Twenty20 cricket, sometimes written Twenty-20, and often abbreviated to T20, is a short form of cricket. At the professional level, it was originally introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the inter-county competition in England and Wales. In a Twenty20 game the two teams have a single innings each, which is restricted to a maximum of 20 overs. Together with first-class and List A cricket, Twenty20 is one of the three current forms of cricket recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as being at the highest international or domestic level. It was introduced to create a fast-paced form of the game which would be attractive to spectators at the ground and viewers on television. The game has succeeded in spreading around the cricket world. On most international tours there is at least one Twenty20 match and all Test-playing nations have a domestic cup competition. The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 was played in South Africa in 2007.
T20 Leagues: Several T20 leagues started after the popularity of 2007 ICC World Twenty20. BCCI started franchised based Indian Premier League in 2008 which sustained continuous popularity till date in 10 seasons. Big Bash League, Bangladesh Premier League, Pakistan Super League, Caribbean Premier League started thereafter and remained popular with the fans. Women's Big Bash League was started in 2015 by Cricket Australia, while Kia Super League was started in England and Wales in 2016.
A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket, played between two of the top members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in which each team faces 20 overs. The matches have top-class status and are the highest T20 standard.
General rules: The Laws of cricket apply to Twenty20, with some exceptions:
- Each bowler may bowl a maximum of only one-fifth of the total overs per innings. For a full, uninterrupted match, this is 4 overs.
- If a bowler delivers a no-ball by overstepping the popping crease, it costs 1 run and his next delivery is designated a "free-hit". In this circumstance the batsman can only be dismissed through a run out, hitting the ball twice or obstructing the field.
The following fielding restrictions apply:
- No more than five fielders can be on the leg side at any time.
- During the first six overs, a maximum of two fielders can be outside the 30-yard circle (this is known as the powerplay).
- After the first six overs, a maximum of five fielders can be outside the fielding circle.
- If the fielding team does not start to bowl their 20th over within 75 minutes, the batting side is credited an extra six runs for every whole over bowled after the 75-minute mark; the umpire may add more time to this if he believes the batting team is wasting time.
Tie deciders: Currently, if the match ends with the scores tied and there must be a winner, the tie is broken with a one over per side Eliminator or Super Over: Each team nominates three batsmen and one bowler to play a one-over per side "mini-match". The team which bats second in the match bats first in the Super Over. In turn, each side bats one over bowled by the one nominated opposition bowler, with their innings over if they lose two wickets before the over is completed. The side with the higher score from their Super Over wins. If the super over also ends up in a tie, the team that has scored the most boundaries (4s+6s) in the 20 overs wins.