Twenty20 is a form of cricket, originally introduced in the United Kingdom for professional inter-county competition by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), in 2003. A Twenty20 game involves two teams, each has a single innings, batting for a maximum of 20 overs. Twenty20 cricket is also known as T20 cricket.

A Twenty20 game is completed in about three and half hours, with each innings lasting around 75 minutes, thus bringing the game closer to the timespan of other popular team sports. It was introduced to create a lively form of the game which would be attractive to spectators at the ground and viewers on television and as such it has been very successful. The ECB did not intend that Twenty20 would replace other forms of cricket and these have continued alongside it.

Since its inception the game has spread around the cricket world. On most international tours there is at least one Twenty20 match and most Test-playing nations have a domestic cup competition. The inaugural World Twenty20 was played in South Africa in 2007 with India defeating Pakistan in the final by five runs. Pakistan again featured in the final of the 2009 World Twenty20, this time against Sri Lanka, winning by eight wickets.



The idea of a shortened format of the game at a professional level was discussed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 1998 and 2001.

When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the ECB needed another one day competition to fill its place. The cricketing authorities were looking to boost the game's popularity with the younger generation in response to dwindling crowds and reduced sponsorship. It was intended to deliver fast paced, exciting cricket accessible to thousands of fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game. Stuart Robertson, the marketing manager of the ECB, proposed a 20 over per innings game to county chairmen in 2001 and they voted 11-7 in favour of adopting the new format. A media group was invited to develop a name for the new game and Twenty20 was the chosen title. Twenty20 cricket is also known as T20 cricket. A mathematician from Perth, Western Australia, Dr George Christos, also claims to have proposed a similar format to the ICC and ECB in 1997. However, the ICC has dismissed his involvement in developing the final concept.

Twenty20 cricket was formally introduced in 2003 when the ECB launched the Twenty20 Cup and was marketed with the slogan “I don’t like cricket, I love it”, taken from the 10cc song "Dreadlock Holiday".

Twenty20 Cup

The first official Twenty20 matches were played on 13 June 2003 between the English counties in the Twenty20 Cup. The first season of Twenty20 in England was a relative success, with the Surrey Lions defeating the Warwickshire Bears by 9 wickets in the final to claim the Twenty20 Cup.

On 15 July 2004 Middlesex vs. Surrey (the first Twenty20 game to be held at Lord's) attracted a crowd of 26,500, the largest attendance for any county cricket game other than a one-day final since 1953.

Twenty20 Worldwide

On 12 January 2005 Australia's first Twenty20 game was played at the WACA Ground between the Western Warriors and the Victorian Bushrangers. It drew a sellout crowd of 20,700.

Starting 11 July 2006 19 West Indies regional teams competed in what was named the Stanford 20/20 tournament. The event has been financially backed by billionaire Allen Stanford, who gave at least US$28,000,000 funding money. West Indies legends also backed the programme, and several "looked after" the teams during their stay in and around the purpose built ground in Antigua. It is intended that the tournament will be an annual event. Guyana won the inaugural event, defeating Trinidad and Tobago by 5 wickets. The top prize for the winning team was US$1,000,000, but other prizes were given throughout the tournament, such as play of the match (US$10,000) and man of the match (US$25,000).

On 1 November 2008 the Superstars West Indies team (101-0/12.5 overs) beat England (99/all out) by 10 wickets. England slumped to 33-4 and then 65-8 after 15 overs before Samit Patel's 22 took them to 99 in 19.5 overs, still easily their lowest Twenty20 total. Chris Gayle scored an impressive 65 runs not out.

On 5 January 2007 Queensland Bulls played the New South Wales Blues at The Gabba, Brisbane. A crowd of 11,000 was expected based on pre-match ticket sales. However, an unexpected 16,000 turned up on the day to buy tickets, causing disruption and confusion for surprised Gabba staff as they were forced to throw open gates and grant many fans free entry. Attendance reached 27,653.

For 1 February 2008's Twenty20 match between Australia and India, 84,041 people attended the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground involving the Twenty20 World Champions against the ODI World Champions.

Twenty20 Internationals

On 17 February 2005 Australia defeated New Zealand in the first men's full international Twenty20 match, played at Eden Park in Auckland. The game was played in a light-hearted manner - both sides turned out in kit similar to that worn in the 1980s, the New Zealand team's a direct copy of that worn by the Beige Brigade. Some of the players also sported moustaches/beards and hair styles popular in the 1980s taking part in a competition amongst themselves for best retro look, at the request of the Beige Brigade. Australia won the game comprehensively, and as the result became obvious towards the end of the NZ innings, the players and umpires took things less seriously - Glenn McGrath jokingly replayed the Trevor Chappell underarm incident from a 1981 ODI between the two sides, and Billy Bowden showed him a mock red card (red cards are not normally used in cricket) in response.

The first Twenty20 international in England was played between England and Australia at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire on the 13 June 2005, which England won by a record margin of 100 runs.

On 9 January 2006 Australia and South Africa met in the first international Twenty20 game in Australia. In a first, each player's nickname appeared on the back of his uniform, rather than his surname. The international match drew a crowd of 38,894 people at the The Gabba. Australia convincingly won the match with man of the match Damien Martyn scoring 96 runs.

On 16 February 2006 New Zealand defeated West Indies in a tie-breaking bowl-out 3-0; 126 runs were scored apiece in the game proper. The game was the last international match played by Chris Cairns - NZC handed out life-size cardboard masks of his face to patrons as they entered the ground.


