T20 cricket is the shortest of cricket’s three primary formats and has become the most popular across the world. The premise of the game is much the same as any other version of cricket – whoever scores the most runs in an 11-players-per-side contest wins – but T20 is condensed into 20 overs per side, leading to more explosive batting, riskier shot selection and more variety from bowlers.
A six-over powerplay at the beginning of each innings comes with fielding restrictions, whereby only two fielders are permitted outside a 30-yard inner ring. After the end of the sixth over, however, five players can be positioned by the captain outside the inner ring. Whereby in Test matches there are no restrictions on the number of overs bowled by each bowler, and in ODI cricket 10 overs can be allocated to each, in T20 each bowler may throw down a maximum of four overs.
Any delivery which passes the batsman down the legside will be deemed a wide, with a run added to the batting team’s score and an extra ball added to the over. Front-foot no balls are punished by a free hit, whereby the batsman on strike the next delivery can only be out run out – ie not bowled, caught, lbw, stumped.
T20 Teams in Cricket
T20 cricket has become hugely popular across the world, particularly thanks to the relatively short time a match takes up. The ICC’s recent decision to award T20 International status to all their Associate members means that the game has been exported further around the globe.
The spread of the format has been underlined by the number of franchise tournaments springing up in all areas of the planet.
Each of the major Test-playing nations now has an established domestic competition, as listed below.
- Australia – Big Bash
- England – T20 Blast
- India – Indian Premier League
- New Zealand – Super Smash
- Pakistan – Pakistan Super League
- South Africa – Mzanzi Super League
- West Indies – Caribbean Premier League
The world’s best T20 players can often be found jetsetting from tournament to tournament over the course of the year, with very few of the competitions clashing with one another. The majority of these tournaments have been created for franchises, rather than accommodating longstanding regional sides; in fact, this is true for every country other than England, which still employs a county system in its T20 Blast.
T20 cricket was the brainchild of former ECB marketing manager Stuart Robertson, who coined the format in 2001 as his organisation desperately searched for ways to reinvigorate the sport. In 2003, the first formal professional version of the format – then the Twenty20 Cup, now the T20 Blast – was launched in England and Wales, and it proved to be a roaring success.
Two years later, Australia and New Zealand squared up in the first men’s T20 international (England and New Zealand’s women had actually contested the first international T20 match in August 2004) and by 2007 a World Cup had been created. The first Women’s World T20 followed in 2009.
The boom of T20 came with the establishment in 2008 of the Indian Premier League, a franchise competition which quickly came renowned for assembling the best short-form cricketers in the world in one place. It is IPL teams such as Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians which have become some of the best-known brands in world cricket as a result.
Australia took notice of the rise of the IPL and in 2011 launched the Big Bash, an eight-team franchise event that saw a huge rise in attendances during its first six seasons. Its women’s competition, the WBBL, has played a major part in Australia’s dominance of the international scene in the female game and has now become a stand-alone tournament in its own right.
Now, T20 cricket is played in franchise form all around the world – with country’s such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and even Canada enticing top talent to play in their annual events.
T20 Betting Odds types
Total match sixes: The number of times the ball clears the boundary in the entire game.
Total match fours: As above but for fours instead of sixes
Total team match sixes: The number of times a specific team clears the boundary over the course of their innings.
Total team match fours: As above but for fours instead of sixes
Batsman match runs: You can gamble on whether a specific player is going to score more or fewer than a set number of runs in the game. For example, odds will be placed on Chris Gayle score more or fewer than 27.5.
T20 specific strategies
There are some areas of cricket betting which are particularly relevant to the T20 format.
Be wary of placing too much emphasis on the contribution of batsmen lower down the order. With just 120 balls to face in the innings, the bulk of the runs are usually going to come from the top four.
Dot ball pressure can often pre-empty a wicket or a boundary. When betting in play, the probability of a four, six or wicket increases with the number of balls faced without scoring which precede it. Keep an eye out.
Sixes in the match. T20 batting is going through a revolution, with power becoming absolutely critical. West Indians such as Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell are redefining what it is to be an impactful batsman in the format, and their strike rates and six-hitting potential are substantially higher than the average. Find games where total match sixes are likely to be much higher than predicted by the bookie by picking matches involving one or more of these new-generation power-hitters.