Dubbed as the national summer sport of England, cricket’s popularity within the nation knowns no bounds. Even royals such as the beloved Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince William play for fun every so often. Today, this highly competitive game is played in different parts of the globe, including Australia, India, Pakistan, and many other countries.
Typically played with a bat and a ball, a team of 11 players compete with other participating teams, with the batting team aiming to strike and pass the ball through the wicket. Meanwhile, the other team is left to defend their stance. An umpire officiates the match, making for an exciting game to watch.
For a beginner and or an outsider looking in, cricket may seem challenging with its many rules and its even bigger tournaments. After all, there are varied matches that span for a single, after to contests, which span several days. Read on to learn more about the top cricket tournaments today.
International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup
The first-ever tournament launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) was the World Cup in 1975. The Cricket World Cup is an international competition held every four years. This particular contest holds one-day cricket competitions across participating teams from all over the world. At the end of the day, the best team is declared as the world champion.
There are normally two stages within the World Cup, namely the qualification or testing stage and the tournament itself. The qualification stage includes 10 teams competing against other groups. The top four teams who emerge victoriously will proceed to the tournament stage. Although the main event is a one-day affair, the whole tournament can last over a month.
International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy
Years after the World Cup was held, the ICC established the first Champions Trophy in 1998, primarily to raise financial aid towards countries that had little to no access to cricket, such as Bangladesh and Kenya. Because of its warm reception and commercial success, the ICC continues this initiative until this day.
Like its predecessor, the Champions Trophy, previously touted as the KnockOut Tournament until 2002, it is also held every four years. Often, the competition lasts for two and a half weeks, taking on a smaller scale, thus earning the title, ‘Mini World Cup’. Today, the Champions Trophy observes a round-robin format with eight teams in pools of four. The two emerging teams will progress to the next round, with 15 matches played in total.
International Cricket Council (ICC) Intercontinental Cup
The first Intercontinental Cup was established by the ICC during 2004. According to ESPN, the competition was designed to provide additional Associate Members of the ICC exposure to first-class matches. Associates are members who do not qualify for full membership and do not play in the two higher tournaments. However, the ICC recognizes that cricket is established well in the country.
Unlike the two other competitions, the Intercontinental Cup is played over two and a half years. Eight teams participate in these rounds over four-day matches. The Intercontinental Cup may be played in a country’s home nation or another setting.
ICC T20 World Cup
The very first ICC T20 World Cup, previously known as the ICC World Twenty20, was launched in South Africa in 2007. The creation of this new niche in the cricket industry stemmed from T20’s popularity when it was introduced in 2003 in attempts to engage with younger generations and being in more sponsorships. Under T20, there were new rules for hitting and scoring. In the same way, the matches observed under this new niche were significantly fast-paced and more exciting compared to their lengthier counterparts.
In keeping with the name of excitement, the T20 World Cup features a vibrant atmosphere complete with cheerleaders and loud music. The event is held every two years, with the ICC overseeing matches for both the men’s and women’s teams.
These four top cricket tournaments are just some of the widely held and recognized gatherings in the name of the sports. If you are a budding enthusiast who’s keen on following the events in the world of cricket, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these highly competitive matches.