21st Century Cricket

The twenty-first century has witnessed some of the most rapid developments in the history of the game, perhaps none more significant than the birth of a new format of the sport, the three-hour spectacle of Twenty20 cricket.
The introduction of Twenty20 cricket, which was first played in county cricket in England in 2003, has resulted in significant innovation in the game. To counter free-scoring batsmen with huge hits and strokes played in all directions, bowlers began to polish a wide range of various deliveries, while fielding quality has skyrocketed.
The first Women’s Twenty20 International was played in 2004, while the first Men’s Twenty20 International was played the following year, with the format becoming the sport’s third official format.
The win of India over Pakistan in the final of the first-ever ICC World Twenty20, played in Johannesburg in September 2007, had a worldwide TV audience of more than 400 million. This served as the impetus for the establishment of the Indian Premier League the following year. With the expansion of Twenty20 leagues throughout the world, contemporary cricketers in the twenty-first century are forced to play year-round.
In the new century, the ICC also introduced a “Test Championship Table” in 2001. A “One-day International Championship Table” was added the following year. These have grown into the official MRF Tyres ICC Team Rankings across all three formats of the game, with the Test rankings bearing the ICC Test Championship Mace.
The ICC also increased its development program, with the goal of producing more national teams capable of compete across many forms. In 2004, the ICC Intercontinental Cup introduced first-class cricket to 12 nations, mostly for the first time, while the World Cricket League structure introduced competitive limited overs cricket to many new countries and some associate nations had memorable successes on the global stage, with Kenya, Ireland, Afghanistan, and the Netherlands all producing famous victories at ICC Global Events.
Afghanistan and Ireland were awarded Full-Member status in June 2017 for their continuous performances both on and off the field, which resulted in considerable development and expansion of cricket in their respective nations, bringing the total to 12.
There have also been developments on the field, such as the introduction of Power-plays in Limited Overs cricket, which impact fielding constraints, the use of two new balls in One Day Internationals, and even dug-outs for entering batters in Twenty20 cricket. There was also a significant advancement in Test Match cricket, as the Adelaide Oval hosted the first ever day-night Test Match between Australia and New Zealand, which used a specially constructed pink ball.
There have also been many recent technological advancements in the game, such as ball tracking, flashing stumps and bails to ensure accurate run out decisions, infrared cameras and edge detection technology to see whether the bat has hit the ball, and the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to calculate targets and results in limited-overs matches in the event of inclement weather.
In a series between India and Sri Lanka in 2008, a novel referral system in which players were able to refer some on-field decisions to the third umpire made its international debut. This has since grown into the official Decision Review System.

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