The future of sporting events in the first half of 2020 is in some considerable doubt. Cancellations and postponements are rife and, with uncertainty over the spread of Coronavirus, few experts are confident as to when they will return.
Cricket’s governing body the ICC are, however, insistent that the T20 World Cup will go ahead later this year. Across the globe, sports fans are starved of action and this year’s tournament will, therefore, carry even more significance.
History and Format
T20 cricket made its professional bow in England in 2003 and it’s fair to say that it’s been a huge success. International matches were relatively slow to follow but the shortest form of the game has helped to attract a whole new audience to cricket.
The very first T20 Cricket World Cup was held in South Africa in 2007 and it was won by India who beat Pakistan in the final. As we go into 2020, West Indies are the defending champions and they are also the most successful team in the competition with two titles. There have been six editions of the T20 World Cup to date and, along with India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and England have all won it once.
This year’s tournament will work in two stages: in the first round, there will be two groups of four and within those sections, each team will play each other once. The top two sides will then progress to the Super 12s where they will be joined by the seeded nations – West Indies, Australia, India, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa and Afghanistan.
Two further groups will then be established and the top two sides in each section will then progress to the knockout stage which features a semi-final stage and a final.
In the Frame
“Australia v India, ODI, 23rd Jan 2016” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by karanj
It’s surprising that, while Australia are the most successful country in the 50 over game, they have yet to win a T20 world title. With the benefit of home advantage in 2020, the Aussies are favourites to claim the trophy as far as the bookmakers are concerned.
India were the first country to win the T20 World Cup and they are second favourites to add to that solitary crown, won back in 2007. When we take a look at the cricket betting markets from bet365, Virat Kohli’s India are quoted at odds of 7/2. Reigning 50 over champions England are close behind at 9/2 and then we move out to New Zealand at 7/1.
If we include reigning champions the West Indies, we suspect that five teams are in with a genuine chance of claiming the 2020 World Cup. The short form remains unpredictable so picking a winner is a tough decision but it could all come down to the old rivalry between England and Australia.
India don’t tend to travel well, even in the T20 format, so those old Ashes rivals will be confident of meeting each other in a final which would provide a thrilling climax to a difficult sporting year.