12 Most Famous Cricket Tournaments

Cricket is one of the most enjoyed sports in the world. Over the years, sports have seen many great cricketers playing on international platforms.

The various cricket tournaments provide well-seasoned players and amateurs to show their skills. In addition, these tournaments attract fans of all ages worldwide, which creates opportunities for advertisement and earning revenue for sponsors.

Flintoff_bowling_Siddle,_2009_Ashes_Seies
Flintoff bowling Siddle, 2009 Ashes Series (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Most of the tournaments game formats are ODI (One Day International), Twenty20 International, and Test. Also, many different countries participate in these tournaments, which is a treat for fans worldwide.

It is also a way to encourage teams and individual players. It is also the platform where many new records, breaking the old ones.

Therefore, we bring you a list of the top 12 most famous cricket tournaments globally. So, without any further delay, let us get into the details.

12 Most Famous Cricket Tournaments

The list has been prepared from various trusted sources around the internet like Sportsunfold.

Let us take a quick look at the table below before diving into the intricate details of the list.

TournamentsFirst Edition
12. Big Bash League2011-12
11. Caribbean Premier League2013
10. Commonwealth Bank Series1979-80
9. Asia Cup1984
8. Border-Gavaskar Trophy1996-97
7. NatWest Series2000
6. Indian Premier League2008
5. Champions League Twenty202008
4. Ashes Series1882-83
3. T20 World Cup2007
2. ICC Champions Trophy1998
1. ICC Cricket World Cup1975

12. Big Bash League

We will start our list of the most famous cricket tournaments with the Big Bash League. Also commonly known as KFC Big Bash League, it is a Twenty20 cricket league with an Australian professional franchise.

Cricket Australia established the Big Bash League in 2011. Since its beginning, the league has featured eight city-based franchises sponsored by the fast-food chicken outlet KFC.

The tournament’s game format has been the same every year except for the inaugural season. Australia hosts the tournament during December, January, and February.

Big-Bash-League-06-finals
Big Bash League 06 finals (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Big Bash League is one of the two T20 cricket leagues featured among the top ten domestic sports leagues in average attendance. Out of the eight teams that feature in the league, six teams have won the title at least once.

In 2015, Cricket Australia announced the Women’s Big Bash League, and it would share the names and colors of the existing men’s team. The Sydney Thunder won the inaugural game.

The winner of the 2020-21 season was the Sydney Sixers. They stood victorious against the Perth Scorchers by 27runs in the final.

11. Caribbean Premier League

The Caribbean Premier League is a Twenty20 cricket tournament. Cricket West Indies was the founder of the tournament in 2013, and Hero MotorCorp sponsors the league while the Caribbean hosts it.

The league replaced the Caribbean Twenty20 as the premier Twenty20 competition. The league has six teams, and the game has two stages, namely the group stage and a knockout stage.

The Premier League uses six stadiums, and each is a home field for the six participating teams.

Caribbean-premier-league-winners
Caribbean Premier League winners (Source: Instagram)

These teams have 15 contracted players, each with five international players and four under 23. Similarly, each team has one local and one international player.

Since the tournament’s inception, Trinbago Knight Riders have been the most successful team. They have won the League four times. The Barbados Tridents and the Jamaica Tallawahs have won twice.

In the 2020 season, the Trinbago Knight Riders won the Premier League for the fourth time when they defeated St. Lucia Zouks in the final.

St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots are the current champions of 2021. They defeated the Saint Lucia Kings by three wickets and won their first Caribbean Premier League trophy.

10. Commonwealth Bank Series

The Commonwealth Band Series is an Australian cricket tournament. The tournament was first held in 1979-80, and the primary format was international one-day cricket until 2015.

The West Indies won the inaugural game while England became Runners-up. The hosting country Australia managed to get third.

The series format returned in the 2011-12 season, but it was still not a permanent return. Resulting from the same, a shorter version of the series with only seven matches was played in 2014-15.

Commenwealth_Bank_Series_Logo
Logo of one of the most famous cricket tournaments, Commonwealth Bank Series (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Commonwealth Bank Series is one of the oldest tournaments. The format of the game changed to the Twenty20 international since 2015. Over the years, the series has taken several names.

However, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia holds the naming rights sponsor of ODI cricket in Australia; hence the series is the Commonwealth Bank series.

Australia hosts the tournament during the Australian summer season, just after Christmas.

9. Asia Cup

The Asia Cup is the only continental championship with a one-day international and Twenty20 international cricket format. The Asian Cricket was founded in 1983, and the tournament was established in the same year.

