Updated May 24th, 2024 at 10:11 IST

A capsule history of the T20 World Cup

Dive deep into the legacy of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and check out all the historic title winning teams, including India, England Australia and more.

Indian cricket players celebrate after beating Pakistan during the final Twenty20 World Championship Cricket match between India and Pakistan in Johannesburg, South Africa | Image: AP
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A brief history of the T20 World Cup:

2007 in South Africa

Final: India def. Pakistan by 5 runs

Four years after England invented Twenty20 cricket, the first T20 World Cup (then World Twenty20) blasted off in the opening match where Chris Gayle scored the first international T20 century, 117 off 57 balls (10 sixes) and Zimbabwe upset Australia the next day. In the final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, India posted 157-5 on the back of Gautam Gambhir’s 75 from 54. Pakistan was on track until slowed by bowlers Irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Joginder Sharma. Pakistan needed six runs off the last four balls with one wicket left then Misbah-ul-Haq skied Sharma to Sreesanth at short fine leg.

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Tournament MVP: Shahid Afridi, Pakistan

2009 in England

Final: Pakistan def. Sri Lanka by 8 wickets

In the group stage, the Netherlands beat England at Lord's, and Australia was eliminated after two losses in two matches. The final pitted Pakistan against Sri Lanka, just three months after a dozen gunmen fired on the Sri Lanka cricket bus and match officials' minivan in Lahore. Seven players were injured, and three of them played in the T20 final. Sri Lanka batted first at Lord's and was soon 2-2 and 32-4. Kumar Sangakkara's anchoring 64 helped them to 138-6. The chase was paced well and Shahid Afridi hit the winning leg bye in an unbeaten 54. They reached 139-2 with eight balls to spare and Pakistan won its first world title in 17 years.

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Tournament MVP: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka

2010 in Caribbean

Final: England def. Australia by 7 wickets

Afghanistan made its debut in a major men's event and didn't win a match. Australia reached the final at Kensington Oval undefeated. England, without a first-round win, advanced on net run rate then swept its Super 8s group and semifinal. David Hussey rescued Australia from 8-3 with 59 in a 147-6. England made no race of the chase. Craig Kieswetter, 63 off 49, and Kevin Pietersen, 47 off 31, shared 111 for the second wicket. With three overs to spare, England won its first world title.

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Tournament MVP: Kevin Pietersen, England

2012 in Sri Lanka

Final: West Indies def. Sri Lanka by 36 runs

New Zealander Brendon McCullum's 123 off 58 balls against Bangladesh remains the highest score in tournament history. Sri Lanka beat the West Indies by nine wickets in the Super 8s. In the final in Colombo, Marlon Samuels' 78 off 56 pegged West Indies to 137-6 from 87-5. Then they turned around and squeezed the home team. Samuels, Sunil Narine — 3-9 off 22 balls — Daren Sammy and Samuel Badree bowled a combined 13.4 overs, conceded 54 runs and took seven wickets. They celebrated by dancing ‘Gangnam Style’ on the field.

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Tournament MVP: Shane Watson, Australia

2014 in Bangladesh

Final: Sri Lanka def. India by 6 wickets

In the Super 10s, the Netherlands thrashed England. Sri Lanka ended the West Indies' title defense in a rain-affected semifinal, then easily chased down India's measly 130-4 in the final in Dhaka. India was propped up by Virat Kohli's 77 off 58 until he was run out going for a second run. Kumar Sangakkara led Sri Lanka's charge to 134-4 with 2.1 overs to spare with an unbeaten 52 off 35. He and Mahela Jayawardene, having lost two previous T20 finals, bowed out of T20 cricket as world champions.

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Tournament MVP: Virat Kohli, India

2016 in India

Final: West Indies def. England by 4 wickets

Afghanistan successfully defended 123 against the West Indies but the latter advanced to the semifinals. The West Indies knocked out India in the semifinals with the highest successful run chase in playoff history. In the final at Eden Gardens, Joe Root's 54 off 36 led England to 155-9. The Windies needed 19 runs off the last over bowled by Ben Stokes, and Carlos Braithwaite hit 6-6-6-6 to win the final with two balls to spare.

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Tournament MVP: Virat Kohli, India

2021 in United Arab Emirates

Final: Australia def. New Zealand by 8 wickets

The pandemic forced the tournament to move from Australia to India to the UAE, and was delayed for a year. In the Super 12s, Pakistan beat India for the first time in 13 attempts in a 20-over or 50-over World Cup. The final in Dubai between unbeaten teams saw Kane Williamson's 85 off 48 lead New Zealand to 172-4, the highest total in a final. Australia surpassed it with seven balls to spare thanks to David Warner's 53 off 38 and Mitch Marsh's unbeaten 77 off 50. Glenn Maxwell applied the coup de grace with a boundary past short third man for 173-2 and Australia's first T20 crown.

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Tournament MVP: David Warner, Australia

2022 in Australia

Final: England def. Pakistan by 5 wickets

In the preliminary round, the West Indies lost to Scotland and Ireland, and Sri Lanka lost to Namibia. There was more drama in the Super 12s: Ireland beat England, Zimbabwe defeated Pakistan, the Netherlands upset South Africa, and Australia’s title defense ended on net run rate after a 4-run win over Afghanistan. Pakistan, with two losses, reached the final. England crushed India by 10 wickets in the semifinals then restricted Pakistan to 137, Sam Curran taking 3-12. Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi went off injured in the final and England cruised to victory on Ben Stokes' unbeaten maiden T20 half-century.

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Tournament MVP: Sam Curran, England

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Published May 24th, 2024 at 10:11 IST