The Twenty20 format in cricket is without doubt, the most marketable and lucrative form of cricket when compared to the other popular cricket formats like test cricket and one day internationals. There are numerous domestic T20 leagues across the world from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL) and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) that are all based on the Twenty20 format.
However, the biggest Twenty20 tournament on the cricketing calendar is the ICC World Twenty20. This tournament is hosted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and it is usually played in one of the premier cricket nations during early spring every other year. This tournament is played over several matches and days and attracts a huge following.
The T20 format is popular the world over because the game is played at a fast pace and the entire match gets completed within a 3 hour period. There is no possibility of a drawn game as if both teams manage to tie, then a super over is usually played out to determine the eventual winner.
The ICC World Twenty20 is a spectacular world stage for players to showcase their skills as a number of franchise owners from the IPL, BBL and CPL along with their talent scouts will be playing close attention as franchises are always on the lookout to hire the best players.
The ICC World Twenty20 is a relatively new format and was started in 2007. The tournament is usually made up of the 10 ICC test teams as well as a number of cricketing minnows. The tournament is scheduled to be held every two years and the venues change for each tournament.
The 2007 tournament was held in South Africa while the last tournament in 2012 took place on the island of Sri Lanka. Till date, there are 4 tournaments that have taken place and the 5th tournament will take place in 2014.
Most of these T20 matches are played under lights and the stadium is usually turned into an entertainment venue with cheerleaders, high profile DJ’s and a team of international commentators calling these matches. These events are attended by a number of celebrities from across the world and the after parties receive a lot of media attention.
The 2014 tournament takes place during March and April, which will also be peak summer in Bangladesh. Players can expect sweltering heat and humidity and the chances of a match being abandoned due to rain are extremely slim.
There are three formats in cricket: The Test format which takes place over a period of 5 days and gives each team two innings. The One Day International format which gives each team 50 overs per side. The Twenty20 format which gives each team only 20 overs per match. This is why the tournament is referred to as the Twenty20 format.
The reason is it called the World Twenty20 is because all ICC members take part in the tournament and compete against each other to determine the eventual winner. Hence, it is played on a global scale with all the cricketing nations taking part. The eventual winner is awarded the status of a World Twenty20 champion as during the tournament they play hard and have to win consistently to be the eventual winners.
The first ICC World Twenty20 tournament in 2007 was held in South Africa and was won by India. This was the exact push that the Twenty20 format needed as the cricket crazy nation of India was thrilled to see their team lift the world championship and soon the Indian Premier League (India’s domestic T20 format) took center stage to become one of the richest leagues in the world.
The 2009 edition took place in England and was won by Pakistan, who were also runners up in the 2007 tournament. The next tournament took place in 2010 in the West Indies and was won by England. The 2012 edition took place in Sri Lanka and the tournament was won by the West Indies, who will look to defend their championship in Bangladesh during 2014.
Winning the ICC World Twenty20 not only brings recognition and reward to the players but also sparks a huge interest in cricket as the West Indies found out in 2012. After a decline for almost a decade, the 2012 victory proved to be just what the Caribbean nation needed as it helped to boost interest all over the West Indies once again.
The tournament for the first time will feature 16 teams in 2014, 10 of which will be the regular ICC team members. The ICC is doing this to encourage cricketing minnows to make their mark in the Twenty20 format and see if they can compete with some of the big names. The 6 ICC associate members will be determined after they compete in a ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
The 10 ICC members are a given and they will be England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Australia, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
England – Will be captained by Stuart Broad and their star batsmen will be Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and Alex Hales.
New Zealand – Will be captained by Brendon McCullum and their star batsmen will be Ross Taylor, Jess Ryder and all rounder Daniel Vettori.
South Africa – Captained by Faf Du Plessis, South Africa is filled with high profile names from AB Devillers, new kid on the block Quinton de Kock and fast bowler Dale Steyn.
Sri Lanka – Captained by Angelo Matthews, they will be counting on the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, T Dilshan and Thisara Perera.
India – Will be one of the tournament favourites and will be captained by MS Dhoni. Their star players include Virat Kohli, S Dhawan and Suresh Raina.
Pakistan – Will be captained by Misbah ul Haq and will feature a number of new players. Some of their key players will include Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and world class spinner Saeed Ajmal.
Australia – Captained by George Bailey, the Aussies have a number of stars such as Dave Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
West Indies – The defending champions will be captained by Darren Sammy and the players to watch out for include the most destructive batsmen in Twenty20 cricket, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels.
While Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are not expected to pose any serious threats to these established teams, Bangladesh could pull off the odd upset as they are playing at home and know the conditions well.
The tournament will see the teams split into two groups. Group 1 will comprise of 4 of the seeded teams, while Group 2 will have the other 4 seeded teams. There will also be two qualifying teams from the 2013 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier and one team will make their way into Group 1 and the other to Group 2.
Each group will play their respective teams once and points will be awarded points based on the following criterias: There will be 2 points for a win, 0 points for a loss and 1 point if the match is abandoned due to rain.
This stage of the tournament is known as the round robin stage and the teams will be rated based on the points they score. After the round robin stage, there will be a Super 8 and based on those results there will be a semi final and then the grand finals.
Given the amount of exposure and anticipation for this event, you will find futures bets on who will win the trophy well in advance of the tournament even starting. Sometimes more than a year. This simply goes to show how popular this tournament is.
If you want to bet on the World Championship of Twenty20, you can take a pick: all of the respectable online betting sites will offer bets on these matches, and most will also feature many different prop bets to boot. As always, we will recommend checking out Bet365 as it is the top bookie when it comes to betting on cricket online.