Twenty20 is a very new form of cricket, only being introduced in 2003 to liven-up county cricket in England. Each team just has one innings, and they face only 20 overs. The average game lasts around three-and-a-half hours, making it a great afternoon or evening out for the fans.
Whilst there’s been some grumbling by old-timers about T20, as it’s known, killing proper cricket, there’s no doubt that the fast-paced version has added much-needed life into one of England’s oldest sports.
For the World Cup the first phase is played in a group format, with the top two teams from each of the three groups going on to the first knockout round, known as The Super Eights. Teams are awarded 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie (it has happened) and 0 points for a loss.
From the very first T20 World Cup in 2007, held in South Africa, the tournament has earned a reputation for producing sensational games, and a few surprises, too. India beat Pakistan in the first final by only five runs. Pakistan overcame Sri Lanka to lift the trophy in the 2009 tournament, held in England. This second tournament was memorable for the opening game heroics of The Netherlands, who beat hosts England by four wickets.
England won a measure of redemption by winning the third World Cup by defeating Australia to hoist their first ever ICC trophy. That tournament, played in the West Indias was held in 2010, and produced shock wins for both Bangladesh and Ireland.
The same 12 countries are competing again this time around in this, the fourth installment of the World Cup. All ten members of the ICC are taking part; Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe. They’re joined by two smaller nations, Afghanistan and Ireland, who advanced to the finals via the qualifying rounds of the tournament.
Amongst the favourites to lift the trophy are South Africa, England and Sri Lanka. You can expect some surprises along the way, though. You can also expect the rivalries between all four nations from the sub-continent to be extremely fierce if they should face each other.