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T20 World cup

T20 World Cup Logo

T20 cricket is the most followed and globally watched cricket format. In the T20 World Cup, qualified teams from each continent fight for the ultimate glory โ€” to be called the World Champions.

T20 cricket is a fast-paced and intense game by nature. This means that the players have less time to make a long-term strategy. Instead, the T20 World Cup demands real-time playing decisions, which can make a huge difference in the game.

In countries like India and Pakistan, this event is one of the most celebrated. Additionally, professional T20 players such as MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers have inspired many youngsters to improve their game, aiming for higher levels within cricket.

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The Birth of T20 World Cup

T20 is a shortened version of a standard cricket game. The idea behind this was to make a more accessible version of cricket. By offering this shorter, fast-paced version, it appealed to a wider audience, those who didn't want to sit through long games.

England was the first nation to propose the concept of the T20 matches. It was designed to take the place of a dissolved One-Day Tournament. The first event took place in 2003 and luckily, the T20 was a huge success in domestic league matches.

In later years, T20's ever-growing popularity began to spread to other cricketing nations. However, it wasn't until 2005 that the first international T20 match took place between New Zealand and England.

The first-ever T20 World Cup was hosted by South Africa in 2007 where twelve teams were divided into four groups that competed in the first edition of the T20 World Cup.

Passion and Excitement Around T20 World Cup

T20's playing style guarantees exciting and passionate moments. Moments like Yuvraj Singh's 6 sixes and Gayle's 117* of 57 are never fading memories of the T20 Cricket World Cup. Such innings create an atmosphere of passion for T20 cricket.

Now, more interaction has been pioneered through worldwide broadcasting. These moments are widely shared on social media. In light of criticism from experts who were concerned about the future of Test cricket in relation to T20, the T20 venture continued on.

The Inaugural T20 World Cup Tournament

In the case of the T20 World Cup, the first edition was the most memorable one. The inaugural edition was full of dramatic events, surprises, historical moments, and it made every fan that watched this tournament, an admirer of T20 cricket.

Hosted by South Africa, it was a 15 days tournament where 12 teams played on different grounds. The format was a group stage tournament followed by knockout stages in the semi-finals and finals.

The first match was played between West Indies and South Africa in which the latter registered a comfortable victory. The Final was an exciting one because arch-rivals India and Pakistan were the two finalists. India defeated Pakistan who choked under pressure in the finals.

The Success of the T20 World Cup

No other cricket innovation has been more positive and promotional than the T20 World Cup. It has the power to unite both youngsters and older players.

Following the success of the World Cup, other domestic T20 leagues such as the IPL and the BBL were launched. These domestic leagues have benefited from the success of the T20 World Cup. For instance, the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, and T20 Blast have a huge impact on what happens in the World Cup.

T20 World Cup Format

In the first four editions, 12 qualified teams were divided into 4 groups. However, only 10 participating teams were the full members of the ICC and the other 2 were associate teams.

In the 2021 ICC World Cup, new teams might get a chance to qualify for this mega event because the qualifying rounds have diversified the participation chances.

Because the event is short, two matches take place in a single day. It starts with the first round in which teams qualify for 2 groups-each of six teams. Teams who need to enter through qualification are Namibia, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Oman.

The number of participants was changed to 16 teams from 12 teams in 2014 and since then it has been the same. Ten full members qualified de facto and 6 associate teams went through qualifiers held before the World Cup.

Summary of T20 World Cup

T20 World Cup 2007

Twelve teams participated in the 2007 edition. Apart from 10 full members, two other teams were Kenya and Scotland. This event remarkably witnessed the first T20 half-century, first hat-trick, and first fastest century. India became the ultimate winner by defeating Pakistan in the final match.

Winners - India

Player of the series - Shahid Afridi

Most runs - Australia Matthew Hayden (265)

Most wickets - Pakistan Umar Gul (13)

T20 World Cup 2009

Same as the previous edition, the 2009 World Cup followed the same tournament style with four groups. After the withdrawal of Zimbabwe; Scotland, Ireland, and the Netherlands were added in a World Cup England hosted.

