ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021 - Tips, Odds and Expert Predictions

Which team wins ICC T20 World Cup 2021?

India: The bookies favourites at 2/1 have had one of the more gruelling schedules over the past six months and are coming into the tournament off the back of a protracted Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign, as well as an intense test series in England.

The remainder of the IPL took place in the United Arab Emirates – the same location as the T20 World Cup – so it’s fair to say that the majority of the Indian squad are tried and tested on UAE pitches, which have something of a similarity to those back home.

Spin could well be the key to going all the way as bowling units look to check the progress of big-hitting sides in the middle overs of an innings, and with India boasting considerable depth in that department – as well as limited overs fiend Jasprit Bumrah – they’re sure to be there or thereabouts in the latter stages of this tournament.

England: Slightly further back in the betting field are the Three Lions at around 4/1 , but the 2010 winners have an envious selection of talented batsman that can blow opponents out the water in the blink of an eye.

Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan have all been in imperious form with the bat in the past 12 months or so – with the latter earning a recall to the test side thanks to his proactive scoring style at the top of the order.

But there will be concerns about the form of captain Eoin Morgan, who has had a tough time of it in the middle of late. His experience will be key, though, as they begin their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with arguably the toughest assignment, in defending champions the West Indies.

West Indies: It may be the newest format of international cricket, but the West Indies are quickly building a glowing tradition for being a supreme T20 side.

Their test outfit are slowly improving after some dark days over the past decade, and while they find themselves a lowly 9th in the ICC T20 world rankings, they have the individuals to take the game away from anyone.

Chris Gayle is by no means in the form of his life but can still win a game on his own at the age of 42, while Carlos Brathwaite will be looking to repeat his heroics in the last T20 World Cup, which saw him hit four sixes in the final over to clinch the tournament.

And at odds of 7/1, they could be the value bet in this one.

Pakistan: Another member of the 7/1 posse, Pakistan have quietly been going about their business and find themselves third in the T20 world rankings ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

Due to security issues in the country, Pakistan have instead played a lot of their cricket in the UAE, so they’re arguable the side who are most used to the pitches and weather conditions in the country, which can provide the vital edge in a close match

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They also boast a young, fearless squad who have a healthy cluster of players hitting form at just the right time. Could it be time for the 2009 champions to recapture their crown?
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Australia: They’re by no means at the peak of their powers at the minute, but it would be foolish to discount the Australians at a punchy 7/1.

The 2010 runners-up can count on big hitters Steve Smith, David Warner and Marcus Stoinis to give themselves a fighting chance in the batting department, while Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood are a very capable bowling unit.

Momentum could be key for this side and they are certainly a dark horse for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021.

World Cup 2021 Special Bookmaker Bonuses

If you’re a cricket fan who is looking to make the most of the tournament, there are a wide range of new customer offers that will give you plenty of value out of your bets. We recommend taking advantage of some of our selected bookmaker bonuses, which will unlock free bets for you to use on a variety of T20 World Cup 2021 matches.

And there’s plenty more where that came from! Head to our Bonuses page to find the best offers for you among our extensive catalogue.

In addition to new customer bonuses, bookies are likely to provide regular punters with free bet incentives as the tournament progresses. Keep an eye on your bookmaker account inbox, as well as your emails, for promos that may crop up over the next few weeks.

And, as always, make sure to use our Odds Comparison tool to ensure you are getting the very best Cricket World Cup Odds every time you place a bet.

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T20 World Cup 2021 prize money

Even for nations who fail to make a substantial mark on the tournament, T20 World Cup prize money remains very healthy.

The lesser-known sides who will begin in the First Round but fail to reach the Super 12s each stand to earn around £30,000. This is certainly a nominal fee to the more prominent cricketing nations, but it still represents a respectable payday for a number of teams, who will made up largely of part-time players.

The heat is certainly turned up a notch or two when we hit the Super 12s stage, when the major nations join the tournament. If countries bow out at this stage, they will each pick up a cheque for close to £50,000.

You have to reach the top two in one of the two Super 12 groups of six in order to reach the semi-finals, but if sides fail at the final-four stage, they stand to receive more than £250,000.

