The ICC Men's T20 World Cup (earlier known as ICC World Twenty20) is the international championship of Twenty20 cricket. Organised by cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament currently consists of 16 teams, comprising the top ten teams from the rankings at the given deadline and six other teams chosen through the T20 World Cup Qualifier.
|Administrator||International Cricket Council (ICC)|
|Tournament format||Preliminary round|
|Number of teams||16|
20 (2024 onwards)
|Current champion||Australia (1st title)|
|Most successful||West Indies (2 titles)|
|Most runs||Mahela Jayawardene (1016)|
|Most wickets||Shakib Al Hasan (41)|
The event has generally been held every two years. However, the 2020 edition of the tournament was scheduled to take place in 2020 in Australia, but due to COVID-19, the tournament was postponed to 2021, with the host changed to India, five years after the conclusion of the 2016 edition. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the matches were relocated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. In May 2016, the ICC put forward the idea of having a tournament in 2018, with South Africa being the possible host. But at the conclusion of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the ICC dropped the idea of 2018 edition.
Seven tournaments have so far been played, and only the West Indies has won the tournament on multiple occasions. The inaugural 2007 World Twenty20, was staged in South Africa, and won by India, who defeated Pakistan in the final at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The 2009 tournament took place in England, and was won by the previous runner-up, Pakistan, who defeated Sri Lanka in the final at Lord's. The third tournament was held in 2010, hosted by the countries making up the West Indies cricket team. England defeated Australia in the final in Barbados, which was played at Kensington Oval, winning their first international tournament. The fourth tournament, the 2012 World Twenty20, was held in Asia for the first time, with all matches played in Sri Lanka. The West Indies won the tournament by defeating Sri Lanka in the final, winning its first international tournament since the 2004 Champions Trophy. The fifth tournament, the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, was hosted by Bangladesh, and was won by Sri Lanka defeating India, Sri Lanka being the first team to play in three finals. Australia are the current T20 World Cup holders, having beaten New Zealand in the 2021 final, winning their first title.
When the Benson & Hedges Cup ended in 2002, the ECB needed another one day competition to fill its place. 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.
- Domestic tournaments
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 title. The first Twenty20 match held at Lord's, on 15 July 2004 between Middlesex and Surrey, attracted a crowd of 27,509, the largest attendance for any county cricket game at the ground other than a one-day final since 1953.
Soon after with the adoption of Twenty20 matches by other cricket boards, the popularity of the format grew with unexpected crowd attendance, new domestic tournaments such as Pakistan's Faysal Bank T20 Cup and Stanford 20/20 tournament, and the financial incentive in the format.
The West Indies regional teams competed in what was named the Stanford 20/20 tournament. The event was financially backed by convicted fraudster Allen Stanford, who gave at least US$28,000,000 funding money, the fruit of his massive Ponzi scheme. It was intended that the tournament would be an annual event. Guyana won the inaugural event, defeating Trinidad and Tobago by 5 wickets, securing US$1,000,000 in prize money. A spin-off tournament, the Stanford Super Series, was held in October 2008 between Middlesex and Trinidad and Tobago, the respective winners of the English and Caribbean Twenty20 competitions, and a Stanford Superstars team formed from West Indies domestic players; Trinidad and Tobago won the competition, securing US$280,000 prize money. On 1 November, the Stanford Superstars played England in what was expected to be the first of five fixtures in as many years with the winner claiming a US$20,000,000 in each match.
- 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.
It was first decided that every two years an ICC World Twenty20 tournament is to take place, except in the event of a Cricket World Cup being scheduled in the same year, in which case it will be held the year before. The first tournament was in 2007 in South Africa where India defeated Pakistan in the final. Kenya and Scotland had to qualify via the 2007 ICC World Cricket League Division One which was a 50-over competition that took place in Nairobi. In December 2007 it was decided to hold a qualifying tournament with a 20-over format to better prepare the teams. With six participants, two would qualify for the 2009 World Twenty20 and would each receive $250,000 in prize money. The second tournament was won by Pakistan who beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in England on 21 June 2009. The 2010 ICC World Twenty20 tournament was held in West Indies in May 2010, where England defeated Australia by 7 wickets. The 2012 ICC World Twenty20 was won by the West-Indies, by defeating Sri Lanka at the finals. For the first time, a host nation competed in the final of the ICC World Twenty20. There were 12 participants for the title including Ireland and Afghanistan as 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. It was the first time the T20 World Cup tournament took place in an Asian country.