There were some final ball thrillers in this tournament. Sri Lanka performed extremely well until the final but Afridi's heroics proved to be an ace for Pakistan in winning the tournament.

Winners - Pakistan

Player of the series - Tillakaratne Dilshan

Most runs - Tillakaratne Dilshan (317)

Most wickets - Umar Gul (13)

T20 World Cup 2010

This World Cup was a surprise to many because it was hosted by the West Indies, and it took place just 10 months after the previous edition. Two associate teams to be added were Afghanistan (first time qualified) and Ireland.

Match changing inning of Michael Hussey was one of the memorable moments of the 2010 World Cup. England became the first time World Cup winners by defeating Australia.

Winners - England

Player of the series - Kevin Pietersen

Most runs - Mahela Jayawardene (302)

Most wickets- Dirk Nannes (14)

T20 World Cup 2012

This tournament could've been the first to have 16 participants, but the decision was overruled. Sri Lanka was the first-ever Asian team to host a T20 World Cup.

This was an action-packed tournament. The hosts reached the final but West Indies were destined to be winners of the 2012 World Cup.

Winners - West Indies

Player of the series - Shane Watson

Most runs - Shane Watson (249)

Most wickets - Ajantha Mendis (15)

T20 World Cup 2014

Many changes were introduced in this edition of the World Cup. First was the addition of 4 more teams making it global. T20 Qualifiers were introduced to give more teams a fair chance to play on the mega stage.

Winners - Sri Lanka

Player of the series - Virat Kohli

Most runs - Virat Kohli (319)

Most wickets - Imran Tahir (12); Ahsan Malik (12)

T20 World Cup 2016

Undoubtedly, it was one of the most famous and most-watched editions of the T20 World Cup. India, the most charged cricketing nation, hosted the World Cup and made it to the semi-finals.

Virat Kohli had quite a wonderful tournament. Darren Sammy became the first-ever captain to win the World Cup twice. With prize money of $1.6 million, it was the most in all recent events.

In the finals, the West Indies defeated England in a close game. Carlos Braithwaite magically revived the soul of his team and won the match for West Indies.

Winners - West Indies

Player of the series - Virat Kohli

Most runs - Tamim Iqbal (295)

Most wickets - Mohammad Nabi (12)

T20 World Cup 2021

With 16 teams and 45 matches to be played, the event has been inaugurated in Dubai. Due to the pandemic restrictions, India couldn't host the World Cup.

Also, it was meant to take place in 2020 but for the same reason, the tournament was postponed. Fortunately, the event is being played and fans can watch their teams live on tv and cheer for victory.

Records and Stats of World Cup

Every sporting event is enjoyed and remembered for the records and history that are part of it. When it comes to the T20 World Cup, the first event in 2007 became a hallmark of records.


In the context of teams, Sri Lanka has the highest winning percentage, but West Indies are the only team to win this tournament twice. Sri Lanka also holds the record for the highest total (260/6) in the T20 World Cup. England holds the record for the highest run chase (230).


With a clinical average of 39.60, Mahela Jayawardene has the most career runs (1016) in T20 World Cups. Next in line is Chris Gayle with 920 runs. Brendon McCullum holds the record for highest individual score (124).

Yuvraj Singh holds the record for the fastest 50 in World Cup, his six sixes in an over is still the ultimate record of T20 which can only be equaled. Chris Gayle has scored two centuries which is the most by any batsman in T20 World Cups.


Pakistani spinner Shahid Afridi has been the most successful bowler in the T20 World Cup with 39 wickets in 34 matches. However, the most memorable bowling figure was produced by Ajanta Mendes who took 4/8 against Zimbabwe, next are Rangana Herath with 5/3 and Umar Gul with 5 for 6.

Records for best average and best Economy go to West Indies players, the former goes to Samuel Badree (13.58) and the latter goes to Sunil Narine (5.17).


With its growing success, T20 cricket looks to become the cornerstone of global cricket. More European and South American countries have been showing an interest in T20 cricket too. In fact, in the last couple of years, the ICC has organized second and third-tier tournaments for the participation of these newly emerged T20 nations.

As the game evolves, we will surely witness more astonishing and stunning performances in the T20 World Cup.

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Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.