The International Cricket Council (ICC) hosts the ninth edition of its men’s T20 World Cup from June 1 in the Caribbean and the United States.

Cricket’s shortest format serves as the backbone of the most lucrative leagues worldwide and is responsible for bringing new fans to the game with its slap-bang nature.

Here’s a look at the brief history of the competition and the moments that mattered the most:

2007

Host: South Africa
Final: India vs Pakistan
Winner: India – by five runs
Teams: 12
Player of the tournament: Shahid Afridi

Predictably, this was a tournament of many firsts. There were 33 T20I player debuts, several individual and team records were set, and the world had its first T20 champion.

Chris Gayle scored the first T20I century with his 57-ball 117 in the opening match against South Africa.

Yuvraj Singh famously hit England fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over and in the process, broke the record for the fastest T20I half-century (50 off 12 balls).

India and Pakistan grabbed the headlines in two separate encounters. The rivals were locked in a tied match in the Super 8 stage, resulting in a first T20I bowl-out. Pakistan failed to hit the stumps in three attempts while India struck every time.

A final for the ages then set alight the cricketing world: India vs Pakistan, last-over finish.

Pakistan needed 13 before Misbah ul Haq brought the equation down to six off four. And then – Pakistan fans look away now – Misbah scooped Joginder Sharma to S Sreesanth at fine leg to set off wild celebrations. Misbah, shocked and heartbroken, remained on his haunches and India were crowned the first T20 world champions.

india t20 world cup 2007
India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team celebrate after they beat Pakistan to win the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on 24 September 2007 [File: Alexander Joe/AFP]

2009

Host: England
Final: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
Winner: Pakistan – by eight wickets
Teams: 12
Player of the tournament: Tillakaratne Dilshan

England’s home T20 World Cup got off to the worst possible start when they lost to the so-called minnows, the Netherlands, at Lord’s. The hosts still qualified for the Super 8s but that is where their campaign ended along with that of holders India and Australia, following two heavy losses.

Pakistan recovered from a typically slow start to find themselves in the semifinals where Shahid Afridi starred against a South Africa left rueing another last-four stutter.

Tillakaratne Dilshan’s unbeaten 96 off 57 helped Sri Lanka romp their semi with the West Indies by 57 runs.

The tournament was held a few months after the horrific armed attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus while on tour in Lahore, Pakistan. The pre-final anthems were especially poignant.

Teenage fast bowler Mohammad Amir removed Dilshan for a duck to set off a batting collapse that even Kumar Sangakkara’s 52-ball 64 could not resuscitate.

Afridi duly obliged in the chase with another half-century before posing at the end in his trademark star-man celebration.

shahid afridi t20 world cup 2009
Shahid Afridi celebrates after leading Pakistan to the T20 World Cup title at Lord’s in London on June 21, 2009 [File: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images]

2010

Host: West Indies
Final: Australia vs England
Winner: England – by seven wickets
Teams: 12
Player of the tournament: Kevin Pietersen

Scheduling changes meant that the West Indies hosted the 2010 tournament less than a year after the previous one.

Afghanistan made their mark with an impressive debut amidst the continuing war at home.

Australia found their typically unforgiving World Cup form on their way to the final. Needing 48 runs in the last three overs, Michael Hussey encapsulated the never-say-die Aussie attitude by dispatching Pakistan’s bowlers – Saeed Ajmal in particular – for four sixes and two fours.

England’s explosive batting lineup powered its way to the nation’s first World Cup which Paul Collingwood, Pietersen and co lifted after a seven-wicket win in Barbados.

england t20 world cup 2010
England’s cricket players celebrate winning their first T20 World Cup after defeating Australia in Bridgetown, Barbados on May 16, 2010. This was the first time England won an International Cricket Council tournament [File: Aijaz Rahi/AP]

2012

Host: Sri Lanka
Final: Sri Lanka vs West Indies
Winner: West Indies – by 36 runs
Teams: 12
Player of the tournament: Shane Watson

When the T20 World Cup finally arrived in South Asia, India – once again – fell short, despite beating arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets in the Super 8s.

Instead, Pakistan were the team to progress on net run rate to face Sri Lanka in the semis.

The hosts’ spin wizards Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath proved too wily for Pakistan as the Lankan lions roared into a home final.

They were joined by the big-hitting West Indies, who beat Australia by 74 runs after amassing 205 – the tournament’s joint-highest total – thanks to Gayle’s 41-ball 75.

In the final, Marlon Samuels capped an incredible year by scoring an unbeaten 78 runs while wickets fell all around him. The below-par target of 137 was enough as Sunil Narine spun a web to dismiss the hosts for 101 in 18.4 overs.

