win the inaugural T20 World Cup. It was also in the same competition that Yuvraj Singh hit 6 sixes in an over against England and scored the fastest half-century in just 12 balls.

New Champions in Successive Editions

Following that blockbuster hit in 2007, the next T20 World Cup moved to England in 2009. It was a 12-team tournament as usual and just like the previous edition, it saw a two-tier path to the knockouts.

12 teams were divided into groups of four and the top two sides in each group would reach the Super 8 (again split into two groups of four).

The top two teams in each ‘Super Group’ then would compete in the semifinals.

India finished last in that edition, losing all three of their group games. Pakistan that year, defeating Sri Lanka in the final by 8 wickets.

The 2010 and 2012 T20 World Cups – both of which competed with 12 teams, were won respectively by England and West Indies.

The Tournament Expands to 16

The 2014 ICC World Twenty20 was the first time that the competition was expanded to 16 teams. Joining the 10 full members were Ireland, Afghanistan, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, and Hong Kong – all of whom came through the qualifiers.

Sri Lanka won the tournament that season, defeating India in the final by 6 wickets.

India hosted the next edition in 2016. They finished second in their group and reached the semifinal, but ended up losing to West Indies. We all remember that day like it was yesterday when Lendl Simmons blasted 82 off 51 to reach the target of 193 runs.

The Caribbean outfit reached the final and defeated England to win their second T20 World Cup.

What’s Next for the History of the T20 World Cup?

The 2021 World Cup in UAE will see 16 participants as usual. However, this time, we will have a Super 12 instead of a Super 10.

So in addition to the top eight qualified teams, four more will join the big guns for the main round through the way of the First Round matches, starting on October 18. The eight qualifying teams have been split into two groups of four. The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super 12.

Stay tuned with Bet India as we bring you the latest coverage and detailed predictions from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.