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Major ICC Tournaments
The game of cricket is played across three different formats – tests, one-day internationals and T20 internationals – and a number of tournaments are run by the International Cricket Council in each of them. Of the many tournaments, we have highlighted the most popular ones that are eagerly anticipated by cricket buffs around the world.
ICC World Cup
Played once in every four years, the ICC World Cup is the king of all cricket tournaments. It is one of the most prestigious and among the most viewed sporting events in the world – one that every cricket team aspires to win. The tournament features 14 teams in all (10 full-member and 4 associate nations) divided into two groups of seven and comprises the league stage, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. West Indies won the inaugural edition in 1975 while Australia are the current champions and the most successful with five title wins.
This is the international championship of the shortest format in cricket – the T20. The tournament is fast paced, action packed and is a great source of excitement and entertainment. The inaugural edition was played in 2007 in South Africa and was won by India. West Indies are the reigning champions who won the previous edition in 2016 in India and they are the only team to have won the tournament twice. The World T20 is normally played every two years and is divided into three stages – the qualifiers, the Super 10 and the knockouts.
ICC Champions Trophy
Second in importance to the ICC World Cup, the tournament features only the top eight ranked teams divided into two groups of four. This is essentially a shorter version of the World Cup where a team cannot afford to lose more than one group-stage game. The tournament was initially named the ICC Knockout Tournament in 1998 and was rechristened as the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002. South Africa are winners of the inaugural edition held in Bangladesh while India are the defending champions who won in 2013 in England. Australia are the only team to have won the tournament two times.
The Ashes represents the long-term rivalry between two cricketing giants – England and Australia. It is a series of five test matches played at least once every four years and is hosted in turn by the two nations. The trophy is held by the team who won the most recently played series and in case of a drawn series, it is retained by the team who last won it. England won the series the first time it was played back in 1882-83 as well as the previous series when Australia toured England in 2015.
Indian Premier League
This is one of the most popular domestic sporting events, especially in India. The T20 tournament features eight city-based franchises that are a mix of international and domestic-level players from India and abroad. This cricket extravaganza runs for almost two months and provides entertainment and excitement to the viewers through its thrilling matches. The IPL comprises a double round-robin league stage, playoffs round (two qualifiers and an eliminator) and the final. The Inaugural edition was won by the Rajasthan Royals in 2008 and the current champions are Mumbai Indians who won the 2017 edition. All in all, the tournament is an excellent combination of glamour, glitz and glory.
Big Bash League
This Australian domestic twenty20 cricket competition was established by Cricket Australia in 2011, replacing the earlier tournament by the name of KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. Instead of the six state teams, the tournament now features eight city-based franchises of which four have won the BBL trophy at least once. The inaugural edition was won by the Sydney Sixers while Perth Scorchers won the title last time in 2016-17. Perth Scorchers are the most successful team of the tournament with three title wins in the six seasons and they are the only team to have won back-to-back seasons. The Big Bash League currently ranks sixth on the list of the world’s most attended sports leagues.