How many years does T20 World Cup take place?

The T20 World Cup is the international championship of Twenty20 International cricket. Organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament has been held every two years since 2007. It features the top T20 teams from around the world competing to be crowned world champions. The T20 format, which features 20 overs per team, is the shortest form of limited overs cricket. With its fast-paced and exciting format, the T20 World Cup has become one of the most popular cricket tournaments globally. Fans are always eager to know when the next edition will take place. So how often does the T20 World Cup occur?

History of the T20 World Cup

The first edition of the T20 World Cup took place in 2007 in South Africa. India defeated Pakistan in the final to become the inaugural T20 world champions. After the successful debut tournament, the ICC decided to make it a recurring event to be held every two years.

Here is a summary of all the T20 World Cup tournaments held so far:

Year Host Country Winner Runner-up
2007 South Africa India Pakistan
2009 England Pakistan Sri Lanka
2010 West Indies England Australia
2012 Sri Lanka West Indies Sri Lanka
2014 Bangladesh Sri Lanka India
2016 India West Indies England
2021 UAE/Oman Australia New Zealand

As shown in the table, the tournament has taken place every two years since 2009. The only exception was in 2010 when it was held just a year after the 2009 edition. This was to transition the tournament schedule to be held every two years from 2010 onwards.

The next T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in 2024. The ICC is yet to announce the host country for the 2024 tournament.

Tournament Format

The T20 World Cup features 16 teams in total. 12 teams qualify automatically based on their T20 international rankings, while 4 teams make it through the qualifying tournament.

The 16 teams are divided into 4 groups of 4 teams each in the group stage. Each team plays the other 3 teams in their group once. The top 2 teams from each group proceed to the Super 8 stage.

In the Super 8 stage, the 8 teams are placed in 2 groups of 4 teams each. They play the other 3 teams in their group once. The top 2 teams from each Super 8 group qualify for the semifinals.

The semifinals are played between the top 2 teams of Group 1 and Group 2. The winners proceed to the final to determine the T20 world champions.

This format ensures that each team gets to play at least 6 matches, with the champions playing 8 matches overall.

Host Countries

The ICC aims to give different cricket playing nations the chance to host T20 World Cup matches. So far, the tournament has been hosted by:

  • South Africa (2007)
  • England (2009)
  • West Indies (2010)
  • Sri Lanka (2012)
  • Bangladesh (2014)
  • India (2016)
  • UAE & Oman (2021)

The 2021 edition was originally planned to be held in India. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, it was moved to the UAE and Oman.

For the 2024 T20 World Cup, the ICC is looking at potential hosts in Australia, India, South Africa or West Indies. The host country will be announced in due course considering factors like infrastructure, time zone, and availability of venues.

Why Every 2 Years?

When the ICC decided to make the T20 World Cup a regular tournament, they had to determine the ideal gap between editions. Too short would cause oversaturation while too long would diminish interest. A 2-year gap was deemed to be the perfect balance.

Here are some reasons why a 2-year cycle makes sense for the T20 World Cup:

  • Allows adequate recovery and preparation time for teams between tournaments
  • Enables freshness in the team squads with new players coming in
  • Gives hosts sufficient time to plan and build infrastructure if required
  • Grows fan engagement with a tournament to look forward to every couple of years
  • Fits nicely between the 4-year ODI World Cup cycle
  • Generates consistent revenue for the ICC and cricket boards

Compared to the marquee 50-over World Cup which comes every 4 years, a 2-year gap makes the T20 World Cup feel more regular and accessible to fans. The short T20 format also allows teams to compete more often compared to the demanding ODI format.

Impact of Postponements

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the scheduling of recent T20 World Cups.

The 2020 edition which was to be held in Australia was postponed to 2022. As a result, the 2022 tournament, originally planned for India, was moved to 2024. This means there will be back-to-back T20 World Cups in 2022 and 2024.

However, the ICC has clarified that after the 2024 tournament, the original 2-year cycle will resume. As such, fans can expect the next T20 World Cups in 2026, 2028, 2030 and so on.

While the pandemic has interrupted the normal rhythm, the 2-year cycle is expected to provide consistency in the long run for players, fans and the growth of T20 cricket.

The Future

ICC chairman Greg Barclay has recently raised the idea of making the T20 World Cup an annual event. The motivation would be to generate more revenue which could be shared among smaller cricketing nations.

However, no firm decisions have been taken yet. Several challenges need to be evaluated such as player workloads, dilution of public interest and rotation of hosts. Making any format of World Cup an annual event could also undermine the prestige associated with the tournament.

For now, it seems likely that the standard 2-year cycle will continue for the T20 World Cup at least for the next few editions after 2024. The established pattern has worked well so far for teams, fans and the sport overall.

In summary, cricket lovers can look forward to the T20 World Cup coming around every 2 years. The next edition is set for 2024, with the host country still to be confirmed. This predictable timeline helps maintain the tournament’s relevance and growth. While some tweaks may happen, the ICC seems intent on sticking to the successful 2-year cycle for its flagship T20 competition.


The T20 World Cup has established itself as an exciting and important tournament on the cricket calendar since its inception in 2007. It has been held every two years since 2009, with the only exception being back-to-back editions in 2010 and 2012.

This 2-year cycle provides a balance between keeping the tournament fresh and avoiding oversaturation. For teams, fans and hosts, it presents the ideal timeline to prepare for the event. The next T20 World Cup is scheduled for 2024, after which the regular 2-year pattern is set to resume.

While proposals exist to make it an annual event, the 2-year gap appears to be the sweet spot for the T20 World Cup. The consistent schedule helps drive planning and engagement around T20 cricket’s showpiece tournament. For the foreseeable future, fans can continue looking forward to this festival of cricket every 2 years.

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