Just after the turn of the 21st century, the game of cricket was in the doldrums. Looking for a way to bring in a fresh wave of spectators and sponsorship, the Twenty20 or T20 format was put to vote by the English Cricket Board in 2001.
After it voted largely in favour of the new format, the first Twenty20 game took place in the summer of 2003. It has since been adopted around the world. The main difference is that the new format features a 20 over per innings game, which means it moves much faster than a regular cricket match, usually completing in a single day.
It also saw a brand new cricket betting market open up for bookmakers, but those looking to apply old strategies to the new format may wish to reconsider. The short length and faster pace of the Twenty20 games means that there are different factors to think about when betting.
While other sports have a coin toss mainly as a tradition, in cricket it still matters, because it determines who will bat first. In a regular test cricket match, winning the toss gives that team a key advantage. By the time the second team come to bat, the state of the pitch will have degraded over the course of days of play.
In T20, the advantage is effectively void, because the grass is not going to erode as quickly over one day. Twenty20 teams may have the advantage if they bat second, as they can chase in the afternoon with an idea of who is in their sights.
As in football betting, there has been a tendency for home teams to fair better in Twenty20 cricket than the visiting side, both in terms of wins as well as the number of runs and wickets. This could be a combination of knowledge of the ground, boundary lengths and how the pitch plays.
Unlike other team sports, the team selection is announced after the coin toss, with punters rushing to make bets before the game starts based on the selection. Unlike football, where it is often straightforward which players will be selected, Twenty20 cricket teams draw from a larger pool of talent, some of whom may be based abroad.
Betting prior to the team selection may save you the strife of getting a bet in before the first ball is thrown, but in Twenty20 it is often best to wait and make an informed decision whether to bet or not.
With such a quick turnaround compared to test cricket and a restricted time to bat, batsmen are the true heroes of Twenty20 cricket. Gone is the image of the slow and precise cricketer, replaced by a fearless, quickfire batsman.
Those who have adopted the faster Twenty20 style take to the pitch and knock them out of the park. It helps that in the first six overs, the opposition can only have two players outside the inner ring, giving batsmen more freedom. Once the team selection is announced and the toss won, check out the batsmen first before betting.
Although the Twenty20 game has its origins in England, the home of cricket, the fast-paced format was swiftly adopted by other cricket-playing nations. The most successful of these is the Indian Premier League, which has attracted an unprecedented level of money due to the franchise system it operates under.
The success in India saw the system taken up by neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies. England Twenty20 is one of the few not to be franchised, thanks to the unpopular idea of hostile counties merging their teams.
The most successful Twenty20 franchises are found in India and Australia. The Indian Premier League takes place between April and May, while the Australian Big Bash League is between November and December. They work slightly differently, so if you're going to bet on Twenty20 games outside of the UK, its best to learn how they operate.
Punters can place multiple bets on Twenty20 games, with the most popular bet being the overall winner of the match. Most online bookmakers will allow pre-match betting as well as live in-play bets too.
Other bets to consider are the Number of Boundaries scored, where you bet on the number of fours or sixes the team will strike. Check out your team’s history for hitting sixes, as well as the opponent’s bowling strategy.
You can also bet on the Highest 6 Overs. Again, this will depend on the style of play of the batsmen in the team, as well as the state of the pitch. Check out what the weather is due to be like prior to betting on this.