Ground Report | New Delhi: Why is T20 cricket Popular; The shortest T20 format of cricket was in the past just played and watched for fun. However, this format, full of squares and sixes, became the favorite format of cricket fans. Today, it has become a major source of income not only for the players but also for the cricket board and the ICC. The 7th T20 World Cup will start on October 17 in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Why is T20 cricket Popular?
In 2002, the Benson and Hedges Cup, a one-day tournament in English county cricket, was canceled due to a ban on tobacco advertising in the country, bringing a break in the domestic season. Meanwhile, Stuart Robertson, marketing manager for the England and Wales Cricket Board, suggested Twenty20 matches. This format was then only played at the amateur or junior level, AFP reported.
Twenty-over matches were approved to attract young spectators to cricket. As a result, the first official T20 match was played in 2003. The large attendance of more than 27,000 spectators at the match was the first glimpse of the popularity of the T20 format.
The first International T20 match
Compared to five-day Test matches and one-day ODIs, the T20 is also preferred because it ends in just three to four hours like a football match. Its competitions are usually thrilling and full of action.
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The first international T20 match was played between Australia and New Zealand in 2005 at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. The seriousness of the match was that both teams wore memorable color kits from the 1980s and some players wore artificial beards and mustaches. Ricky Ponting, the Australian player who gave a great performance in this match, said that it is very difficult to play this format seriously.
Pakistan v India – T20 World Cup Final
In view of the growing popularity of T20, the International Cricket Council held the first T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. The final match of the tournament between traditional rivals Pakistan and India was decided on the last ball. India defeated Pakistan after a thrilling contest.
The popularity of this format also reached its peak when India, the country with the largest number of cricket fans in the world, won the title of world champion in T20. The Indian Cricket Board took the opportunity to inaugurate the first T20 league in 2008 under the name Indian Premier League.
The unique and colorful style of the IPL event also changed the mood of the cricketers and fans. Superstars from all over the world were seen playing together in this tournament. The richest owners of franchise teams began to pay huge sums of money to add international players to their teams. At the same time, there was a growing interest in advertising for the T20s from sponsors.
Lack of interest in Test cricket
After the IPL, a series of T20 leagues like Big Bash, Caribbean League and Pakistan Super League started in different countries. Now it is becoming difficult for the ICC to fix the schedule of international matches, as the organizers of all leagues want as many international players as possible to be available for their tournament.