The objective of establishing the tournament was to promote goodwill between Asian countries. The cup was initially scheduled to be held every two years. Therefore, the cup alternates every two years between the ODI and T20 format.

The initial edition of the cup was held in the United Arab Emirates. India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan participated in the first edition. India emerged victorious in the finals against Sri Lanka.

Asia-Cup-2018-trophy
Asia Cup 2018 trophy (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The cup has seen its fair share of ups and downs throughout the series due to political situations between countries.

In 1986, India boycotted the tournament due to strained cricket relations with Sri Lanka. Similarly, Pakistan boycotted the series in the 1990-91 season because of the political strain with India.

Despite the ups and downs, the cup has promoted good relations between countries, which was its initial objective.

The most successful team in the tournament has been India with seven titles, while Sri Lanka comes in second with five titles won.

Enjoy reading a short Bio about Ravichandran Ashwin.

8. Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Next on our list is the famous Test cricket series where Australia and India battle off, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In 1996-97, the first game was played between the two countries.

The series is named after distinguished former captains from Australia, Allan Border and India’s Sunil Gavaskar.

The Border-Gavaskar trophy is one of the oldest cricket tournaments. Between 1947 to 1996, India and Australia played 50 times in Tests. Soon after India’s Independence, India toured its first country, Australia.

Australia and India are two of the most powerful teams in the cricket world. Hence, the competition between these two countries has always been intense.

Border-Gavaskar-trophy
Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Although India has the reputation of being difficult to beat in their homeland, they never managed to win a Test series in Australia. However, India defeated Australia broke that streak n the 2018-19 series.

In the 2020-21 series, India continued it’s 2018-19 series winning streak. They defeated Australia by two Tests to one, with one drawn match. In case of a draw, the country holding the trophy retains it.

Since 1996, India’s Sachin Tendulkar has been the most successful batsman with 3,262 runs from 65 innings. Similarly, India’s bowler, Anil Kumle, is the most successful bowler with 111 wickets over 20 matches.

7. NatWest Series

The NatWest Series is an exclusive one-day international cricket tournament. England is the host of the tournament. The series started in 2000, and National Westminster Bank is the sponsor of this tournament.

The NatWest Series is one of the famous cricket tournaments. The series original format was a triangular series with two visiting international sides. The three-team would play the other two three times each, and the top two teams face off in the finals.

The final game is held at Lord’s in London while the ten matches are played at seven international and county cricket grounds. 

First-NatWest-Series-winner-England-in-2000
First NatWest Series winner England in 2000 (Source: Instagram)

West Indies and Zimbabwe were the two visiting teams in the first inaugural game. England won the inaugural game against Zimbabwe by 6 wickets.

The other notable matches of the NatWest series include the 2002 final where England played against India. India beat England thanks to Mohammad Kaif, who scored 87, and Yuvraj Singh 69.

In the 2011 season, England and Sri Lanka faced each other, which was also the last NatWest Series. England won the match by 3-2 against Sri Lanka.

Every test-playing nation had participated in the NatWest Series at least once by 2005 last triangular tournament.

6. Indian Premier League

The Indian Premier League or IPL is India’s most viewed sports tournament. It is a professional men’s Twenty20 cricket league. Teams out of ten Indian cities compete in the league.

The Indian Board of Control for Cricket founded the IPL in 2007. Usually, the league is held between the March and May of every year. The league also has an exclusive window for the ICC Future Tours Programme.

IPL’s format was similar to that of the Premier League of England. Initially, only eight out of ten cities participated in the league. Then in 2010, two new franchises from Pune and Kerela joined the league.

Indian-Premier-League-trophy
Indian Premier League trophy (Source: Instagram)

Each participating team plays twice in a home-and-away round-robin format in the league phase. The top four squads will then move on to the playoffs, and the top two teams will play each other in the first Qualifying match.

The winner of the first Qualifying match will move to the IPL final. However, the loser will get another chance to qualify for the IPL final by playing the second Qualifying match.

In 2014, the IPL was ranked sixth by average attendance among all the sports leagues. Similarly, it is also the most-attended cricket league in the world.

In 2010, YouTube broadcasted the IPL live, making IPL the first sporting event to be broadcast live on YouTube. Currently, eight teams participate in the league. The Chennai Super Kings won the 2021 season IPL title.

5. Champions League Twenty20

The Champions League Twenty20 is one of the famous global cricket tournaments in domestic level cricket. Also known as the CLT20, it was an annual international Twenty20 cricket competition.