Expansion to 16 teamsEdit
The 2012 edition was to be expanded into a 16 team format however this was reverted to 12. The 2014 tournament, held in Bangladesh was the first to feature 16 teams including all ten full members and six associate members who qualified through the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. However the top eight full member teams in the ICC Men's T20I Team rankings on 8 October 2012 were given a place in the Super 10 stage. The remaining eight teams competed in the group stage, from which two teams advance to the Super 10 stage. Three new teams (Nepal, Hong Kong and the UAE) made their debut in this tournament.
In July 2020, the ICC announced that both the 2020 and 2021 editions had each been postponed by one year due to the pandemic. Therefore, the 2020 tournament (originally to be hosted by Australia) was moved to November 2021, and the 2021 tournament (originally to be hosted by India) was moved to October 2022. Australia and India retained the rights to host the tournaments, albeit in reverse order, with India hosting in 2021 and Australia in 2022.  The 2021 tournament ran from 17 October to 14 November 2021, with the matches played in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Expansion to 20 teamsEdit
In June 2021, the ICC announced that the T20 World Cup tournaments in 2024, 2026, 2028, and 2030 will be expanded to include 20 teams. The format would include 20 teams will be divided into 4 groups (5 per group), with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Super Eights. They will be divided into two groups of four, with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals.
The 2024 T20 World Cup will be hosted by the West Indies and the United States. It will be the first time the US has hosted an ICC tournament, with multiple stadiums across the country either being newly built or repurposed for cricket. The 2026 tournament will be co-hosted by India and Sri Lanka, with the 2028 edition in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the 2030 tournament in England, Scotland and Ireland following.
The International Cricket Council's executive committee votes for the hosts of the tournament after examining bids from the nations which have expressed an interest in holding the event. After South Africa in 2007, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka hosted the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2012 respectively. Bangladesh hosted the tournament in 2014. India hosted the tournament in 2016. After a gap of five years, India won the hosting rights of 2021 edition as well, but due to COVID-19 pandemic the matches were played in Oman and UAE. The 2022 edition will be hosted by Australia, who won the tournament in the previous year.
In December 2015, Tim Anderson, the ICC's head of global development, suggested that a future tournament be hosted by the United States. He believed that hosting the event could help spur growth of the game in the country, where it is relatively obscure and faces competition by other sports such as baseball. In 2020, the USA and West Indies expressed interest in co-hosting a T20 World Cup after 2023, with Malaysia being another possible contender. In November 2021, the ICC confirmed the hosts for the next four Men's T20 World Cup tournaments from 2024 to 2030. The USA and West Indies would co-host the 2024 edition, India and Sri Lanka to co-host the 2026 edition, Australia and New Zealand to co-host the 2028 edition and the 2030 edition is to be co-hosted by England, Scotland and Ireland.
All ICC full members qualify automatically for the tournament, with the remaining places filled by other ICC members through a qualification tournament, known as the T20 World Cup Qualifier. Qualification for the inaugural 2007 World Twenty20 came from the results of the first cycle of the World Cricket League, a 50-over league for ICC associate and affiliate members. The two finalists of the 2007 WCL Division One tournament, Kenya and Scotland, qualified for the World Twenty20 later in the year. A separate qualification tournament was implemented for the 2009 World Twenty20, and has been retained since then. The number of teams qualifying through the World Twenty20 Qualifier has varied, however, ranging from two (in 2010 and 2012) to six (in 2014 and 2016).
In each group stage (both the preliminary round and the Super 12 round), teams are ranked against each other based on the following criteria:
- Higher number of points
- If equal, higher number of wins
- If still equal, higher net run rate
- If still equal, lower bowling strike rate
- If still equal, result of head to head meeting.
In case of a tie (that is, both teams scoring the same number of runs at the end of their respective innings), a Super Over would decide the winner. In the case of a tie occurring again in the Super Over, subsequent super overs would be played until there is a winner. Earlier, the match would be won by the team that had scored the most boundaries in their innings. During the 2007 tournament, a bowl-out was used to decide the loser of tied matches.