The Caribbean side’s win was termed the rebirth of West Indian cricket as Gayle and co danced away to the Korean pop hit Gangnam Style.

west indies t20 world cup 2012
Chris Gayle leads the West Indian celebrations after their win over Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup final in Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 7, 2012 [File: Aijaz Rahi/AP]

2014

Host: Bangladesh
Final: India vs Sri Lanka
Winner: Sri Lanka – by six wickets
Teams: 16
Player of the tournament: Virat Kohli

Hong Kong, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates made their T20 World Cup debuts as the tournament was expanded to 16 teams.

The opening match saw the Bengal Tigers bag to a nine-wicket win over the hapless Afghanistan, but the hosts then lost to Hong Kong in one of the tournament’s biggest upsets.

In the first semifinal, Sri Lanka undid two years of hurt by dethroning the West Indies with a 27-run win. A few hours later, Kohli showed his supremacy with the bat as his 44-ball 72 overcame a strong South African bowling line-up.

Kohli’s blistering form helped India set a target of 131 but Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene – the leaders of Sri Lanka’s golden generation, who had been on the losing end of the 50-over World Cup final against India three years earlier – set things right.

Kohli’s 319 aggregate runs remain a T20 World Cup record.

t20 world cup 2014
Kumar Sangakkara led Sri Lanka to their first ICC T20 World Cup title, thanks to his match-winning partnership with Mahela Jayawardene in the final against India in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 6, 2014. [File: Aijaz Rahi/AP]

2016

Host: India
Final: England vs West Indies
Winner: West Indies – by four wickets
Teams: 16
Player of the tournament: Virat Kohli

India hosted the T20 World Cup for the first time and with a squad packed with IPL stars, they were the outright favourites.

To the delight of a packed Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata, Kohli powered India in their group to their 11th consecutive win against Pakistan in an ICC World Cup.

Kohli hit a 47-ball 89 to set a target of 193, in the semifinals, but could do little as Lendl Simmons broke more than a billion Indian hearts to send the West Indies through.

The West Indies were reeling late in their chase in the final as England seemed to have done enough, despite a sub-par score of 155. Enter Carlos Brathwaite – a relative unknown – who was left facing the final over from Stokes. Nineteen needed off six balls. Six, six, six, six. Game over! The swashbuckling end left Stokes in tears and prompted West Indies legend Ian Bishop to scream on television: “Carlos Brathwaite, remember the name!”

t20 world cup 2016
West Indies’s Carlos Brathwaite roars after leading his side to their second T20 World Cup title as England’s Ben Stokes reacts at the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata on April 3, 2016 [File: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP]

2021

Host: United Arab Emirates and Oman
Final: Australia vs New Zealand
Winner: Australia – by eight wickets
Teams: 16
Player of the tournament: David Warner

The first ICC World Cup in the post-pandemic era was moved to the Gulf region due to COVID-19-related restrictions in the original host nation, India.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and his deputy Mohammad Rizwan were in scintillating form in country’s first victory against India in an ICC World Cup in 13 attempts. It was also India’s first 10-wicket loss in the T20Is.

Pakistan won all five Super 12 matches to progress to the semis, while New Zealand beat India to grab the fourth semifinal spot.

The Kiwis one-upped England in the first semifinal thanks to Daryl Mitchell’s 47-ball 72.

In the other semifinal, Rizwan had seemingly led Pakistan to a competitive score and Shadab Khan’s leg spin had Australia on the ropes but some poor fielding, combined with destructive hitting by Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, took the Aussies through.

Kane Williamson’s 48-ball 85 helped New Zealand set a target of 173 in the final, only for Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh to blow it away with seven balls to spare.

australia t20 world cup 2021
Australia beat New Zealand to win their first T20 World Cup in Dubai, UAE on November 14, 2021 [Aijaz Rahi/AP]

2022

Host: Australia
Final: England vs Pakistan
Winner: England – by five wickets
Teams: 16
Player of the tournament: Sam Curran

Namibia beat Sri Lanka in the first group match to produce one of the tournament’s biggest shocks. The second one came the next day, when Scotland beat two-time champions West Indies who also lost to Ireland and were removed in the first round.

Hosts and holders Australia were effectively washed out of the Super 12s by the weather. India did set things right by beating Pakistan in an epic chase, led by who else but Kohli, leaving the Pakistanis to scrape through to the semis by beating a gutsy Zimbabwe.

Pakistan romped a seven-wicket win against New Zealand in the semifinal to draw comparisons with their triumphant run at the 1992 World Cup.

The next logical step would be to meet England in the final, and the 2010 champions duly obliged by blowing away India. Returning prodigal son Alex Hales struck an unbeaten match-winning 56 in a 10-wicket victory.

The 1992 comparisons remained on course as Pakistan set a middling target in front of a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground, before Haris Rauf gave them a good start with the ball. Stokes flipped the history books, however, to break Pakistani hearts and take England to their second T20 title.

england pakistan t20 world cup 2022
England’s Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs against Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, November 13, 2022 [Mark Baker/AP]



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