Across its various formats of play, cricket is one of the more popular sports in the world. Since it became a globalised sport in the 20th century, the game has seen the establishment of a governing body (the International Cricket Council, or ICC), the growth of various formats (T20, One Day International, Test series) and the presence of multiple tournaments.
These tournaments have captured the passion of cricket enthusiasts and sports lovers worldwide. Fiyaz Mughal is one of those who loves cricket and supports the English national team. Like him, many others root for different countries or individual clubs and take every opportunity to watch their favourite teams play.
The top cricket tournaments that players aspire to participate in include:
ICC Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is undoubtedly the most prominent cricket tournament in the world and is held every four years. The event draws in a massive number of fans, both in stadiums and via broadcasts, mostly due to the superior quality of play and the stakes involved (the right to play against the world’s best teams and win the sport’s most coveted prize).
Teams that participate in the World Cup typically field their best squads to be crowned the best in the world. It’s a tournament that all participating teams want to win, with players going all-out to win the trophy for their fans and country. The World Cup is open to all members of the ICC, with automatic qualification given to the top-ranking teams. The rest of the participating teams qualify through the ICC World Cup Qualifier and the World Cricket League.
The first World Cup was held in June 1975 in England, the first of three consecutive World Cups held in the country. From 1987, the hosting of the tournament has been taken up by various countries.
The 2019 tournament was hosted by England and Wales, with the former emerging the winner after defeating New Zealand when the match ended in a tie after regular play and a subsequent super over. England triumphed due to having a greater boundary count than its opponents.
The Ashes is a series of Test cricket matches played between Australia and England. It’s regarded as one of the more popular Test series tournaments between cricket powerhouses, and every edition of the series serves up quality games and compelling storylines.
Traditionally, the two teams play five Test matches, with each country hosting the Series, in turn, every two years. Since the Ashes series started in 1882, a total of 71 series have taken place. Six series have ended in draws, with Australia winning 33 and England winning 32.
T20 World Cup
The T20 World Cup is a thrilling tournament for fans since the format used (teams play just 20 overs each) consumes less time and produces fast-paced play on the pitch. This format of the game has produced many exciting matches over the years, not to mention the highest volumes of sixes (boundary scores) in the game’s history.
The energy of the T20 World Cup is unmatched. 2020 will see the seventh edition of both the men’s and women’s tournaments played in Australia, with the latter scheduled between the 21st February and the 8th March and the former played between the 18th October and the 15th November.
Indian Premier League (IPL)
The IPL is a professional tournament played every year in India by eight teams. Established by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the league is popular among fans and players. The teams are a mix of both homegrown players and international players who together compete for over two months for a chance to win the lucrative tournament prize.