Cricket is a global phenomenon with thrilling quality cricket leagues spread all over the world. Below, we've ranked the Top 10 Cricket Leagues in the World.
The Four Major Cricket Formats
Before we delve into the top 10 cricket leagues, let’s make one thing clear: there’s more than one way to play cricket. The game has developed significantly over the many decades it's been in existence, and top cricket leagues from around the world reflect this by covering a range of popular formats.
Limited Overs Cricket – One Day
Limited-overs cricket, commonly known as One Day Cricket and One Day International when played between nations, is the most widely played format in the world. While several formats are limited-overs, the term refers to 50-over cricket. The first-ever One Day match was played in India in 1951; however, One Day cricket as we know it today first rose to popularity in the 1970s with the World Series of Cricket.
The World Series of Cricket introduced coloured clothing, sponsorship, and spectacle TV broadcasting. One Day matches are played between two teams with 50 overs each.
Twenty20 cricket is essentially a shortened version of the standard 50-over One Day cricket format, and was first introduced in the UK in 2003. Limited-over cricket had become stagnate at the time, and cricket authorities had been looking into ways of appealing to the younger generation during a period of low attendance.
Twenty20 is a much faster game – typically over in around 3 hours – and has resulted in the development of a more athletic and explosive form of cricket. The game is played between two teams with a single innings each of 20 overs. Its rules were drawn up with the aim of making the game more exciting through power plays and shorter boundaries.
T10 cricket, or sometimes referred to as Ten10 cricket, is an even shorter limited-over game in which two teams have an innings of only 10 overs each. A bowler can only bowl 2 overs per match – each team receives a 2-over powerplay at the beginning of their innings and a floating third powerplay over to increase scoring.
English cricket captain, Eoin Morgan, even suggested the format could be used as a means to enter cricket into the Olympics – a suggestion further supported by Indian cricket ledger Virender Sehwag.
Having said all this, the format has garnered significant criticism mostly regarding its shortness. Bowlers have noted that their role in the game is severely diminished, and during the first years of T10 cricket, some players didn’t even get to bat or bowl during an entire series.
Top 10 Most Popular Cricket Leagues
It can be tricky to single out which of the best cricket leagues in the world are the most popular with fans and punters. Fear not – we are here to help! Our list below contains our hand-picked selection.
#1 Indian Premier League
The Indian Premier League (IPL) was formed in 2007, and is cricket's premiere professional Twenty20 cricket league. Held in India every year between March and May, the IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world, and one of the most highly attended events among all global sports leagues.
The major draw to IPL for the fans has always been the fact that players from all around the world play together, rather than just nation-v-nation. Eight franchise teams play each other twice, following a standard T20 format.
|Year||Winner||2021||Chennai Super Kings|
|2018||Chennai Super Kings|
#2 Big Bash League
The Big Bash League is an Australian professional Twenty20 league, its format very much resembling that of the IPL. Also featuring 8 teams, the Big Bash League is, in fact, the only Twenty20 league to rival the IPL in attendance. It is played over the Australian summer (December – February), and was formed in 2011.
In order to boost the popularity of the league, Cricket Australia introduced exciting new rules in 2020: Power Surge, Bash Boost, and X-Factor Player. The Big Bash was also the first league to introduce the light-up stumps that we’ve all come to love across many other different leagues!
#3 Abu Dhabi T10 League
First played in 2017, the Abu Dhabi T10 is a cricket league that follows the T10 format of 10-overs per side and match durations of only 90 minutes. The league is in a round-robin format, followed by eliminator rounds to decide the final match. In 2018, the Abu Dhabi T10 League received an official ICC sanction.
The league has attracted some big-name marquee players in its short duration, such as Dwayne Bravo, Shahid Afridi, and Chris Gayle.
|Year||Winner||* There were no matches played in 2020.||*2021||Northern Warriors|
#4 Caribbean Premier League
Founded by Cricket West Indies in 2013, the Caribbean Premier League is the premier Twenty20 competition played in the Caribbean. There are 6 teams, with the league following a standard T20 format. Only 5 international players are allowed per side, together with a focus on promoting local young talent with a rule of 4 under-23 local players per team.
