Twenty Twenty (20 - 20) cricket is the shortest format of cricket that is played at first class and international levels. It is a form of one day international cricket but instead of 50 overs per side, there are a maximum of 20. Typically a game lasts around three and a half hours which makes the games closer in time span to other popular team sports such as football or rugby. This makes the sport more accessible and attractive to both television audiences and spectators at the ground, and the shorter format also increases the tempo of the game and makes the sport more exciting. Twenty20 games typically involve more 6s, 4s and wickets, as well as outstanding catching and fielding as the teams take part in a high paced dash to get as many runs or wickets as possible.
Twenty20 cricket started life as a domestic competition in England in an attempt by the ECB (England and Wales cricket board) to promote the game amongst younger generations and to tackle the problems of decreasing crowd attendance and reduced sponsorship. The competition was a huge success and the first twenty20 match at Lords attracted the biggest crowd at the ground for any first class game since 1953.
Following the success of the English competition, twenty20 has spread throughout the globe and now all test playing nations have their own domestic twenty20 competitions. The most prestigious of which is the IPL (Indian Premier League) which features local Indian players and highly-paid stars from around the world.
The first international twenty20 was held in 2005 between Australia and New Zealand and since then Twenty20s are now commonplace in the international arena. This led to the introduction of an ICC world Twenty20 competition which was held in South Africa in 2007. Following the success of the tournament it is scheduled to be held every 2 years.
ICC World Twenty20 Winners
- 2007 - India
- 2009 - Pakistan
- 2010 - England