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MAIN / Cricket / Where Did T20 Cricket First Originate – History of Twenty20 Format

The shortest T20 format of cricket has become the most popular. But where did T20 cricket begin? We share everything about the origin and history of the format, how it spread around the world, and the winners of the biggest T20 tournament. Read on to find T20 cricket origin, the 1st T20 match, and how it became popular.

Where Did T-20 Cricket First Originate?

T20 is a shortened format of cricket game that was developed in New Zealand in the late 1990s by Martin Crowe, the former Test batsman. The official rules first originated in England in 2003, leading to the first official T20 tournament by English local teams in 2003.

It is a limited-overs match format that is played between two teams with single innings, each restricted to a maximum of 20 overs. T20 has become the most popular cricket format for both club and international events.

When Did T20 First Originate?

The Twenty20 format of cricket first originated in 2003 when England and Wales Cricket Boards presented the official rules. But it rapidly became popular on an international level. The first T20 International men’s match was played on 17 February 2005, involving Australia and New Zealand. The game was played at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, and finished in a tie. Australia won the super over to clinch the match, making them the inaugural Twenty20 World Champions.

What Was the First T20 Match?

On 5 August 2004, the first T20 cricket match was played between England and New Zealand women’s teams in England, London, at Lord’s Stadium. It ended with a New Zealand team winning by 9 runs. It garnered an attendance of over 27,000 and became the biggest cricket event since the county final of 1953. That success established T20 as a hit and extremely raised the game’s popularity.

T20 Cricket Origin and History

After the popular one-day competition called Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) eyed a revamped competition to attract younger audiences and sponsors. This is where Twenty20 cricket history started. A 20-overs-a-side format was proposed and accepted as a fast-paced alternative that promised high-octane action.

Twenty20 cricket had its official debut as a county competition in June 2003. Although the first Twenty20 Cup didn’t immediately become popular, the format gradually caught on and made the thrilling games more accessible.

The inaugural T20 cricket match was played on August 5, 2004, at Lord’s Stadium in London, England, between the women’s cricket teams of England and New Zealand. It attracted nearly 27,000 spectators, making it the largest cricket event since the county final in 1953. That achievement made T20 successful and greatly increased the game’s popularity. Nowadays, there is a highly popular T20 cricket event in England known as the English T20 Blast. Millions of fans follow this tournament to root for the favorites and feel the thrill of the powerful games!

How Twenty Twenty Cricket Spread Worldwide?

Even though we know, where did T20 cricket originate, the surge in popularity wasn’t just limited to England. After the sensational action enthralled spectators at Lord’s, Pakistan took notice. Pakistan’s inaugural competition was established as a full-fledged T20 league in 2004-05.

The domestic National Twenty20 Cup, called ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup, featured 11 teams comprising Pakistani superstars. The league was another proof of T20’s smashing success, as the final of the tournament was attended by more than 30,000 people.

Meanwhile, a one-off Twenty20 game between the Western Warriors and the Victorian Bushrangers brought a 20,000-strong crowd to the WACA in Perth, Australia. West Indies had its domestic T20 competition sponsored by billionaire Allen Stanford called the Stanford 20/20.

Another one-off Aussie affair between Queensland Bulls and New South Wales Blues was played at The Gabba, Brisbane. The tickets sold like hot cake and the staff opened the gates for anybody wanting to watch the T20 clash. The final attendance read 27,653.

T20 International Cricket (T20I)

While the leagues worldwide made it popular, T20 gained legitimacy and seriousness with T20 internationals. T20 officially became cricket’s third format on 5 August 2004 with the first international t20 match within the Women’s Cricket Super League when New Zealand’s women team defeated England’s women team by 9 runs in the first T20I.

Men too joined in the fun of the T20I first match on 17 February 2005 when New Zealand hosted Australia in a T20I. The vibe and mood of the game were very different from the intense cricketing contests between the two rivals. The teams turned up in retro jerseys and played the game in a lighter vein.

Australia’s other rivals England — the country where T20 first originated — too hosted them in a T20I international match. England won that match on 13 June 2005 by 100 runs. Australia then hosted South Africa on 9 January 2006, which brought 38,894 people to the Gabba.