Correct as of final of the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup. Teams are ordered by best result then by winning percentage, then alphabetically:
|West Indies||7||2007||2021||Champions (2012, 2016)||36||18||16||1(1)||1||52.85|
|Sri Lanka||7||2007||2021||Champions (2014)||43||27||15||1(1)||0||63.95|
|New Zealand||7||2007||2021||Runners-up (2021)||37||20||15||2(0)||0||56.75|
|South Africa||7||2007||2021||Semi-finals (2009, 2014)||35||22||13||0||0||62.85|
|Ireland||6||2009||2021||Super 8s (2009)||18||4||11||0||3||22.22|
|Bangladesh||7||2007||2021||Super 8s (2007)||33||7||25||0||1||21.87|
|Afghanistan||5||2010||2021||Super 10s (2016)||19||7||12||0||0||36.84|
|Netherlands||4||2009||2021||Super 10s (2014)||15||5||9||0||1||35.71|
|Namibia||1||2021||2021||Super 12s (2021)||8||3||5||0||0||37.50|
|Scotland||4||2007||2021||Super 12s (2021)||15||4||10||0||1||28.57|
|Zimbabwe||5||2007||2016||First round (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)||12||5||7||0||0||41.66|
|Oman||2||2016||2021||First round (2016, 2021)||6||2||3||0||1||40.00|
|Hong Kong||2||2014||2016||First round (2014, 2016)||6||1||5||0||0||16.66|
|Nepal||1||2014||2014||First round (2014)||3||2||1||0||0||66.66|
|Kenya||1||2007||2007||First round (2007)||2||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Papua New Guinea||1||2021||2021||First round (2021)||3||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|United Arab Emirates||1||2014||2014||First round (2014)||3||0||3||0||0||0.00|
- The number in bracket indicates number of wins in tied matches by Super Overs and bowl outs, however these are considered half a win regardless of the result. The win percentage excludes no results and counts ties (irrespective of a tiebreaker) as half a win.
- Teams are sorted by best result, then winning percentage, then (if equal) by alphabetical order.
Team results by tournamentEdit
The ICC does not adjudicate rankings but only rounds a team achieves e.g. Semis, round one etc. The table below provides an overview of the performances of teams in the ICC World Twenty20.
The team ranking in each tournament is according to ICC. For each tournament, the number of teams in each finals tournament (in brackets) are shown.
|Papua New Guinea||×||×||×||•||•||•||R1||1|
|United Arab Emirates||×||×||•||•||R1||•||•||1|
- C — Champions
- RU — Runners-up
- SF — Semi-finalist
- R2 — Round 2 (Super 8s, Super 10s and Super 12s)
- R1 — Round 1 (Group stage)
- Q — Qualified
- — Qualified but withdrew
- — Did not qualify
- — Did not enter / Withdrew
Debut of teamsEdit
Team appearing for the first time, in alphabetical order per year.
|2007||Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe||12|
|2009||Ireland and Netherlands||2|
|2014||Hong Kong, Nepal and United Arab Emirates||3|
|2021||Namibia and Papua New Guinea||2|
|T20 World Cup records|
|Most runs||Mahela Jayawardene||1,016 (2007–2014)|||
|Highest average (min. 10 inns.)||Virat Kohli||76.81 (2012–2021)|||
|Highest score||Brendon McCullum v Bangladesh||123 (2012)|||
|Highest partnership|| Mahela Jayawardene & Kumar Sangakara
(2nd wicket) v West Indies
|Most runs in a tournament||Virat Kohli||319 (2014)|||
|Most hundreds||Chris Gayle||2 (2007–2021)|||
|Most wickets||Shakib Al Hasan||41 (2007–2021)|||
|Best bowling average (min. 250 balls bowled)||Samuel Badree||13.58 (2012–2016)|||
|Best strike rate (min. 250 balls bowled)||Ajantha Mendis||13.4 (2009–2014)|||
|Best economy rate (min. 250 balls bowled)||Sunil Narine||5.17 (2012–2014)|||
|Best bowling figures||Ajantha Mendis v Zimbabwe||6/8 (2012)|||
|Most wickets in a tournament||Wanindu Hasaranga||16 (2021)|||
|Most dismissals (wicket-keeper)||MS Dhoni||32 (2007–2016)|||
|Most catches (fielder)||AB De Villiers||23 (2007–2016)|||
|Highest team total||Sri Lanka (v Kenya)||260/6 (2007)|||
|Lowest team total||Netherlands (v Sri Lanka)||39 (2014)|||
|Highest win % (min. 5 matches played)||Sri Lanka||63.95% (played 43, won 27) (2007–2021)|||
|Largest victory (by runs)||Sri Lanka (v Kenya)||172 (2007)|||
|Highest match aggregate||England v South Africa||459-12 (2016)|||
|Lowest match aggregate||Netherlands v Sri Lanka||79-11 (2014)|||
|Last updated: 7 November 2021|
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