|Year||Winner||2021||St Kitts & Nevis Patriots|
|2020||Trinbago Knight Riders|
|2018||Trinbago Knight Riders|
|2017||Trinbago Knight Riders|
DATES CONFIRMED FOR 2021 HERO CPL. The tournament window for the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will get underway on the 28th of August and will run until the 19th of September. Read more ➡️ https://t.co/VjZCk1sOIf #CPL21 #CricketPlayedLouder pic.twitter.com/jIuVaoVHEO— CPL T20 (@CPL) May 20, 2021
#5 Pakistan Super League
Since 2016, six cities in Pakistan compete every February/March in a hotly contested Twenty20 league known as the Pakistan Super League. Just like the other major leagues, the Pakistan Super League is a double round-robin format, in which teams play each other twice ahead of the playoffs.
The competition follows the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules and regulations; however, the league introduced a DRS system that has since been emulated by the Council.
#6 T20 Vitality Blast League
The T20 Vitality Blast is a top-tier Twenty20 competition for the first-class counties of England and Wales. Originally established in 2003, it is the first professional Twenty20 league in the world! It is a huge competition, with a total of 18 teams that play in certain geographic divisions, while the top 2 teams of each division qualify for the playoff stage.
This league follows the standard Twenty20 format and is the longest Twenty20 competition, clocking in at around 3 months of play to enjoy.
#7 Bangladesh Premier League
Out of the three professional leagues in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Premier League is the most globally recognised. Seven franchises face off in this competition, which follows a typical round-robin format. The first season was held in 2012 with an elaborate opening ceremony and a player auction.
The competition, unfortunately, was marred by match-fixing scandals shortly after the initial season, and the competition did not resume until 2014. By the 2019 season, the Bangladesh Premier League improved its rules and regulations and even eliminated the franchises – instead, the Bangladesh Cricket Board took over the entire league.
#8 Mzansi Super League
South Africa’s former T20 competition ran from 2003/04 – 2020. It was one of the world's oldest Twenty20 tournaments, but the league folded in 2019 due to Cricket South Africa’s restructuring of its domestic competitions. The league was replaced by the Mzansi Super League in 2018, but had one last outing in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Mzansi Super League features a player draft in which local players are assigned to a franchise ahead of an international player selection. A total of 8 franchises make up the Mzansi Super League, and the tournament format follows that of other major competitions.
*There were no matches played in 2020.
#9 Global T20 League
If there was ever an example of how far-reaching cricket is today, then surely the Canadian Global T20 league would be at the top! The Global T20 League is the very first ICC-sanctioned cricket Twenty20 league in North America.
The six teams feature four local players each among a number of international players, including legends like Yuvraj Singh and Shoaib Malik.
*The GT20 Canada 2021 Season has been called off.
#10 Lanka Premier League
An initial attempt to develop a Twenty20 competition in Sri Lanka began in 2012 with the failed Sri Lanka Premier League; the latter had a single season before being cancelled after several years of organisational issues. Fast forward to 2020 and Sri Lanka founded the Lanka Premier League, a professional Twenty20 league that has attracted many international players.
There are only 5 teams in the Lanka Premier League, and, once again, this competition follows the standard Twenty20 formula.
Other Popular Cricket Tournaments & Events
Apart from the Twenty20 top cricket leagues, cricket is a wonderfully diverse game with many formats and rules. Throughout the years, different and rather unique competitions have come and gone (such as Beach Cricket League in Australia), featuring many former cricket stars.
The sport of cricket has come a long way over the last couple of decades. No longer is the sport relegated to a small handful of major cricket-playing nations.
The European Cricket League is a T10-formatted series that aims to popularise and further develop cricket in Europe. The tournament first began in 2019, during which 8 clubs competed on live TV and was also live-streamed to more than 140 million households. The league has already grown to 16 clubs with plans to grow even more.
European cricket has grown significantly in terms of popularity, to the point that many bookies offering the top cricket leagues to bet on also feature tons of markets for the European Cricket League.
There have been some pretty special and unique developments to cricket events in recent years. As a result, cricket continues to innovate and attract new audiences, keeping fans captivated for years to come.
- Ultimate Kricket Challenge – Speaking of innovation, the Ultimate Kricket Challenge is a unique, one-on-one indoor cricket game featuring some of the biggest cricketers on the planet! It is a 16-match series in which two players face off in a four-over inning of 15 balls each. There are unique scoring zones, and the first tournament showcased some seriously fancy batting from the likes of Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, and Kevin Pieterson.
