With the rise of the T20 game format, other domestic leagues based on the traditional game setup have fallen out of the public eye. As per The Indian Express, although 74% of cricketers deem test cricket important, 49% say they would reject a national contract in favor of a heftier T20 purse. Twenty20 cricket, or T20, is a truncated form of cricket’s one-day version, which lasts the whole day. T20 rules were ratified by the England and Wales Association in 2003 and adopted by many domestic leagues the world over. The T20 rules placed a premium on scoring at a faster clip, with more shots breaching the boundary. The sprightly nature of the T20 game has beckoned a steady audience stream into its fold. The rules for the T20 and the game’s longer format are similar, except that the overs bowled are down to 20 a side. Cricketers nursing an ambition to take control of a T20 franchise can now play out their desires on the many fantasy cricket league apps available for their smartphones.
Some of the more successful domestic T20 leagues are:
1. T20 Blast – England & Wales:
The Twenty20 Cup, or the T20 Blast as it is now known, is the brainchild of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). This league is officially known as the Vitality Blast for sponsorship reasons and is a professional Twenty20 cricket competition involving English and Welsh counties. When this competition was established by the ECB in 2003, it was the dominant professional Twenty20 league in the world. The upcoming 2023 season of the T20 Blast will be its 21st edition. The 2023 season will likely feature 18 county teams and will be divided into two groups – the North and South divisions consisting of nine teams in each division. The 2022 T20 Blast final saw the Hampshire Hawks best Lancashire Lightning in a cliffhanger and snatch victory by just one run.
2. Indian Premier League (IPL):
The Indian Premier League may have been late to the party, with its first edition being held only in 2008. But it made up for that by being the most lucrative domestic T20 league attracting players from all over. Currently, the TATA conglomerate is the title sponsor of this prestigious event. The team’s in the IPL face off in a round-robin and knockout format, with two teams from each group moving ahead to the knockout stage and on to the final. In all ten teams are taking part in IPL 2023, up from eight in 2008, with the option to add more franchises always on the table. The BBCI gradually developed IPL into India’s most lucrative domestic form of the game. Usually, the IPL fixtures are played under floodlights to coincide with prime time to reach the maximum audience.
3. Big Bash League (BBL):
The Big Bash League (BBL) is Australia’s take on the franchise-based T20 format and is supervised by Cricket Australia. The title sponsor is KFC, and the BBL is Australia’s premier domestic T20 cricket competition. The BBL was established in 2011 and comprises eight teams from six cities. The cities of Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, and Perth have a single team each, while Sydney and Melbourne each have two teams in the competition. The Perth Scorchers were victors In the recent BBLs edition that wrapped up with the final being held on 11th January 2022. They won their fourth title by beating the Sydney Sixers, and it is the fifth time these two teams have squared off in the final.
4. Bangladesh Premier League (BPL):
The BPL Governing Council oversees the running of the Bangladesh Premier League. Seven teams battle it out every year between January 6th and February 16th and aspire to win the BPL, and 2023 was no different. In this year’s edition, Comilla Victorians triumphed over Fortune Barishal by a solitary run. Like other leagues, the top four teams advance to the playoffs, followed by an eliminator and two qualifier games that decide who reaches the finals.
5. International League T20:
The International League T20 is based in the UAE and sees six teams competing for top honors in the standard round-robin and playoffs format. The inaugural edition was held between January 6th and February 12th, 2023, with venues spread across Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi. Similar to other leagues, there will be a mix of international and local talent that will help promote the game among the native population. The first-ever edition of the International League T20 culminated with the Gulf Giants earning a facile victory over the Desert Vipers by seven wickets.
6. Caribbean Premier League (CPL) – West Indies:
The Caribbean Premier League has been a regular fixture since 2013 and is also referred to as CPL or CPLT20, in a nod to its format. The CPL was founded by Cricket West Indies to replace the Caribbean Twenty20 and is now the premier Twenty20 competition in the Caribbean, and hero MotoCorp is the title sponsor. Thus, the competition is officially known as Hero CPL. The CPL is all set to commence on 19 August and wind up on 26 September 2023, with six teams pining for glory. Currently, the Jamaica Tallawahs are defending champions when they won the 2022 final by defeating the Barbados Royals by a whopping eight wickets in a one-sided affair. All of these domestic leagues are instrumental in developing the quality of cricket in their respective countries as they give opportunities to local talent that may have otherwise gotten lost in the crowd. Once they prove their mettle, these talented players may even play for their national side. Further, fostering exposure to overseas players of high caliber helps them refine their game.