A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket which is played over 20 overs per side between two national cricket teams. The game is played under the rules of Twenty20 cricket. The first Twenty20 International took place on 17 February 2005 when Australia defeated New Zealand by 44 runs at Eden Park in Auckland. The International Cricket Council released inaugural rankings for the shortest format of the game on 24 October 2011 with England at top.
Teams with T20I status
The ten Test-playing nations (which are also the ten full members of the ICC) have permanent T20I status. The nations are listed below with the date of each nation's T20I debut shown in brackets:
- New Zealand (17 February 2005)
- Australia (17 February 2005)
- England (13 June 2005)
- South Africa (21 October 2005)
- West Indies (16 February 2006)
- Sri Lanka (15 June 2006)
- Pakistan (28 August 2006)
- Bangladesh (28 November 2006)
- Zimbabwe (28 November 2006)
- India (1 December 2006)
Since 2005, the ICC has granted temporary ODI and T20I status to six other teams (known as Associate/Affiliate members). Teams earn this temporary status for a period of four years based on their performance in the quadrennial ICC World Cricket League – or, more specifically, based on the top six finishing positions at the ICC World Cup Qualifier, which is the final event of the World Cricket League. The following six teams currently have this status (the dates listed in brackets are of their first T20I match after gaining temporary ODI and T20I status):
- Scotland (from 12 September 2007, until 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier)
- Ireland (from 2 August 2008 until 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier)
- Afghanistan (from 1 February 2010, until 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier)
- Hong Kong (from 1 February 2014, until 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier)
- Papua New Guinea (from 1 February 2014, until 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier)
- United Arab Emirates (from 1 February 2014, until 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier)
Subsequently, four other Associate Nations have held temporary ODI and T20I status as a result of World Cricket League performances, before being relegated after underperforming at the World Cup Qualifier:
- Kenya (from 1 September 2007, until 30 January 2014)
- Netherlands (from 2 August 2008 until 28 January 2014)
- Canada (from 2 August 2008, until 28 January 2014)
- Bermuda (from 3 August 2008, until 8 April 2009)
The ICC can also grant special T20I status to all matches within certain high profile tournaments, with the result being that the following countries will also participate in full T20Is in upcoming tournaments:
ICC World Twenty20
The ICC World Twenty20 is the Twenty20 version of the Cricket World Cup. It began in 2007 and is held once every two years.
ICC limitations on number of T20Is
In 2007 when the first ICC World Twenty20 was held in South Africa, it was set at three at home and four away in a year. At the moment, each member country is allowed to play six home and six away matches, and a maximum of three Twenty20 matches in a bilateral series. It means each of ten full ICC members can play a maximum of 12 Twenty20 Internationals in a calendar year. The motives are sound, and only New Zealand, against Pakistan between Christmas and New Year in 2010, have played three in a series. The ICC has increased the number of T20Is, a country may play in a World Twenty20 year from 12 to 15, to allow better preparation for the tournament.
It was suggested that T20 cricket be played in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010. The BCCI was originally reluctant to commit to playing the short form of the game and it never made to the final list of events for games. Interestingly, 50-over format of cricket was once part of 1998 Commonwealth games.
In 2010, this form of cricket made its debut at the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China. Both men and women teams competed. India chose not to send either team, citing international commitments. Bangladesh won the men's event while Pakistan won the women's event.
Twenty20 cricket in Olympics
Twenty20's push to be part of the 2020 Olympics when International Olympic Committee approved cricket as an Olympic sport in February 2010. Even Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, is keen to see cricket becoming an Olympic sport in the future. Cricket was once part of 1900 Olympics games.
Source: Cricinfo.com, last updated 9 Oct 2012, includes T20I #289
- Three tied matches were decided by bowl outs: New Zealand beat West Indies in 2006, India beat Pakistan in 2007 and Zimbabwe beat Canada in 2008. Three tied matches were decided in single-over contests: West Indies beat New Zealand in 2008; New Zealand beat Australia in 2010; and Pakistan beat Australia in 2012.
- Most wickets: 77 wickets by Saeed Ajmal up to 25 January 2014.
- Highest team score: 260/6, by Sri Lanka against Kenya, 14 September 2007
- Highest win margin by runs: 172 runs, by Sri Lanka against Kenya, 14 September 2007
- Highest win margin by wickets: 10 wickets (58 balls remaining), by Australia against Sri Lanka, 20 September 2007
- Best bowling figures: 6 wickets for 8 runs, Ajantha Mendis, for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe, 18 September 2012
- Highest individual score in an innings: 156, Aaron Finch, for Australia against England, 30 August 2013
- Highest partnership: 170, Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman for the first wicket, South Africa against England, 15 November 2009 
- Fastest half-century by an individual: 12 balls, by Yuvraj Singh for India against England, 19 September 2007
- Fastest century by an individual: 45 balls, by Richard Levi for South Africa against New Zealand, 19 February 2012
- Highest number of runs scored off an over: 36 (6 Sixes), by Yuvraj Singh for India against England, 19 September 2007
- Highest number of sixes hit in a team innings: 17, South Africa against England, 15 November 2009
- Highest number of sixes in an individual innings: 14, Aaron Finch, for Australia against England, 30 August 2013
- First hat-trick: Brett Lee, for Australia against Bangladesh, 16 September 2007
- Biggest six: 127 metres, Martin Guptill, for New Zealand against South Africa, 17 February 2012
- ICC suggests increasing cap on T20s during World T20 year
- Australia open to more T20s in Pakistan series
- BBC SPORT | Cricket | England | England handed Twenty20 thrashing