ICC World Twenty20
The ICC World Twenty20 is an international competition for the Twenty20 cricket. It is organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is competed by all ten full members of the ICC plus two teams that pass the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. The championship is held every two years unless it is scheduled in the same year as the ICC Cricket World Cup. In this case, the World Twenty20 is held one year earlier.
The World Twenty20 is a relatively new event in the international cricket. The first tournament was held only in 2007 which is due to the fact that this shortened version of cricket was introduced only in 2003. After the last Benson & Hedges Cup in 2002, the English and Welsh cricket authorities decided to introduce some changes with an aim to increase the popularity of the sport among the young generation as well as to attract more crowds to the stadiums and of course, more sponsors.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (EBC) decided that a faster and more exciting format of the game is necessary to make it more interesting for the spectators both on stadiums and in front of TV screens. The marketing manager of the EBC Stuart Robertson suggested two innings with battling for 20 overs which would allow a match to be completed in about 3 hours. Robertson’s idea was put on a vote and accepted with 11-7 in favour of the proposition. On 13 June 2003, the first official Twenty20 matches were played by the English county teams in the newly formed Twenty20 league (today’s Friends Life t20).
Twenty20 at the International Level
The Twenty20 Cup was an instant success. The new format of the sport began to attract huge crowds and the Twenty20 match between Middlesex and Surrey at Lord’s that was played on 15 July 2004 attracted over 27,500 spectators. This is more than any other county match at the ground since 1953 with the exception of one-day final.
Encouraged by the success of the Twenty20 in England and Wales, other countries followed the example and introduced the format as well in their national competitions. The first international Twenty20 match was played between Australia and New Zealand on 17 February 2005, while England played its first international Twenty20 match against Australia at the Rose Bowl four months later.
World Twenty20 from 2007 to the Present Day
The first World Twenty20 was held in South Africa in 2007. The tournament was won by India which went into history as the first World Twenty20 Champion. England organised the second World Twenty20 that was won by Pakistan, while the English national team became the World Twenty20 Champion at the third tournament that was hosted by the West Indies in 2010. The last World Twenty20 was held in Sri Lanka in 2012 that was won by West Indies. The next tournament will take place in Bangladesh in 2014.