- Hong Kong Cricket Sixes – Officially sanctioned by the ICC and perfectly designed for TV audiences, the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes is a six-a-side league featuring 8 – 12 teams. With a maximum of 5 overs per innings, each player must bowl (except the wicket-keeper) and batsmen must retire after scoring 31 runs. Exciting stuff!
- The Hundred – This is a professional cricket league in England and Wales that is expected to launch this year. The Hundred is a 100-ball match played in the format of 15 regular 6-ball overs and a single 10-ball final over. In a unique move, this format has removed the LBW rule entirely!
Things to Consider When Betting on Top Cricket Leagues
There are a lot of moving parts to a game of cricket and many, many different types of bets one can make on top cricket leagues. The best India cricket betting sites will provide their users with detailed and helpful betting tips and match prediction blogs. We’re here to help too, so we have prepared a helpful guide below on some of the leading factors to consider when betting on top cricket leagues online.
When betting on the top cricket leagues online, knowledge of the cricket grounds a particular match is being held at can provide insight into how the players and teams overall may fare.
For example, several Big Bash League games featuring the Perth Scorchers are played at the WACA. The Western Australian Cricket Association Ground (WACA) is notorious for a famous sea-breeze, known as the Fremantle Doctor, and conditions that dramatically favour serious fast and swing bowling.
When betting on top cricket leagues, consider who the ground and conditions will most likely favour. For example, in the IPL, the Chennai Super Kings home ground – M. A. Chidambaram Stadium – is notably a classic spinner's wicket, and will favour the finger spinners of the series.
Betting on your favourite team to win is not considered sound strategy, no matter the sport. Instead, it's a good idea to take a close look at who will be playing when betting on top cricket leagues online.
Think about a team like the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have a deep batting line-up that allows them to be particularly effective during the latter stages of an innings. This sort of line-up may be considered effective against a strong bowling opposition.
An additional piece of advice would be to keep tabs on the days leading up to an IPL clash. You’d hate to wager on your favourite team to post the highest score only to realise a leading batsman was left out due to injury.
There are so many unique markets for betting on top cricket leagues online in India. Considering you can bet on an individual player's performance, being fully aware of a player’s form is crucial. Check as many statistics as possible to determine a trend in their current level of play, and consider the venue and line-up to identify whether they will be at any sort of disadvantage.
How many runs have they scored this series? When was there last century? Have they been on the receiving end of several LBW dismissals? These are questions you need to answer before placing a Highest Run Scorer bet when wagering in top cricket leagues.
Consider the form of the captain too for long bets on top cricket leagues – like the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where favourites India failed to win the tournament through arguably poor captaincy decisions.
Top Cricket Leagues FAQs
Why is Twenty20 so popular?
Twenty20 cricket has become popular due to attracting wider audiences, along with a rules format that affords more exciting and unique play. Expect more sixes, athletic fielding, and thrilling run chases to take place, making Twenty20 cricket a truly explosive experience.
Which is the most popular cricket league in the world?
There is little doubt among cricket fans and casual viewers alike that the Indian Premier League is the most popular cricket league across the globe. In 2020, the opening match of the IPL was watched by a record 200 million viewers all over the world, with the league itself featuring the most sought-after international cricket stars.
Which are the best sites for cricket betting?
We doubt you’ll find a betting site that doesn’t provide cricket markets in India; that being said, some betting sites may have more to offer than others. We would recommend 10CRIC, MELbet, and Sportsbet.io as three of the very best cricket betting sites accepting Indian punters.
What’s the most unique cricket bet I can place?
There are so many different markets for betting on the top cricket leagues, and certainly no shortage of unique bets. However, if we had to pick just one, we think the Out for a Duck market provides both a very unique bet and a rather fun one too!
CricketBettingAdvice Final Say
In our opinion, there really is no better game than cricket, with the top cricket leagues offering some of the most truly breathtaking sporting action in the world. In even better news for punters, betting sites offering top cricket leagues provide unique markets alongside amazing odds to wager on every day. Be sure to check the cricket calendar to make sure that you never miss any of the top cricket leagues available at cricket betting sites online.
The Cricket Betting Advice team of writers are all defined by one goal: to provide you with the best online cricket betting content on the web.