Now we’re at the real business end of the tournament, but both the runner-up and winners of ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021 will enjoy a juicy payout once the dust has settled. The loser of the final takes home just shy of £600,000, while the winning nation pockets a cool £1,000,000 – plus a little extra.

T20 World Cup 2021 - Top Players, Top Bowler, Top Batsman, Top All-rounder

We really are spoilt when it comes to quality at this tournament, with a string of supreme batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders all looking to make their mark in the UAE.

Let’s take a look at some of the top players to keep an eye out for over the next few weeks:

Babar Azam: Much of the Pakistani hopes will be resting on the shoulders of Babar Azam, who has been a pillar of the side for a solid five years in all formats, averaging comfortably above 50 in ODIs as well as an excellent 46 in the shortest format. A test average of 43 is pretty solid too, while we’re at it.

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The 27-year-old also comes into T20 World Cup 2021 in good form with the bat, notching up a half-century in their warm-up match with the West Indies just days before the tournament begins.

Dawid Malan: The Londoner is well into his 30’s but he’s had a rather peculiar international career that has seen him barely reach 50 appearances across all formats for England.

But he’s arguably in the form of his life as a limited overs batsman, impressing greatly in the first edition of “The Hundred” during the English summer, and he now tops the ICC T20 batting rankings, ahead of some of the most stellar names in the game.

Rohit Sharma: When you sieve through the Indian squad you can pick through a whole host of big-game players, but opening batsman Sharma has a knack for getting the job done more often than not.

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The 34-year-old is as experienced as they come in this format with well over a century of appearances, and with 22 half-centuries to his name, he certainly has the pedigree to make a huge dent in any bowling attack at this tournament.

Nicholas Pooran: The West Indies continues to produce high-quality batsman for the shorter format and 26-year-old Pooran has carved out a reputation as a big-hitting specialist.

With Chris Gayle no longer at the absolute peak of his powers, pressure will be on the wicketkeeper-batsman to deliver with the bat as well as the gloves, but he’s shown in various franchise tournaments across the world that he can strike the ball as cleanly as anyone.

Devon Conway: We’re yet to touch on New Zealand in our T20 World Cup 2021 preview, but the Kiwis are slick operators across all formats, and newcomer Devon Conway is certainly making a great first impression.

The 30-year-old knocked a double century on test debut against England and boasts a hugely impressive average of nearly 60 in his opening 14 T20 matches. If he continues his hot streak with the bat, his side have a huge chance of going all the way.

Jasprit Bumrah: The Indian pace bowler’s wicked action and speed make for a devilish combination across all formats of the game, but most particularly T20, where his technique does a great job of checking the progress of top and middle order batsmen looking to make headway in their innings.

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The 27-year-old is already closing in on 300 international wickets and is one of the most feared bowlers in the Super 12s.

Mohammad Nabi: Despite there not being a huge number of great all-rounders in T20 cricket, it’s still testament to Mohammad Nabi that he can top the ICC rankings despite plying his trade for one of the game’s freshest faces, Afghanistan.

He may be familiar to English county cricket fans after his short spell at Leicestershire in 2018, and at 36, he represents a steady, experienced head in the Afghan camp.

Previous Cricket World Cup Winners

We may only be at the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup, but there has still been plenty of thrills and spills, as well as a generous sprinkling of varied winners!

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India took the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007 after a closely fought five run victory over bitter rivals Pakistan, but their counterparts went one better in England two years later when they comfortably despatched Sri Lanka at Lords.
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Then, in the Caribbean in 2010, England got one over Australia in emphatic fashion to win by seven wickets in the final in Barbados.

In 2012, it was the turn of the West Indies to win their maiden T20 title when their bowling attack whipped through the Sri Lankan batting department to win by 37 runs in Colombo.

But after being beaten in two finals, Sri Lanka finally got the monkey off their back by beating India by six wickets in Dhaka with more than two overs to spare in 2014.

And the West Indies return to the tournament as defending champions after clinching their second title in the most dramatic of fashions with a final-over victory over England in Kolkata.

