Introduction to T20 International in Cricket – What is It?

Do check this guidepost as we take this chance to explain to you in full detail the workings of T20 International in cricket sport.

In cricket, the T20 international has been ruling the 21st century. The Twenty20 format maintains a high standard and top-class reputation in international cricket.

Maintaining the dynamic pace of a game, attracted a new set of audience to the shorter format of cricket.

Specifically, the T20 international has promised to provide complete action-packed entertainment for all cricket fans.

Compared to the other limited-overs cricket formats, the basic rules in a T20 match are the same. But, the innings are limited to 20 overs per side (including 6 balls per over). 

Within a short time, T20 cricket gained popularity, thereby motivating the nations to launch their franchise league. 

Moreover, the fascinating rules and ICC World Cup tournaments in Twenty20 international cricket gather a huge fan base globally.

Meanwhile, some of the T20 international star cricketers like Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Rohit Sharma, and Babar Azam have created many stunning records in the format.

Before knowing the rules, it would be intriguing to explore what is T20 International and its history in detail…

What is T20 international cricket?

Teams in T20 international cricket gain valuable experience by playing super-fast games at a rapid pace against different nations.

The concept behind introducing a T20 game was to create a compact and spirited version of cricket, unlike the traditional formats like tests and ODIs.

A duration of 3 to 3.5 hours is allocated for the entire T20 match, thereby retaining the engagement rate of the spectators.

Contrary to the test and ODIs, every dot ball in a T20 match is a boon for the bowling side and a bane for the batting team.

Each team gets only 20 overs to bat in an innings and make a thrilling match with a high-scoring total. The electrifying crowd boosts a batsman’s spirit, thereby inspiring them to play fierce shots that clear the boundary ropes by smashing fours and sixes.

History of T20 international cricket and its popularity

The T20 cricket was originated in England in 2003. To attract a new and younger audience who cannot afford time amidst their hectic lifestyle, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) introduced a new concept.

The inaugural T20 match was played between Surrey and Warwickshire at The Oval, London on 13th June 2003. Following the success, the development of the T20 international cricket rapidly took place.

Notably, New Zealand and Australia played the first T20 international match in  2005 at Auckland. Australia scored 214-5 in 20 overs and restricted New Zealand to 170-10 in 20 overs. From then onwards, the format gained massive popularity.

The ICC (International Cricket Council) officially introduced the first World Cup of the shortest format. As a result, South Africa hosted the opening ICC T20 World Cup in September 2007.

Since India won the inaugural edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the format achieved huge commercial success globally. Consequently, India launched its maiden franchise league in the subsequent year popularly known as the “Indian Premier League (IPL)”.

Similarly, the concept of an IPL tournament inspired many nations to commence their domestic T20 leagues, attracting top players all over the globe. Some of the popular franchise leagues in recent times include:

  1. Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
  2. Big Bash League (BBL)
  3. Pakistan Super League (PSL)
  4. Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)
  5. Lanka Premier League (LPL)

Fascinating Rules of T20 International Cricket

Interestingly, the rules and regulations of a T20 cricket game seem to be like a compressed version of an ODI match. All the dismissal methods apply in a T20 match similar to the other formats of cricket.

Here are the fascinating and important rules of T20 international cricket:

1. Powerplay Overs and fielding restrictions:

During the first 6 overs of the powerplay, only two fielders can be positioned outside the 30-yard circle.

It stimulates the batting side in T20 international to play aggressive shots and score maximum runs during this period.

2. Substitute  Fielders:

In T20 international cricket, the bowling team can appoint a maximum of 2 substitute fielders, in case of any injury or illness issues.

 3. Fielding restrictions after powerplay:

Post the powerplay show, a team’s skipper can place a maximum of 5 fielders outside the 30-yard circle.

4. Leg Side Fielding Restrictions:

Initially, in the 6 overs, a maximum of 5 fielders can be placed on the leg side, which includes a wicket-keeper as well.

After the 6th over, a maximum number of 7 fielders can be arranged on the leg side. It retains the wicket-keeper’s position as well in T20 international cricket matches.

At the same time, only 2 fielders position themselves behind square leg. 

5. Specified overs for a bowler:

A bowler can bowl up to 4 overs in a T20 match. Ultimately, the reduced limited overs enhance the aggressive bowling skills of a bowler in T20 international, aiming to bowl yorker deliveries.

6. Super Over:

In case of a tie-match in a T20 contest, the match officials allocate a super over per side.

Importantly, in limited-overs cricket like One Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20 internationals (T20Is), a batting side can involve up to 3 batsmen in a super over.

Whereas, the bowling team needs to choose their only best bowler. Within these 6 balls, the batting side needs to score the maximum possible runs with the option of retaining only 2 wickets.

If the 2nd wicket falls in a super over, the batting side will be unable to continue, irrespective of the remaining deliveries. As a result, the opponent team’s batsmen get padded up to chase the target within an over.

Finally, the team defending the super-over target wins the match. Similarly, the teams chasing the target achieve triumph.

Especially, in IPL tournaments, fans witnessed super over contests as “edge of the seat thriller” games.

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