Although the format has been proved successful, it has been argued that since Twenty20 encourages far-from-technical cricket, youngsters wanting to pick up the game will be misguided into believing that cricket is all about trying to hit 6s and 4s no matter how you do it.

Impact on the game

Twenty20 cricket is claimed to have resulted in a more athletic and "explosive" form of cricket. Indian fitness coach Ramji Srinivasan declared in an interview with the Indian fitness website, that Twenty20 had "raised the bar" in terms of fitness levels for all players, demanding higher levels of strength, speed, agility and reaction time from all players irrespective of role in the team. Not everyone accords with this view, however, citing for instance the fact that a retired player like Shane Warne has been successful in such tournaments as the IPL.

Shane Warne has never been known for physical fitness. However, other successful retired players such as Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden have. In fact, Hayden credited retirement from International cricket with aiding his performance in general and fitness in particular in the IPL.

In June 2009, speaking at the annual Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's, former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist pushed for Twenty20 to be made an Olympic sport. "It would," he said, "be difficult to see a better, quicker or cheaper way of spreading the game throughout the world."

Match format and rules


Twenty20 match format is similar to limited overs cricket in that it involves two teams, each with a single innings, the key difference being each team bats for a maximum of 20 overs. In terms of visual format, the batting team members do not arrive from and depart to traditional dressing rooms, but come and go from a "bench" (typically a row of chairs) visible in the playing arena, analogous to Association Football's "Technical area" or a baseball "dugout".

General rules

The Laws of cricket apply to Twenty20, with some exceptions:

  • Each bowler may bowl a maximum of only one-fifth of the total overs per innings (generally four, for a full, uninterrupted game). i.e., 4 in the 20 overs
  • Should a bowler deliver a no ball by overstepping the popping crease, it costs 1 run and his next delivery is designated a "free-hit", from which the batsman can only be dismissed through a run out, as is the case for the original "no ball". (Strictly speaking, the very rare methods of dismissal from a "no ball" – for hitting the ball twice, obstructing the field or handling the ball – also apply to the "free-hit" delivery.)
  • Umpires may award five penalty-runs at their discretion if they believe either team is wasting time.
  • The following fielding restrictions apply:
    • No more than five fielders can be on the leg side at any time.
    • During the first six overs, a maximum of two fielders can be outside the 30-yard circle. (sometimes referred to as the powerplay)
    • After the first six overs, a maximum of five fielders can be outside the fielding circle.
  • If the fielding team doesn't start to bowl their 20th over within 75 minutes, the batting side is credited an extra six runs for every whole over bowled after the 75 minute mark; the umpire may add more time to this if they believe the batting team is wasting time.

Tie deciders

Currently, if the match ends with the scores tied and there must be a winner, the tie is broken with a one over per side "Eliminator" Each team nominates three batsmen and one bowler to play a one-over per side "mini-match", sometimes referred to as a "One1". In turn, each side bats one over bowled by the one nominated opposition bowler, with their innings over if they lose two wickets before the over is completed. The side with the higher score from their Super Over wins.

Tied Twenty20 matches were previously decided by a "Bowl-out".


Twenty20 Internationals have been played since 2005. To date, 17 nations have played the format, including all test playing nations.

  1. Australia (17 February 2005)ª
  2. New Zealand (17 February 2005)
  3. England (13 June 2005)
  4. South Africa (21 October 2005)
  5. West Indies (16 February 2006)
  6. Sri Lanka (15 June 2006)
  7. Pakistan (28 August 2006)
  8. Bangladesh (28 November 2006)
  9. Zimbabwe (28 November 2006)
  10. India (1 December 2006)
  11. Kenya (1 September 2007)
  12. Scotland (12 September 2007)
  13. Netherlands (2 August 2008)
  14. Ireland (2 August 2008)
  15. Canada (2 August 2008)
  16. Bermuda (3 August 2008)
  17. Afghanistan (1 February 2010)

(ª Dates after each teams' names indicate their debut Twenty20 International)

ICC World Twenty20 tournament

Every two years an ICC World Twenty20 tournament is to take place. The first tournament was in 2007 in South Africa where India defeated Pakistan in the final. The second tournament was won by Pakistan who beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in England on 21st of June, 2009. The next ICC World Twenty20 tournament will be held in West Indies in May 2010. Defending Champions Pakistan are grouped with Bangladesh and Australia.


These statistics are correct as of 30 August 2009 and include all major cricket level Twenty20 matches.

Most Twenty20 runs

PlayerMatchesRunsHSCareer span
Brad Hodge 68 2,228 106 2003–2009
David Hussey 78 2,003 100* 2004–2009
Hylton Ackerman 55 1,811 87 2004–2009
Graeme Smith 60 1,727 105 2004–2009
Brendon McCullum 61 1,637 158* 2004–2009

Most Twenty20 wickets

PlayerMatchesWicketsBBICareer span
Umar Gul 75 78 5/6 2005–2009
Tyron Henderson 75 84 4/29 2004–2009
Yasir Arafat 57 78 4/17 2006–2009
Albie Morkel 90 78 4/30 2003–2009
Dimitri Mascarenhas 61 74 5/14 2004–2009

Other records

See also


  • "Twenty20 cricket is also known as T20 cricket". Cricket T20 Last Accessed 2009-November-25 14:19 C.A.T

External links

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