Group A

Sri Lanka – It’s been a poor few years for the Sri Lankans, to the point where they now languish in 10th in the ICC World Rankings for T20 cricket, despite winning the tournament only seven years ago.

As a result, they find themselves at the preliminary round of ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021, amongst the smallest nations in the tournament. That said, they should coast through this stage without breaking much of a sweat ahead of the Super 12s, which start on October 23rd.

Ireland – The Irish have caused one or two shocks down the years and are very much one of the stronger sides in the early stages of the tournament.

Opening batsman Paul Stirling is one of the team’s shining lights with a T20 average of more than 30, and if the 31-year-old is on song, his side should have enough to make it through to the next phase.

Namibia – With only 15 T20 matches under their belt, Namibia are certainly one of the greener sides at the tournament, but that doesn’t mean we don’t think they can make a mark.

They will see a clash with the Netherlands as a winnable game, which will give them a sniff of qualifying if they can get something against Ireland.

Netherlands – Despite being ranked 17th in the T20 rankings, the Netherlands are something of a household name in international cricket tournaments, having appeared in a handful down the years.

We’re not expecting them to qualify for the Super 12s, though, with the side just looking that little bit short of quality with bat and ball.

Group B

Bangladesh – Despite making significant strides as a cricketing nation in the last decade, Bangladesh still find themselves in the early group stage of the tournament.

We’re not expecting them to hit too much trouble at this point – although Scotland may cause them one or two problems – and they might have plenty of say in the Super 12s.

Scotland – The Scots are a plucky cricketing nation that have the capacity to shoot well above their station.

They have a nice mix of experienced players that are just hitting their prime and there could well be some exponential growth from them in the years to come. We’re expecting them to advance to the next round.

Oman – They’re the lowest-ranked side in Group B of ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021 but we do think they have enough about them to be competitive at this stage of the tournament.

They should be right at home on UAE pitches and we think that will be the difference against Papua New Guinea, but they are likely to hit trouble against the experienced duo of Scotland and Bangladesh.

Papua New Guinea – Making their debut in the T20 Cricket World Cup are Papua New Guinea, but there is the feeling that they will struggle to make much of an impression in what is a very tricky group for a team of their stature.

Before huge tests against the Bangladeshis and the Scots, PNG will need to get something out of their game against fellow minnows Oman if they are to have any chance of making it to the Super 12s, but we think they’re likely to struggle.

Super 12s Group A

Two sides from Group A will qualify for the Super 12s, but let’s take a look at who has automatically qualified for this stage:

Australia – The Ozzy stock is somewhat low at the moment after losses to the likes of England, New Zealand, the West Indies AND Bangladesh in recent times, but they are still a very capable side who have the individuals to beat anyone.

Australia are currently nestled in seventh place in the T20 rankings – in between Bangladesh and Afghanistan – but it’s fair to say they have more to offer than their place in the food chain suggests. They’ll be targeting at least a last-four place and many of their cross-format players will be desperate to build up some form ahead of a home Ashes series against England at the end of the year.

England – Three Lions’ fans were certainly made to suffer in the first decade or so of the 21st century as far as their ODI record was concerned, but the English Cricket Board have made a real fist of converting the nation into a limited-overs superpower.

The 2010 tournament winners have considerable strength in depth, with their batting department among the best in the world, and while their strike bowlers are perhaps not universal stars, they still pack plenty of pace and guile.

A spot in the semi-finals will be the bare minimum expectation on this side, with out-of-form Eoin Morgan under pressure to deliver after a lacklustre year with the bat for his country, as well as an underwhelming IPL campaign with the Kolkata Knight Riders that saw him barely average above 10.

South Africa – The South Africans find themselves lodged between the more fancied nations who are hovering at around the 7/1 mark in the Cricket World Cup odds, and the tournament’s minnows.

The Proteas are priced up at 14/1 to go all the way here, but we think they will be outgunned by the big-hitting English and West Indian sides. Their opening match of the tournament sees them take on Australia in what is a must-win game if they want to build some momentum ahead of tests against the more fancied nations.

But if wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton De Cock can find some form they may just be in with a sniff of reaching the last four.

West Indies – It’s always a good idea to take your tin hat with you if you’re off to see the West Indies in action, because when they go big, they go huge.

