The latest and the shortest format of cricket the Twenty20 cricket was invented in the first decade of this century. It was England where the Twenty20 or T20 format was first tried but, because of its interesting format, it took the rest of the cricketing world by storm. When the first-ever ICC World T20 happened in South Africa in 2007, one would not believe that not many cricket-playing countries have played enough number of T20 internationals before the start of that event.
India, Australia, West Indies, Pakistan who are now the epicenters of various T20 leagues have played only a handful of T20 international games, and most of them were just for fun and recreation, and to get rid of stress provided by the tight international cricket calendar. Not only this but the BCCI who controls the cricket in India was at one point of time not willing to send its team for the first-ever T20 World Cup in South Africa.
But the success and ever so growing interest in this format in India forced BCCI not only to accept it but also commence the Indian Premier League the very next year in 2008. Later Australia, Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa, and many other cricket-playing countries followed BCCI’s example and started money-minting T20 leagues in their own countries as well.
Because this format allows the result within three hours and every ball has its own exciting story to tell it attracts huge crowds in the stadium and viewers before the television sets worldwide. Yet, the ICC was a bit conservative in allowing too many T20I bilateral series, fearing that the T20 format may have bad effects on the One Day International format and may kill the real cricket, ‘Test Cricket.’
Probably that is the reason we find that from 2007 till 2016 there have been T20 World Cups almost every second year, but there were not many T20 international games during that period. But after 2016 we have seen an increase in the number of T20 international games across the cricketing world and there has been not a single ICC World T20.
The 7th edition of the ICC World T20 was due to play in 2020 in Australia, but because of the COVID-19 situation it was first postponed and now it will be played in October 2021 in the UAE and will be hosted by India. The T20 World Cup may not have a long history but it certainly has an exciting history to tell. So let us know who are the winners of the ICC T20 World Cup to date?
T20 World Cup 2007 – Host: South Africa – Winners: India
As mentioned above not many teams were ‘well versed’ with the new format of Twenty20 when the first-ever T20 World Cup was organized in South Africa in the year 2007, and BCCI was also not that eager to even send its team in this event. Hence, the Indian team was a mixture of a few known faces and many unknown and young faces. The captaincy was given to a young captain named Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
India did well in the preliminary round and they even tied the game against their arch-rival Pakistan, although they won the two points by winning the bowl-out. In the semi-finals, they clinched an unlikely win against Australia. Then in the finals, India again met Pakistan and with the help of Gautam Gambhir, they posted a satisfactory score or 157 for 5. But, Pakistan came very close and in the nerve-breaking chase, they lost by just 5 runs in the very last over of the game.
T20 World Cup 2009 – Host: England – Winners: Pakistan
Pakistanis narrowly missed the first T20 World Cup win in South Africa but they won the 2009 finals pretty comfortably. Pakistan defeated South Africa in the semi-finals by just 7 runs and met Sri Lanka in the finals that defeated West Indies in the second semi-final.
In Finals Sri Lanka could manage only 136 for 6 in the stipulated 20 overs with the help of the captain’s knock of 64 runs from 52 balls by Kumar Sangakkara. But the captain of the Pakistan team Shahid Afridi did a better job and hit 54 runs in no time and Pakistan chased the target with 8 balls in spare.
T20 World Cup 2010 – Host: West Indies – Winners: England
The 50 overs world cup in 2007 in the West Indies was a flop show on many accounts; one of them was the lack of crowd in the stadium. But when it came to the shortest version of the game the West Indians came to the stadiums in big numbers.
The T20 Ashes were in the cards when England met Australia in the finals of that T20 World Cup. England defeated Sri Lanka and Australia won against Pakistan in their respective semi-finals, and both won them pretty comfortably. Batting first Australia made 147 for 6, thanks to a last-minute charge by David Hussey and Cameron White. Despite losing an early wicket, England chased down the target with massive 18 balls to spare. Craig Kieswetter played a blinder of 63 runs innings. This was England’s first ICC title in their cricketing history.
T20 World Cup 2012 – Host: Sri Lanka – Winners: West Indies
Sri Lanka, the host of this event was the hot favorite to win it as well. In the semi-finals, Sri Lanka had a comfortable game against Pakistan and won the game by 16 runs. While in the other semi-final West Indies demolished Australia by 74 runs.
The final was expected to be exciting but West Indies struggled to reach 137 for 6 in their 20 overs. Only Marlon Samuels could hold the fort by scoring 78 runs from 56 balls. Sri Lankans were expected to chase down this target easily, considering their record in the tournament, but they collapsed and got all out for just 101 runs, handing over the victory to the West Indies by 36 runs. This was West Indies’ first-ever ICC Trophy win since 1979’s 50 overs world cup.
T20 World Cup 2014 – Host: Bangladesh – Winners: Sri Lanka
Finally, after featuring in the knock-out games for most of the time Sri Lanka got the taste of victory in the T20 World Cup finals. India who defeated South Africa in the semi-finals was also looking to win the cup the first time after 2007’s epic win.
With the help of Virat Kohli’s 58 balls 77 runs, India put an unsatisfactory total of 130 for four in 20 overs. Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara was in no mood to skip this opportunity and he scored a match-winning half-century and Sri Lanka won the game with 13 balls to spare and 6 wickets in hand.
T20 World Cup 2016 – Host: India – Winners: West Indies
West Indies forced India to surrender in the semi-finals whereas England had a comfortable outing against New Zealand as they won the second semi-final by 7 wickets.
In final England scored 155 for 9 with the help of Joe Root’s decent knock of 54 runs. All was well for England until the last over of the game was bowled by Ben Stokes. Carlos Brathwaite hit 4 sixes in Stokes’ first 4 balls and the game came to a sudden end. Commentator and former West Indian player Ian Bishop cried out loud by saying “remember the name, Carlos Brathwaite’! which later became an epic line in the history of cricket. West Indies became only the first team to win two T20 world cups.
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