With an estimated 2.5 billion fans worldwide, cricket is the second-most popular sport after football. The International Cricket Council (ICC) aims to make the sport even bigger by making it accessible to more countries, players, and fans.
Currently, 125 countries play professional cricket. The game continues to be embraced by cultures worldwide. For example, in Ireland, as of 2019, there were over 1000 cricket clubs. Namibia has an active school league where children receive cricket coaching. Vietnam has slowly embraced the sport since its Cricket association was formed in 2005.
This year cricket fans will be treated to 45 exciting T20 matches at the 8th edition of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022. T20 (Twenty20) is the short version of a classic cricket match, where each team is allowed to score as many runs as possible in 20 overs. It was introduced in 2003, but within a few years, the T20 format took off, becoming the most popular and thrilling form of cricket.
Here are five of the best T20 teams in the world:
Pakistan's performance in T20 international events has been remarkable. They finished at the runners-up position in the World Cup inaugural edition in 2007, emerged winners in 2009, defeating Sri Lanka, and have made three semifinal appearances.
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India is known for its cricketing prowess. According to the ICC T20 ranking, the nation is number 1. The team has participated in every T20 Cricket World Cup since the 1st edition in 2007. In the same year, they went on to lift the trophy after beating Pakistan by five runs.
Since then, they have an excellent record in the tournament. In 2014 they lost in the final to Sri Lanka, and in 2016 they exited in the semifinal stage. Between 2007 and 2021, the team played a total of 38 T20 World Cup matches; they won 23 and lost 13. The team was under the leadership of Captain MS Dhoni (2007-2016) and Virat Kohli (2021).
With Rohit Sharma as the new captain and batsman KL Rahul serving as his deputy, the team has all the talent to triumph in T20 cricket.
Being on the losing side for six T20 editions (from 2007 to 2016), Australia found success in 2021 when they won their first T20 World Cup trophy in Dubai. However, they have excelled in the ODI format, having won on five occasions in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015.
In recent years, the T20 format is becoming more popular as the country has strong T20 domestic tournaments. The Big Bash League is one of the tournaments that features the best local and international players.
West Indies have had two T20 World Cup victories, in 2012 and 2016. They are the only team to win the T20 international event on more than one occasion.
Despite not qualifying for the 2022 competition, the Windies played a pivotal part in bringing T20 cricket to the international scene. They were among the teams chosen to play this form of cricket at the 1st edition in 2007.
They are also famous for their very entertaining style of play, leaving the rest of the nations to play catch-up with West Indies' T20 playing methods.
Not only is England ranked high in the football World Cup it's also one of the best teams in all three cricket formats; test matches, ODIs, and T20. Their victory in the 2010 T20 World Cup was followed by a close win in 2016 after losing in the finals.
As per the international T20 ranking, they are currently in position two. With professional cricketers such as Jos Buttler, Harry Brook and Alex Hales, England will still be a dominating team in the T20 arena.