The Caribbeans have some of the best batsmen in the tournament, with the likes of Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran all capable of taking the game away from the opposition.

But despite their wealth of options in the top and middle order, they’ve struggled a bit in recent years and find themselves ninth in the T20 rankings.

That said, there’s a reason why they’re in the clutch of 7/1 options in the T20 World Cup Odds department, and plenty of sides will be keen to avoid them if they fulfil their potential and make it to the semi-final stage at the very least.

Super 12s Group B

India – There’s rarely a time when India have a bad side and it’s no different here as they enter the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021 as the bookies’ favourites at 2/1.

Captain Virat Kohli exorcised the demons who criticised his record in test cricket in England by guiding them to a series win, and he will be in a confident mood as he leads a side that is packed with talent in both departments.

Opening batsman Rohit Sharma is arguably the best in the world in his position and has already secured his status as a T20 legend, while the likes of Kohli and KL Rahul will also feel they have a big role to play over the next few weeks. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, meanwhile, looks a real prospect and his cavalier batting style could yield some big rewards in the UAE.

And with the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah to keep things tight with the ball, India represent a genuine full package and will consider it a huge disappointment if they don’t make it to the final.

Afghanistan – The progress of this Afghan side is pretty breath-taking when you consider the challenges they face back home and their rapid improvement as a cricketing nation means they have automatically qualified for the Super 12s.

They boast the best T20 all-rounder in the world in Mohammad Naby and if he can work his magic with bat and ball then this side can cause the big boys a problem or two.

But in a tough group we do think they will fall short. Automatically qualifying for this stage is an achievement in itself and against the likes of Pakistan, India and New Zealand they effectively have a free swing, with all the pressure on their vastly more experienced opponents.

New Zealand – The newly-crowned Test World Champions will be quietly confident that they can make an impact on the biggest stage of the shorter format, and they come into the T20 World Cup in a very solid fourth place in the world rankings.

The side certainly isn’t littered with star names but what they do have is a very solid core of experienced players. Captain Kane Williamson has great company as one of the best batsman in the world, while opener Martin Guptill can cause some serious damage with the bat himself.

Their bowling department is also solid, with the wily, experienced Tim Southee capable of blowing away any top order if he gets his tail up.

It’s a very competitive group, but New Zealand will certainly fancy their chances of clinching a top-two finish and making it to the semis.

Pakistan – It’s been a difficult period for Pakistan, who have had to deal with playing the majority of their matches outside of the country due to security issues.

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. This is a young side that have plenty of heart, and they have some very good individuals to boot. The Shaheens also have the added luxury of experience when it comes to playing on UAE pitches, which could be the difference-maker against sides who are less accustomed to the conditions.

We have them down as dark horses who could go all the way and their odds of 7/1 reflect that.

T20 World Cup 2021 Match Schedule

The T20 World Cup 2021 begins with a dozen preliminary group matches to determine the make-up of the Super 12s stage. These games take place over a five-day period between the 17th and 22nd of October:

All times are in British Standard Time, followed by the match venue.

17th October - Oman Vs Papua New Guinea (11:30am, Muscat)

17th October - Bangladesh Vs Scotland (3:30 PM, Muscat)

18th October - Ireland Vs Netherlands (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

18th October - Sri Lanka Vs Namibia (3:30 PM, Abu Dhabi)

19th October - Scotland Vs Papua New Guinea (11:30 AM, Muscat)

19th October - Oman Vs Bangladesh (3:30 PM, Muscat)

20th October - Namibia Vs Netherlands (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

20th October - Sri Lanka Vs Ireland (3:30 PM, Abu Dhabi)

21st October - Bangladesh Vs Papua New Guinea (11:30 AM, Muscat)

21st October - Oman Vs Scotland (3:30 PM, Muscat)

22nd October - Namibia Vs Ireland (11:30 AM, Sharjah)

22nd October - Sri Lanka Vs Netherlands (3:30 PM, Sharjah)

Less than 24 hours after the end of the preliminary round, the Super 12s gets underway:

In this section, we will identify the two qualifiers from each preliminary group as “A1”, “A2”, “B1” and “B2”, with the letter resembling the group they qualified from and the number representing their position from that group. This section of the tournament comes to a close on 8th November.