Due to its accessible nature and high-action contests, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has banked on T20s as the format to globalize cricket. Currently, there is a high number of T20 games across the world every year as ICC gives international status to each T20 match between its member countries.

ICC T20 World Cup

Since 2007, ICC’s T20 World Cup has played a huge role in taking the format forward as well as popularising the game. The tournament features thirteen teams, of which 12 are current members of the International Cricket Council. Here are ICC Cricket World Cup results over the years.

Year Winners Runners-up Final match result India’s finish
2007 India Pakistan India won by 5 runs Champions
2009 Pakistan Sri Lanka Pakistan won by 8 wickets Super 8
2010 England Australia England won by 7 wickets Super 8
2012 West Indies Sri Lanka West Indies won by 36 runs Super 8
2014 Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets Runners-up
2016 West Indies England West Indies won by 4 wickets Semi-finalists
2021 Australia New Zealand Australia won by 8 wickets Super 12

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India vs Pakistan World Cup Match on Parimatch

The Best T20 Cricket Leagues

The format received ICC’s blessings in the form of the inaugural international T20 competition. The 2007 ICC World Twenty20 revolutionized the sport and its image as a global sport. A young Indian side became world champions in a thrilling final over Pakistan.

Soon after, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) launched the official Indian Premier League in 2008. Since then, a number of franchise-based T20 leagues have entertained spectators. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Indian Premier League (IPL). The premier T20 competition around the world, IPL currently has a brand value of approximately Rs 3,65,00 cr. The league features top Indian talent along with foreign superstars. It started in 2008 and currently features 10 teams. The latest edition was won by Gujarat Titans.
  2. Big Bash League (BBL). Established in 2011 by Cricket Australia, BBL features eight city-based franchises. The league is known for technological innovations like helmet cams and flashing wickets. The latest edition was won by Perth Scorchers.
  3. Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). It began in 2012 and features six teams. Comilla Victorians won the latest edition.
  4. Pakistan Super League (PSL). Established in 2016, PSL replaced the aforementioned ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup. The league features six teams, and the latest edition was won by Lahore Qalandars.
  5. Caribbean Premier League (CPL). After the privately-organized Stanford 20/20 competition ended in 2008, West Indies domestic players worked towards a new domestic T20 competition. The first edition launched in 2013, and CPL has since grown into a superhit tournament. It features six teams, and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots won the latest edition.

20 20 Match Format Explanation

Just like one-day internationals, T20s are limited-overs matches between two teams. Each team has a single innings limited to 20 overs. As a result, a team can bat for a maximum of 20 overs (120 legal deliveries). An interesting feature is that, unlike other formats, batsmen don’t come or go to the dressing rooms in pavilions. Instead, they are seated in a dugout.

General Cricket 20-20 Rules

While the general laws (dismissals, scoring) remain consistent throughout formats, T20 has a couple of exceptions.

  • As the max number of overs in T20 is 20, a bowler can only bowl a maximum of four overs. Essentially, it is similar to ODIs as a bowler can only bowl ten overs — one-fifth of the maximum 50 overs.
  • A no-ball by a bowler is punished with a ‘free hit’ on their next legal delivery. On a free hit, a batsman can only be dismissed through a run-out, hitting the ball twice, or obstructing the field.
  • There can not be more than 5 fielders on the leg/on side of a batsman in a twenty20 match. The first six overs of an innings are called the Powerplay. A team can only have 2 fielders outside the 30-yard circle during the powerplay. After the first six overs, a maximum of 5 fielders are allowed outside the circle.


T 20 originated as an experiment to cricket’s biggest success story. Spectators love the pulsating international T20I contests and the numerous cricket T20 leagues featuring great teams and big superstars. Sports bettors too love the format for its non-stop action and exciting opportunities.

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Which Country Invented the T20 Cricket Format?

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) invented and approved the Twenty20 format. The first official T20 matches took place in England as part of the County cricket game competition.

When Will T20 World Cup Start?

The following eighth edition of the T20 World Cup will be played from 16 October to 13 November 2022 in Australia.

How Many Times India Won T20 World Cup?

India has won the T20 World Cup once during the inaugural edition in 2007.

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