The cricketing world experienced the dawn of a new format in the 21st century with an aim to boost the game’s popularity with the younger generation and attract more crowds in the stadiums. 

The England Cricket Board (ECB) successfully kick-started the 20-over format on June 13, 2003, with the Twenty20 Cup, a tournament between the English counties. Australia and New Zealand played the first T20 International (T20I) at Auckland in 2005 with the Australian cricket team emerging victorious, courtesy of a blistering 98-run knock by Ricky Ponting.

Initially, each nation was allowed to host only three T20Is each year and the T20I status was granted only to full members and a few associate nations. However, after the adoption of the format by other member nations domestically, the popularity of the format grew and the International Cricket Council (ICC) proposed the T20 World Cup.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was first held in South Africa in 2007. India, led by MS Dhoni, were crowned as inaugural champions after a nerve-wracking final against arch-rivals Pakistan. The Indian cricket team only lost one game in the tournament - vs New Zealand in the Super 8s. Since then, the tournament has grown in stature with the increasing popularity of T20 cricket.

The Pakistan cricket team, runners-up of the 2007 edition, won the 2009 T20 World Cup in England, beating Sri Lanka in the final. England were the first non-Asian team to win this title after they triumphed over rivals Australia in the 2010 T20 World Cup final. 

The West Indies cricket team was the first team to claim two T20 World Cup titles, winning the 2012 and 2016 editions in the Indian subcontinent. Sri Lanka won the 2014 T20 World Cup after a victory over India in the final. 

UAE and Oman hosted the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. The Australian cricket team defeated Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the final to seal their first title.

Mahela Jayawardene is the highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup history with 1,016 runs in 31 matches. Rohit Sharma is fourth on the list with 847 runs while Virat Kohli is fifth with 845 runs. Shakib Al Hasan has taken 41 wickets in 31 T20 World Cup matches, making him the all-time leading wicket-taker of this tournament. Virat Kohli is the only player to win the Player of the Tournament award twice (2014 and 2016).

Sri Lanka’s 260/6 against Kenya in the 2007 T20 World Cup is the highest-ever total in this tournament while the Netherlands made the all-time lowest total in T20 World Cup history after they were bowled out for 39 against Sri Lanka in 2014.

ICC T20 World Cup winners list

Year

Winner

Runner-up

Host

Player of the Tournament

2007

India

Pakistan

South Africa

Shahid Afridi

2009

Pakistan

Sri Lanka

England

Tillakaratne Dilshan

2010

England

Australia

West Indies

Kevin Pietersen

2012

West Indies

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Shane Watson

2014

Sri Lanka

India

Bangladesh

Virat Kohli

2016

West Indies

England

India

Virat Kohli

2021

Australia

New Zealand

UAE and Oman

David Warner