What is Limited Overs Cricket: T20 vs Traditional Cricket

For well over a century, first class cricket was the only version of the game available. The very first test match, between England and Australia, was played out in 1877. The format remained the same for decades. Then, in the 1960s, a new upstart appeared in the form of limited overs cricket.

More than 50 years later, T20 came on to the scene and this form truly revolutionized the game. But how do these formats all work and is one version of the game more successful than another?

What is limited overs cricket?

The traditional form of first class cricket, that was established centuries ago, gives both sides two innings each. It is played over four or five days. With limited overs cricket, things are much quicker.

In the modern day, there are two distinct forms of limited overs matches. One Day Cricket gives teams 50 overs a side. With T20 cricket, the game is much shorter with both teams having a maximum of 20 overs in which to bat. Only one innings is available to each side and both forms are completed in a single day.

limited overs cricket

What is the most popular form of cricket?

Based on the numbers of spectators and TV coverage, we would have to say that T20 cricket is the most popular form of the game right now. Tens of thousands of fans cram into grounds for twenty over games around the world, comfortably eclipsing the attendances for 50 over cricket.

The main competitor is test cricket, which some would say is the purest form of the game. Most matches around the world are played in front of sellout crowds, so in that sense, it’s hard to split the two forms. However, the world’s best players are starting to turn away from test cricket in favour of the T20 circuit. Many make their living with franchises all over the world and for that reason, we’re giving T20 the nod as the most popular form of the game.

What is T20 cricket?

T20, or twenty 20 cricket as it is referred to in some areas, is a game where a maximum of 20 overs are given to each side. The rules of the game are almost identical to that of 50 over cricket in the sense that each team has one innings with the objective to score as many runs as they can.

Within those twenty overs, the batting side has ten wickets to use up. If they are dismissed before the end of the twenty overs, then the innings is over and they can’t play on to their maximum allocation.

As for bowling, each bowler can deliver a maximum of four overs. So, in theory, a team could use just five bowlers and give them four overs each. In reality, more bowlers are used within that format.

Aside from those small differences, T20 uses the basic laws of cricket. But it’s just a much quicker version of the game.

What’s the difference between T20 cricket and test match cricket?

The differences between T20 and test match cricket are:

  • Test cricket is played between countries that are recognized as full test playing nations by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
  • With test cricket, both teams have two innings each and there is no limit on the amount of overs that are bowled. The only restrictions in this form of the game are based on time.
  • T20 cricket is played in leagues, such as the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash in Australia.
  • With T20 cricket, each team has a maximum of 20 overs in which to score as many runs as they can. They only bat once and the match is over in just a few hours.
  • The key differences relate to time: Test cricket is commonly played over five days, although some recent matches have been reduced to four in order to slot in to an increasingly busy calendar.

What’s the history of T20 cricket?

The first game of professional T20 cricket took place in England in 2003. It had been introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as a means to attract new fans and extra money into a county circuit which had been hit by low attendances.

The competition was called the Twenty20 Cup and the first round of matches were played by English counties on June 13 2003. Some fun elements were introduced: batsmen walked out to music and while attendances did increase, the game wasn’t really taken that seriously in the early days.

Other countries started to tentatively follow England’s lead. Then, another milestone came along in February 2005 when New Zealand hosted Australia in the first ever T20 international. It’s fair to say that the game was treated as something of a joke between the two teams. New Zealand went retro with beige kits and it was all bit of a ‘hit and giggle’ affair.

England’s first T20 against the Aussies in Durham a few months later was treated far more seriously. The home side won a competitive game that laid down a marker for the Ashes series that followed. This became a turning point for this format.

Three years later, an even bigger development came along with the first ever edition of the Indian Premier League. That first season in 2008 saw big money being paid out for some of the best T20 players in the game. It was nothing short of a revolution for Twenty 20 cricket. People bet on IPL cricket all around the world now.

Countries all around the world have followed the lead of the IPL. We now have great competitions throughout the year, including the Pakistan Super League, Caribbean T20 and the Big Bash in Australia. The format has come a long way since those tentative early steps in 2003. With new leagues opening up in countries such as Afghanistan, the future for T20 cricket is brighter than ever.

limited overs cricket

What type of cricket do they play at the ICC World Cup?

In the modern day, there are two versions of the ICC World Cup. Both are set up for limited overs cricket with one tournament featuring the 50 over version. The other is set aside for T20.

The very first ICC World Cup was held in England in 1975. The 50 over tournament is now staged every four years with the next event heading back to the UK in 2019. You can already find the Cricket World Cup schedule, so you can start your research. That format will continue for the foreseeable future, but the 50 over event now shares the calendar with its T20 counterpart. If you want to bet on ICC Cricket World Cup odds for the tournament in England and Wales, this is the format you need to get familiar with.

The tournament for the shorter form is known as the ICC World Twenty20. The first event was held in South Africa in 2007. Since that date, a total of six T20 World Cups have been held with the most recent taking place in India in 2016. After struggling to find a fixed date in the calendar, the first tournaments took place on an irregular basis. But the schedule now seems fixed at a T20 World Cup every four years.

How do the different forms of cricket impact bettors?

The introduction of limited overs cricket has made betting on cricket more exciting. It has also introduced an additional set of markets that aren’t available for test and first class formats.

The first market to consider, however, is the result. In test cricket, there are three possible outcomes with a win for either side and a draw. In limited overs cricket – both 50 over and T20 – there is no draw to bet on. Therefore, things are much simpler. Tied games do occur. But in these instances, it’s likely that the bookmaker’s dead heat rules will apply.

Secondly, some of the markets for test cricket relate to first innings only. We’re talking about top bowler and top batsman specifically here. In limited overs cricket, sides only get one innings. So, it’s just a case of betting on who will score the most runs or return the best figures.

As for additional markets, limited overs matches feature a bet on which team will score the most sixes in a game. Maximums do occur in test cricket. But the batters are less aggressive, preferring to keep the ball on the ground. Therefore, the betting companies aren’t interested in offering markets.

The other main factor in limited overs cricket, both 50 over and T20, is the Powerplay. This is the period at the start of the innings, where the bowling side has restrictions on their field placing. In 50 over games the Powerplay lasts for 15 overs while in T20, it’s just six.

Because of this, certain sportsbooks will have markets open for Powerplay betting. So, for T20 cricket, it will be the highest score after six overs. In One Day games, it’s the highest after 15. This is something that simply doesn’t exist in test and first class cricket. This is another example of how the markets can differ.

How much does limited overs cricket impact final scores?

Another betting market for limited overs cricket involves betting on the total runs scored. The game is moving fast and totals are getting bigger. This is becoming harder to call. But there are some long odds and some good profits available for those who make a correct prediction.

Up until 2006, no side had passed 400 in an innings. But when South Africa hosted Australia in Johannesburg in March of that year, both teams went over that mark in the same match. Scores above 400 remain rare. But they are more common since that incredible game in South Africa.

Totals keep climbing in T20 cricket, as well. When the competition was first introduced, a score of 200 was seen as a rarity. However, in 2018, there have been several totals in excess of 260 with a current record of 263.

The fast scoring has had an impact in test cricket, too. Until T20 cricket came along, it was common for sides to grind along at a run rate of around two per over. But in the modern game, that rate frequently doubles to four and beyond.

T20 has increased scoring rates while making things so much more exciting for fans and the wider cricket betting community. The difference between limited overs and test cricket is subtle in places and more pronounced in others. But whatever form of the game you follow, there’s never been a better time to get involved with a satta or two of your own.