The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup has begun with the game between Oman and Papua New Guinea at Oman Cricket Academy Ground, Al Amerat, Muscat, Oman.
Even though India is the actual organiser of this year’s event, all the matches have been shifted from India to the United Arab Emirates and Oman due to the potential threat of Coronavirus spread in the initial organising nation.
The tournament will come to an end on the 14th of next month at Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, UAE.
A Cricket World Cup for the shortest version of the game first unveiled itself in South Africa back in 2007. The first edition was so successful that it changed the whole complexion of the game.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) brought the notion of large-scale commercialisation and the advent of franchise-based domestic leagues in cricket. Such ideologies received a massive boost after the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup had been won by India.
As a result, in the following year, world’s most celebrated and influential domestic cricket tournament Indian Premier League (IPL) began its journey.
The T20 World Cup 2007 is also widely known for Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes in an over – something that has been an advertisement of flamboyance in cricket since then.
Afterwards, the cricket fans have witnessed another five editions of the World Cup. Each one of them has proven to be a bigger success than the preceding one.
The second and the third editions of the World Cup T20 took place in successive years – 2009 and 2010. England was the host nation of the former one which was won by Pakistan. The Caribbeans hosted the latter one where England won their first-ever ICC trophy.
The next three editions were held on a biannual basis – 2012, 2014, and 2016. All of them were organised by the Asian nations – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India respectively.
West Indies were the winners of both 2012 and 2016 editions, becoming the first-ever country to have two T20 World Cups. The middle one in 2014 was won by Sri Lanka.
The seventh edition was originally supposed to be organised by Australia in 2020. However, due to the global pandemic, ICC decided to postpone it until this year. Australia then exchanged the hosting rights with India, who were originally supposed to host the eighth edition.
This 45-match-long seventh edition consists of 16 participating teams fighting for the title. The hosts India and the top-ranked nine teams as of December 31, 2018, were awarded a direct qualification in the main rounds.
Of them, the top seven teams alongside India are placed directly in Super 12 whereas Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will have to play the First Round. The rest six teams have qualified through the 2019 ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier played in the UAE.
The First Round will be contested between eight teams divided into Group A and B with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the Super 12. Then the Super 12 once again splits the teams into Group 1 and 2 with the group champions and runners-up moving towards the knock-out stage comprising Semi-Finals and the Final.
Just like the previous editions, this year’s T20 World Cup has arrived with more fireworks, emotions, and enthusiasm than before. As the last edition ended with an exuberant Ian Bishop chanting, “Carlos Brathwaite … Carlos Brathwaite. Remember the name,” the fans are unequivocally ready for reliving such moments with their own heroes raising the bat in ecstasy.
The writer is currently studying at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (IBA-DU).