T20 International Cricket History
T20 cricket was first played in the early 2000s when the England & Wales Cricket Board needed a tournament to fill the space of another that had dropped away. In an attempt to regain sponsorship and pull crowds back into the stadium they came up with the T20 format in order to shorten the time spent at the ground and increase the excitement.
The first men’s international T20 match was played on 17 February 2005 where Australia defeated New Zealand at Eden Park. The game has not looked back since. It was also the first time that a format of cricket had not begun with a match between England and Australia - the two nations that played the first ODI and Test match according to official records.
T20 cricket has taken off with a number of countries starting their own T20 provincial or franchise leagues. It has brought money back into the game but often to the detriment of international cricket.
The demand for T20 has however increased to the point where there have been tours of only T20 cricket and it is expected that it will be commonplace in years to come.
T20 cricket has since its inauguration followed very much the same principles of ODI cricket. The fielding restrictions, named as a mandatory powerplay, lasts for the first six overs of each batting innings. During these six overs the fielding side is only allowed to have two fielders outside of the 30 yard circle.
After the first six overs are completed the fielding team may have five fielders outside the 30 yard circle.
Much like ODI cricket, the overs are divided by five and thus forcing each team to at least have five bowlers in their line-up. In T20 cricket each bower is allowed a maximum of four overs.
T20 cricket can also not have a tie, unlike ODI and Test cricket. If there is a tie at the end of the match a super over will take place with each team getting one over to score as many runs as possible. The one who scores more in that one over wins the match.
T20 International Teams
In total 76 nations have played T20 cricket in the men’s game. This includes all Test playing nations who compete against each other on regular occasions on tour. There is also the T20 Cricket World Cup every four years.
Many T20 matches are played during tours, usually before or after the ODIs take place. These T20 series generally comprise of three or five matches. While T20 cricket is taken very seriously many nations still use it as an introductory into the international fold. Many youngsters are given the opportunity to sink or swim before gaining higher honours for ODI and ultimately Test cricket.
Below is a list of all international men's teams that have played T20 cricket at the dates where each made their debut.