Types of Cricket Matches

Know how many types of cricket matches are three at the international level and what are the formats in which the ICC World Cup takes place.

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan Dutta

Last Updated: 2023-10-25

Dillip Mohanty

How many types of cricket matches are there?

One of the most strategic and innovative games ever invented, Cricket continues to rule many Commonwealth nations after being popularized by British citizens in the mid-16th century. While the team that scores the most runs in a given game is declared the winner, the sport has a wide variety of rules that differ from format to format. In this article, we will learn about different types of cricket matches and how it is categorized into various formats depending on the level they are played at.

Types of Cricket Matches

Organised cricket matches are essentially played at two levels. 

  • International cricket 
  • Domestic Cricket

Any matches that are played between countries and carry the affiliation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) - the governing body for cricket at the international level - are considered international matches. The ICC conduct three different types of cricket matches between nations, which are divided as follows.

  • Test Cricket
  • ODI Cricket
  • T20I Cricket

Test Cricket

Test Cricket is the oldest form of the sport that has evolved across generations to give rise to its modern avatar. The beauty of Test cricket lies in its essential iteration of old-school virtues, and the format has been the most loved by its old connoisseurs.

Bill Ponsford Test Cricket Players.jpeg

Test matches are typically played over five days, where teams are allotted two innings each, and the draw is a valid result. Before being restricted to a five-day event, some Test matches had no time limit and were called Timeless Tests. It was not officially recognised as a format until the 1890s, but later, many international matches since 1877 have been retrospectively awarded Test status.

Every Test match follows a set of rules - the primary one being the match runs across two innings. The team that scores the most across two innings are declared the winner of the match. The concept of follow-on is very exclusive to Test cricket.

The Ashes is the most popular and the longest-running iteration of Test cricket, as England and Australia play out a five-match Test series on a bi-annual basis, much to the joy of many cricket fans around the world.

ODI Cricket

The Test was long and sometimes boring. To make matters interesting, a new format was devised back in 1971 when Australia and England played each other in a one-day game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after the first three days of the third Ashes Test were washed out, and officials decided to play a one-off one day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side.

India in the 1975 world cup vs Australia.jpegUnlike Test Cricket, ODI Cricket has one innings each, and the number of overs in a match is restricted. That became extremely popular and within four years, the world bore witness to its first-ever World Cup in England. West Indies, led by Clive Lloyd, won the first edition of the event to signal a crazy period of dominance.

T20 Cricket

The latest invention of the sport, T20 cricket is at the forefront of popularising the sport in pockets where it was not widely available. After being introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003 for the inter-county competition before other countries started adopting the format.

CSK Winning IPL Trophy.jpegDue to its slam-bang nature, fans started to enjoy the sport in the evening - typically after their office ends. It helped that the Indian Premier League catered to the biggest fanbase in the world at a time that was most suitable for them. 

Types of Cricket Matches in India

India has been the spiritual home of the sport for close to half a century now. Even though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) first objected to the idea of limited-overs cricket, especially T20, later they became a staunch supporter of the format and lapped onto it through IPL, which has now become a financial behemoth.

India also hosts a slew of domestic and international cricket apart from IPL. Ranji Trophy is the premier domestic competition played the same way as Test Cricket, where the 50-over competition is named the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is played in the T20 format between various state teams. 

Types of Cricket World Cups

There are typically two types of Cricket World Cups on offer now. The 50-over World Cup is the most popular cricketing event, having span over 48 years now. After the West Indies won the inaugural edition, India, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and England won the subsequent events, with Australia, with five titles, being the most successful side.

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan DuttaSports Writer

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.