CLT20’s first edition was held in 2009. The Indian Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI), Cricket Australia, and Cricket South Africa jointly owned the league.

The league’s game edition had different formats, and the participating team number also was different. In addition, the game had a group stage and a two-round knockout stage.

The tournament’s participating teams are from the top cricketing nations. The premier Twenty20 tournaments of the participating nation determined the team.

CLT20_match_at_Naya_Raipur_Stadium
CLT20 match at Naya Raipur Stadium 2014 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The tournament mainly targeted the Indian audience. Therefore, the tournament has featured more teams from India than any other county. Hence, India is also the first choice for hosting the CLT20.

Usually, the tournament was held between September and October, either in India or South Africa. However, Australia’s weather in September made it unsuitable to host the tournament and its time zone was also undesirable for the broadcaster.

In 2015, the three founding cricket boards announced the tournament’s cancelation due to the poor viewership, lack of audience, and unstable sponsorships.

The 2014 Champions League Twenty20 was the last edition of the tournament. The Chennai Super Kings were the winner of the last CLT20 title.

4. Ashes Series

The following famous cricket tournament is the Ashes Series; a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. The International Cricket Council is the administrator of this series.

The first edition of Ashes series was held in 1882-83. The name of the series originated in the satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times. The obituary was published after Australia won its first Test win in England.

The journalist wrote, “In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval. The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” Hence, the ashes were associated with the Ashes Series.

The_Ashes_Urn
The Ashes Urn (Source: Wikimedia.org)

After England won two of the three-Test series, Melbourne women presented a small urn to England captain Ivo Bligh. The urn contained the ashes of a wooden ball humorously described as “the ashes of Australian cricket.”

Although the urn has never been the official trophy of the Ashes series, it has been replicated. The victorious team holds the replica of the urn as a symbol of their victory in an Ashes Series.

England and Australia host the series at least once every two years in turn. The series traditionally consists of five Tests, and the winning team holds the Ashes. In case of a draw, the current winning team retains the trophy.

Recently, a new version of the Ashes Series was launched. It is the Ashes Lite and consists of three matches.

2. ICC Champions Trophy

Our number second most famous cricket tournament is the ICC Champions Trophy. International Cricket Council is the tournament organizer, and it had the one-day international cricket format.

Bangladesh hosted the first edition of the tournament in 1998 as the ICC KnockOut tournament. The tournament takes place every four years approximately.

Later in 2002, the tournament was renamed the Champions Trophy. The tournament’s objective was to raise funds to develop the game in non-test playing countries.

ICC-Champion- Trophy-England-&-Wales-2013
ICC Champion Trophy England & Wales 2013

The tournament was also a huge commercial success. Therefore, countries like India and England have hosted the tournament for revenue-generating purposes for ICC. As a result, the number of teams participating has varied.

Since 2006, the format has been in a round-robin format where eight teams play. Fifteen matches are played in the present format, lasting about two and half weeks.

The final edition of the tournament was intended to be in 2013. However, due to its popularity and commercial success, it was extended to 2017. As a result, the ICC replaced the trophy with the World Twenty20 championship.

Also, read about the 12 Best Female Cricket Players in the World.

1. ICC Cricket World Cup

The number 1 in our list of most famous cricket tournaments is the ICC Cricket World Cup. It is the International Championship with a one-day international format. The International Cricket Council is the sport’s governing body and organizer of the cup.

England was the host country for the first edition of the tournament in 1975. Moreover, England hosted the first three events. Since the Prudential pic sponsored the tournament, the three events are officially called Prudential Cup.

Over the years, different nations have hosted the tournament. Sometimes countries jointly hosted the tournament.

ICC_World_Cup_Trophy
ICC World Cup Trophy (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Likewise, the tournament’s format has changed dramatically over the years. The first four tournaments were played by eight teams divided into two groups of four. Then in 1993 and 2003, a distinct format was used in the tournament.

In 2016, 16 teams participated in the tournament. The teams were divided into four groups and played in a round-robin format. Similarly, seven teams participated in the 2011 and 2015 games.

Likewise, in the 2019 tournament, ten teams participated and played in the round-robin format. The tournament takes place every three years. The tournament to date has eleven editions, with twenty teams participating.

The subsequent ICC Cricket World Cup will be held in India in 2023.

Conclusion

This concludes our list of the topmost famous cricket tournaments in the world. These tournaments provide platforms for the players to show off their skills and make records.

These tournaments are also means of entertainment for cricket fans worldwide. Which tournament do you believe is the best on the list?

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