The T20 format of the game is the newest and the most condensed form of cricket which was introduced by the English in 2003, with a jingle that went, “I don’t like cricket, I love it!” This was primarily done to counter the quickly dwindling crowds. The most powerful cricket body in the BCCI, was the slowest to catch on the format, but the first ICC World T20 that was held in 2007 in South Africa changed the way the game was perceived.
India beat Pakistan in a thrilling final of the 2007 World T20 and that set the ball rolling for a greater chance to market the sport in a better manner, so much that it will soon be introduced in the Asian games as a discipline in 2010.
The ICC World T20, better known as the World Cup for the T20 format, has been contested by 12 teams so far; usually all the ten test playing nations, and a couple of other qualifiers. Zimbabwe hasn’t been allowed to participate in the second edition of the tournament, because of the sanctions that have been levied by the British government – where the tournament will be played – on Zimbabwe.
Matches are held between teams in the same manner as its longer cousin, the fifty-over format, with each team getting to bat for twenty overs. The first round consists of four groups of three teams each, and the top two teams from each group advance to the second round, which is also called as the Super Eights.
In the Super Eights, the eight teams which qualify from the first round are then divided into two groups of four teams each and another round-robin ensues. Two top teams from both the groups make it to the semi-finals which is a knock-out and the winner of the semi-finals earn the right to play each other in the grand finale.
This format is expected to finish in around three overs, and is usually played in the evenings to attract most people, thus making it very interesting for the common fan.