What is T20 cricket?

November 5, 2021

Fans celebrating at the Oval during a cricket match

T20 cricket is one of the most explosive and exciting forms of the game we all love and enjoy. The fast-paced format is designed to entertain from ball one to the last. The format encourages batsmen to thump fours and bludgeon sixes to all corners of the ground. However, scoring lots of runs is not always as easy as it sounds. You have bowlers bowling speeds up to 90mph, intuitive tactics from the captains or spinners turning the ball sideways, all of this makes for exciting watching.


So, how does this explosive format work - we take a look below.


What are the rules?


Two teams take it in turns to bat and bowl, each team has 20 overs (120 balls) to score as many runs as they can or in the bowling teams' case, take 10 wickets as quickly as possible. The team who bats first sets the target required for the team batting second to acquire to win the game; for the team bowling second, they either have to take ten wickets before the other team reaches their batting score or restrict them getting the target within the allotted overs to win. 


Each bowler is limited to a maximum of 4 overs, meaning teams need a minimum of 5 bowlers. The fielding team also have rules to follow. During the first six overs of an innings only 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle, this is known as the batting powerplay. After this, 5 fielders are then allowed outside the 30-yard circle. The batting powerplay is there to encourage and allow batsmen to score runs quickly at the start. There's also a time limit for the bowling team to adhere to, if they don't bowl their 20 overs in the allotted time (75 minutes) penalty runs are awarded to the batting team.


Are there tournaments or competitions?


T20 cricket is played all around the world, with many different competitions varying from grass roots to international level. There are professional domestic leagues too with some of the biggest in India (The IPL) and Australia (The Big Bash) but, we too have our own competition here in England called the Vitality Blast. The Vitality Blast is where 18 counties compete against each other to see who's the top team in the country. On the international stage countries play against one another during their different tours but, once every 4 years there's a T20 World Cup where the top 12 countries battle it out to see who's the best!


Please click here to see the fixtures were currently on sale for.


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