What is T10 Cricket? – T10 Cricket Leagues and Rules

While it’s yet to be played internationally, this is the shortest, established cricket format, so let’s take a look at T10.

What is T10 Cricket?

T10 cricket is a short form of the game where each side receives a maximum of ten overs to bat. The objective is to score as many runs as possible in that ten-over allocation.

The format follows the basic principles of limited overs cricket: Whoever scores the most runs wins the game.

Rules of T10 Cricket

The rules are similar to the T20 format. T10 cricket is, essentially, a compact version of limited overs forms.

Each side receives a maximum of ten overs in which to bat with the objective of scoring as many runs as possible in that time. If all ten wickets fall before the ten overs are completed, the innings will come to an end.

Each bowler can send down a maximum of two overs and there is a three-over Powerplay, during which, fielding restrictions will apply.

The side batting second will have up to ten overs in which to chase down their target. If they overtake the total, they will win and the game finishes. If the team batting second fails to reach the target, or they are dismissed within ten overs, they lose the game.

T10 Leagues

T10 cricket is developing around the world and here are some of the most important competitions.

Abu Dhabi T10 League

What is T10 Cricket? - T10 Cricket Leagues and Rules

The Abu Dhabi T10 League has been played since 2017 and is generally regarded as the most important competition in this format. The tournament continues to expand and the 2022 edition will now feature eight teams.

A number of big-name limited overs players will take part and the Abu Dhabi T10 League has a higher density of top stars than other, competing leagues.

Qatar T10 League

The Qatar T10 League was formed in 2019 and it features six teams. This is a competition featuring a significant number of players from Pakistan and that could well be due to the fact that the great Shahid Afridi is its brand ambassador.

European Cricket League

This is the T10 League which is chiefly responsible for spreading the game right now. While it’s restricted to Europe, the ECL has helped teams such as Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain to compete on the international stage.

Incepted in 2019, there is a national competition plus a domestic T10 tournament which features 30 teams from countries across the continent.

The 6ixty

The 6ixty was billed as a new innovation. It uses the laws of T10 cricket as its basis but adds some unique twists of its own. It was played for the first time in the West Indies in 2022 and was used as a curtain raiser for the T20 Caribbean Premier League which followed.

Moving forward, the organisers hope to host the 6ixty four times a year. Included in the rule changes are the following:

  • Teams are ‘all out’ when they lose six wickets – not 10
  • The first five overs are bowled from one end of the pitch – the next five are delivered from the opposite end
  • By hitting two sixes in the first two Powerplay overs, batting teams can unlock a third powerplay over

Positive and Negative Reactions

Not everyone is a fan of this format. With just ten overs to bat, teams can afford to keep wickets in hand. It’s all about hitting sixes and fours and the balance is weighted heavily in favour of the batters.

On the plus side, T10 cricket is helping to grow the game around the world. Developing countries who are still learning the sport may struggle in the longer formats. T10 cricket is perfect for them as they adapt to the skills required at international level.

The fast paced nature of T10 cricket also means that we often see more than one match played at the same ground in a single day. That also helps to attract new audiences which is something that the sport needs if it is going to thrive in the future.

T10 Cricket at the Olympic Games?

The question of cricket’s inclusion in the Summer Olympic Games has been up for debate for the last few years. The sport has only featured once, and only Great Britain and France took part back in 1900.

Traditionally, cricket has been a sport played competitively by just a handful of nations and the International Olympic Committee hasn’t looked too kindly on it. T10 Cricket could, therefore, be a game changer in terms of cricket at the Summer Olympics.

The introduction of tournaments such as the European League has allowed other countries to compete on a more level playing field. The likes of Austria, Portugal, Spain and many more have featured in this tournament.

If the more established countries played their strongest teams, those nations would not be a match for Australia, Pakistan, England, India and others. It would need to be competitive but the advent of T10 cricket offers hope for the sport’s Olympic supporters.

T10 Cricket FAQ

What is the Highest Individual Score in T10 Cricket?

The record, as of September 2022, is held by Australian batter Chris Lynn. In the Abu Dhabi T10 League in 2019, Lynn smashed 91 from 30 balls while playing for Maratha Arabians against Team Abu Dhabi.

Some will recall that England’s Will Jacks hit a hundred in a T10 game, but this was a pre-season match and the score isn’t, therefore, an official one.

What is T10 Cricket? - T10 Cricket Leagues and Rules
Chris_Lynn in 2018

What is the Highest Team Score in T10 Cricket?

The highest team score in T10 cricket is the 183/2 scored by the Northern Warriors against the Legends in the T10 League of 2018.

Nicholas Pooran was the highest scoring batter in this innings with 77 from 25 balls.

Who is the Owner of the T10 Cricket League?

The original T10 League has now developed into the Abu Dhabi T10 and it is owned and managed by T Ten Sports Management.

Conclusion

Personally I prefer the longer forms of the game but I can see advantages to T10 cricket as well as the downsides. If the concept helps to spread the game globally by getting more countries involved in cricket then this can only be a good thing.

I don’t particularly relish a format which is just about hitting fours and sixes from every ball. However, T10 offers a path into the game for everyone, and it also raises the possibility of cricket at the Olympics which can only be a good thing.