In less than 20 years, Twenty20 Cricket has taken its pride of place among the list of top sporting events in the global sports calendar. Cricket has risen from a second-degree sport to a tier-one sport that attracts substantial sponsorship deals, television rights, international participation, and recognition.
Also, it has been able to put countries such as India, UAE, Australia, Namibia, Omar, etc., on the global sporting map – countries that were ordinarily not classified as sporting nations.
Let's face the facts, Cricket is a technical sport, and with all due respect to other sports, one needs a high level of intelligence and IQ to participate in the sport. However, the barrier to accepting and enjoying the sport both for recreational and entertainment purposes has been broken as more people worldwide are embracing the sport.
The Rise of Cricket as a Global Sport
Today, you can now bet on Cricket online and follow the game closely from any part of the world. There has also been an upward surge in the level of interest, as seen in the number of new countries that register for the qualification stages every year. From the year 2024, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the number of teams that will participate in the T20 World Cup will be increased to 20 from 16.
As per the ICC rules, the tournament consists of 16 teams – comprising the top ten national teams from the Cricket rankings at a given deadline, and six other teams chosen through the T20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Like in many other sports, it took the intelligence and individual brilliance of some athletes and to create records that stun sports enthusiasts and attract attention to the sport. This article has highlighted five shockers from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup so far. Check them out!
3 Shockers from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup
1. Australia are the current ICC Men's T20 World Cup Champions
Australia won the trophy for the first time in the competition's history after defeating New Zealand in the 2021 final to claim their first T20 World Cup title.
The team also made history on 12 January 2019, when they won the first ODI against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 34 runs to record their 1,000th win in international Cricket.
2. Namibia Makes History for Africa
Namibia were the African success story of the T20 World Cup after they reached the Super 12 round of the T20 World Cup second after shocking Ireland. The Namibian Cricket team, which is ranked 19 headed into the Super 12 stage, where they faced face former winners India and Pakistan and New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Scotland.
Speaking on the feat, Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn revealed that he only had 18 players to pick from in the entire country.
"I've got 18 players to pick from in my national squad and I know what they've put in for the last three years. It sounds like a cliche that the hard work has paid off, but it certainly did and I'm really ecstatic for the players", he said.
3. Mahela Jayawardene and Shakib Al Hasan Remain Record Holders
Sri Lankan's Mahela Jayawardene continues to hold the record of most runs (1016) in the T20 World Cup. He is the current consultant coach of the Sri Lanka national cricket team.
In the same vein, no one has had more wickets than Bangladeshi international cricketer Shakib Al Hasan who holds the record with 41 wickets.
There is no denying the potentials of Cricket and its possibilities of a wider global attraction – through endorsement, followership, and investments.
All eyes are on Australia, who are the current champions and will host the world from 16 October 2022 to 13 November 2022 for the next edition of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.