Most Popular Cricket Tournaments

Until the seventies, test cricket ruled the roost. Though there were popular domestic cricket tournaments in every country, test cricket was considered the real test of a player’s calibre.

For instance, England has always had domestic cricket tournaments such as country cricket and India has had the Ranji Trophy, among various other domestic cricket tournaments. Yet no matter how talented a player was, he was not considered world class unless he proved himself against overseas players in test cricket.

Nowadays, there are many different events for all cricket enthusiasts, so let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

Major Cricket Tournaments in the World

If we should choose three of the most popular cricket tournaments in the world, it would be the following ones — test, one-day and twenty20 cricket— formats.

In the mid-seventies, Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, changed the staid image of cricket, traditionally played in white uniforms. In the WSC, matches were played under floodlights for the first time by players in coloured uniforms.

One Day International Cricket (ODI) which gained popularity in the seventies borrowed these innovations. Very soon, ODI cricket tournaments such as the ICC World Cup supplanted test cricket as the most popular cricket tournaments.

Introduced in the new millennium, Twenty20 cricket, has further transformed the cricket landscape. Apart from the ODI World Cup, we now have the ICC World T20 and the Indian Premier League (Cricket IPL). There are also Twenty20 cricket leagues in many countries whose teams include players from across the world. These include Australia’s Big Bash League, the Pakistan Super League, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Lanka Premier League, and the Caribbean Premier League. All these cricket tournaments attract players from across the world.

Cricket Tournaments

Another Worldwide Famous Cricket Tournaments

Besides the tournaments mentioned above, we mustn’t forget that there are many different but yet not less popular types of events, including the following ones:

ICC Cricket World Cup

The ICC Cricket World Cup whose first edition took place in 1975 is held once every four years and has grown in popularity. The winning team of this 50-over contest is considered the world’s best ODI outfit.

T20 World Cup

The T20 World Cup was first held in 2007 and has since been held every two years. The team winning the contest is considered the champion T20I side of the world.

ICC World Test Championship

All test playing nations take part in this round-robin league tournament played over two years. The top two will qualify for the final to decide the champion test side. The final of the first edition of this tournament will take place in the summer of 2021 in London.

Indian Premier League (IPL Cricket)

Eight franchises including domestic Indian players and overseas players, compete in the round-robin Indian Premier League (IPL cricket) league every year.

ICC World Cup Qualifier

Full members of the ICC other than the top eight compete with some associate members in this tournament – played in the year before the world cup — to try to qualify for the ICC World Cup. The associate members who wish to take part in this tournament must compete in the World Cricket League (conducted since 2007).

Champions League T20 Cricket

As you probably know, this tournament is no longer available. Clubs from Australia, England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies took part in the Cricket Champions League T20 every year from 2008 to 2014.

Top Cricket Tournaments in India

Every year, the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) organises 25 cricket tournaments in India, including U-16, U-19, U-23 and senior level competitions for both men and women.

Men’s tournaments include:

  • Ranji Trophy

Thirty-seven teams play in this premier first-class tournament held since the 1934-35 season, and named after Ranjitsinhji, the first Indian to play international cricket.

  • Duleep Trophy

Played since the 1961-62 season, this first-class tournament used to be played between zonal teams of India. Since the 2016-17 season, it has been played between India Red, India Blue and India Green, teams chosen by the BCCI.

  • Vijay Hazare Trophy

Played since the 2002-03 season, this is a limited-overs tournament played among state teams that play in the Ranji Trophy.

  • Deodhar Trophy

Played since 1973-74, this is a List A 50-over knock out tournament contested by three teams: India A, India B, and India C.

  • Irani Trophy

Played since 1959-60, this is a first-class match played between the Ranji Trophy champions of the previous year against a selected Rest of India squad.

  • Indian Premier League

Played annually since 2008, this is a T20 league played between eight franchises. Teams have Indian and overseas players, with every team allowed to play a maximum of four overseas players in a game.

  • Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

This is a T20 tournament played since 2009-10 by 37 Ranji Trophy teams as a form of preparation for the cricket IPL.

Women’s cricket tournaments in India include: Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy, Senior Women’s One-day League, Senior Women’s One Day Challenger Trophy, and Senior Women’s T20 League.

There are also some regional cricket tournaments such as T20 leagues conducted by state associations, such as the Tamil Nadu Premier League, among others.

Cricket Tournaments FAQ

We look at some of the frequently asked questions by Indians about cricket tournaments and try to provide clear answers.

Why is cricket so popular in India?

Cricket was introduced in India by the British Colonialists and became popular under the patronage of maharajas (rulers of princely kingdoms who maintained good relations with the British). Thus, India was inducted into test cricket in 1932 thanks to the initiative of the Maharaja of Vijayanagaram (popularly known as Vizzy). Vizzy, in fact, was the first test captain of India. As Indians became better cricketers over the years, some of them went on to play for England, such as Ranjitsinhji and Duleepsinhji, both from Royal families.

Since the eighties, Indians have prided themselves in playing the game better than the British who had introduced the game to them. So, cricket’s popularity in India owes itself to a combination of sporting talent and national pride.

How many tournaments are there in cricket?

The ICC organises the following cricket tournaments for its full members: ICC world test championship, ICC cricket World Cup, ICC cricket World Cup super league, ICC men’s T20 World Cup.

Associate members of the ICC can play in the following cricket tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier.

Women’s cricket tournaments include ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, ICC Women’s Cricket Championship League, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

ICC cricket tournaments include a youth tournament, namely, the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.

In addition to the above, there are various regional tournaments (such as the Asia Cup) and domestic cricket tournaments in each cricket playing nation.

Which is the biggest tournament in cricket?

The ICC World Cup continues to be arguably the biggest international tournament in cricket. The popularity of the tournament – especially in the Indian subcontinent –can be gauged by the fierce rivalries among the teams and their fans.

What is ICC cricket?

ICC cricket refers to global tournaments organized by the ICC as opposed to bilateral tournaments between cricketing nations that are agreed upon between respective national boards, with the permission of the ICC.