The shortened version of cricket, Twenty20 or T20 is the perfect dose for all cricket enthusiasts. The game has come a long way right from the days when only test matches were being played. Then in 1971 the first One-day international was played between Australia and England at the MCG. This was the beginning of the shortened version of the game. The game became popular amongst the masses.
The England and Wales cricket board decided on an innovation. The board started coining the idea of shortening the length of the game even further – to 20 overs-a-side. The idea was to go with the modern times and give the game some boost. This gave birth to twenty20 or simply put T20 cricket. The first official T20 game was played on June 13, 2003 between English counties. The first T20 season in England was a success. The final was played between Surrey Lions and Warwickshire Bears. Surrey won by 9 wickets to lift the cup. Lord’s hosted the first T20 game on July 15, 2004. The game was between Surrey and Middlesex. It attracted a crowd of over 26,000. The fever spread across the world. Other test playing nations started embracing this new version of the game.
Australia beat New Zealand in the first ever international T20 match on February 17, 2005. This was played at Eden Park, Auckland. India made a late foray into T20. India played its first match against South Africa in Johannesburg on December 1, 2006. India won that match by 6 wickets. Different cricketing nations started their own version of T20. India started Indian Cricket league (ICL) and Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. IPL has received bigger response from the masses. The first version of IPL was played in April 2008 in India. There was a good mix of Indian and foreign players in every team. Eight teams participated and Team Rajasthan beat Team Chennai in finals played at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai.
This year’s IPL (2009) was hosted by South Africa. It received an unprecedented response from the South African fans. Team Hyderabad beat Team Bangalore in the finals at The Wanderers, Johannesburg.
T20 World Cup 2007
After ODI World Cup now was the time for the T20 World Cup! The inaugural T20 World Cup was played in South Africa in September 2007. Mahendra Singh Dhoni led a young Indian team to victory against Pakistan in the finals. 12 teams took part in that tournament including 10 test playing nations and Kenya and Scotland. Gautam Gambhir played a match-winning innings of 75 runs in the final. This gave a huge boost to Indian T20 cricket.
T20 World Cup 2009
World Cup T20 2009 will be played in England from June 5, 2009 to June 21, 2009. 12 teams will be vying for the coveted trophy. The Twenty20 form of cricket has come in for some criticism with some experts citing the game hampers a cricketer’s technique. Youngsters think otherwise. T20 is the future version of cricket. It has become an in-thing amongst today’s generation.