5 Best Short-Form Cricket Competitions You Need to Follow
As fascinating as the long cricket days of test cricket or the eight-hour struggles of day cricket can be, sometimes the sport is best enjoyed in a short and sweet format. T20 Cricket is the most popular form of short-form cricket, in which each team receives twenty overs and exactly one inning. However, other forms are also played.
The benefit of short-form cricket is that fans can sit and watch a full game in one sitting, which attracts larger crowds than long-form games. It also emphasizes the more exciting aspects of the game, with fewer balls encouraging players to score at a higher rate. Here is our list of the best short-form cricket competitions so you can enjoy the most exciting moments of these games in a faster format.
Big Bash League
We all know how enthusiastic Australians are about cricket, and the Big Bash League (BBL) perfectly expresses that. Featuring among the ten most attended leagues in the world, the BBL has also featured T20 cricket since launching in 2011. The league includes grounds as large as the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, which the Melbourne Stars use.
With a double round robin followed by a knockout final, the eight teams compete against each other to try and win the $650,000 championship prize. The Perth Scorchers have dominated the league, and the competition has featured legends like Chris Lynn (who boasts an insane 3005 runs) and Sean Abbot. There’s a huge betting market on the Big Bash League, as sports fans flock to cricket odds for match betting.
Indian Premier League
As the sixth most watched league of any sport globally, what’s appealing about the Indian Premier League (IPL) quickly becomes apparent. Formed in 2007 following India’s T20 World Cup victory, the IPL features ten teams from across India playing Twenty20 cricket. These teams include the Gujarat Titans, who play from the Narendra Modi Stadium. Fitting a whopping 132,000 live fans, this is the largest sports stadium in the world and has an atmosphere that even affects people watching from home.
The most successful team in the IPL is the Mumbai Indians, with five titles. The best cricketers in the world tend to be drawn to the IPL, including Jos Buttler, Andre Russell, and Hardik Pandya. All these players face off against each other in a unique format. Two groups, with half the teams in each, play a double round-robin before the four top teams in each group qualify for playoffs (with the third and fourth-placed teams having to play play-in games to qualify).
Caribbean Premier League
The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) differs from other very popular T20 leagues in its format. With six teams, the teams compete in a ten-game group stage, followed by a knockout stage. This is because of the odd method of venues utilized in the competition, where all the teams play at one playing site for five matches in a row before moving to a new location for five games and onwards. The two most successful teams are the Jamaica Tallawahs and Trinbago Knight Riders, who have seven titles between them.
The Hundred is England’s flagship short-form cricket tournament, interestingly utilizing a different ruleset than the popular T20 style. Established and launched in 2021, the league has gained some notoriety in the UK over the controversy surrounding its launch. With teams in just seven major cities, many have criticized it for making cricket in the country more elite, while others have taken aim at the new 100-ball format as ‘innovation for innovation’s sake’.
However, with more than half of the tickets bought by fans who have never watched cricket live, the league has gotten off to a good start and is reaching new audiences. Featuring international stars such as England’s men’s World Cup hero Ben Stokes and perhaps the best player in women’s cricket, Alyssa Healy, there’s plenty of reason to tune in.
Pakistan Super League
The Pakistani Super League (PSL) is a six-team franchised short-form cricket league based in Pakistan. Initially, one of these teams was based in each of the four provincial capitals and the federal capital in Islamabad. However, in 2018 a further franchise was allowed to join. Similar to the Big Bash League and Indian Premier League, the PSL has a group stage, followed by a knockout tournament to determine a champion.
Five teams have won a championship in the PSL, with only Islamabad winning more than one. This has been attributed to the PSL Draft system, which works similarly to American sports, rewarding the worst-performing team with the first chance to sign new talent. Over the years, this talent has included the likes of Sohaib Maqsood and Mohammed Rizwan.