Group 1:

23rd October - Australia Vs South Africa (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

23rd October - England Vs West Indies (3:30 PM, Dubai)

24th October - A1 Vs B2 (11:30 AM, Sharjah)

26th October - South Africa Vs West Indies (11:30 AM, Dubai)

27th October - England Vs B2 (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

28th October - Australia Vs A1 (3:30 PM, Dubai)

29th October - West Indies Vs B2 (11:30 AM, Sharjah)

30th October - South Africa Vs A1 (11:30 AM, Sharjah)

30th October - England Vs Australia (3:30 PM, Dubai)

1st November - England Vs A1 (3:30 PM, Sharjah)

2nd November - South Africa Vs B2 (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

4th November - Australia Vs B2 (11:30 AM, Dubai)

4th November - West Indies Vs A1 (3:30 PM, Abu Dhabi)

6th November - Australia Vs West Indies (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

6th November - England Vs South Africa (3:30 PM, Sharjah)

Group 2:

24th October - India Vs Pakistan (3:30 PM, Dubai)

25th October - Afghanistan Vs B1 (3:30 PM ,Sharjah)

26th October - Pakistan Vs New Zealand (3:30 PM ,Sharjah)

27th October - B1 Vs A2 (3:30 PM, Abu Dhabi)

29th October - Afghanistan Vs Pakistan (7:30 PM, Dubai)

31st October - Afghanistan Vs A2 (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

31st October - India Vs New Zealand (3:30 PM, Dubai)

2nd November - Pakistan Vs A2 (3:30 PM, Abu Dhabi)

3rd November - New Zealand Vs B1 (11:30 AM, Dubai)

3rd November - India Vs Afghanistan (7:30 PM, Abu Dhabi)

3rd November - New Zealand Vs A2 (11:30 AM, Sharjah)

5th November - India Vs B1 (3:30 PM, Dubai)

7th November - New Zealand Vs Afghanistan (11:30 AM, Abu Dhabi)

7th November - Pakistan Vs B1 (3:30 PM, Sharjah)

8th November - India Vs A2 (3:30 PM, Dubai)

Once these groups have been completed, the top two sides from each group face off in semi-finals on the 10th and 11th of November, with the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 taking place on the 14th of November. The venues of these matches will be confirmed in due course.

10th November - TBC vs TBC (1st Semi-Final; 3:30 PM)

11th November - TBC vs TBC (2nd Semi-Final; 3:30 PM

14th November - TBC vs TBC (Final; 3:30 PM)

T20 World Cup 2021 Venues

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the location of the T20 World Cup was moved from the Indian subcontinent to the UAE and Oman, with four venues hosting the preliminary and main group matches, as well as the semi-finals and final.

They are:

  • Dubai International Cricket Stadium (Dubai, UAE): Capacity – 25,000

  • Sharjah Cricket Stadium (Sharjah, UAE): Capacity – 27,000

  • Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadiun (Abu Dhabi, UAE): Capacity – 20,000

  • Oman Cricket Academy Ground (Oman): Capacity – 3,000

Cricket World Cup - Brief History

It may be the younger brother of the international cricket formats, but the T20 World Cup is still packed with plenty of history.

That’s largely down to the fact that, before COVID, the competition took place every two years. There has been a five-year hiatus since the last edition of the tournament in India, but to make up for that, we can look forward to another T20 Cricket World Cup in 2022, this time in Australia.

The Indian subcontinent had something of a stranglehold on the tournament in its first couple of editions, with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all featuring in the first two finals. India won the inaugural tournament by beating their arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

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Pakistan weren’t to be denied, however, and they went one better just two years later by beating Sri Lanka in England.

From then, there’s been a bit of a shift in the winning demographic. England emerged from the limited overs doldrums in the 2010 tournament in the West Indies, hammering Australia by seven wickets in Bridgetown to clinch their first ever international trophy. 50-over success followed nine years later, when they beat New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup Final on home soil in a 2019 super over.

And the 2010 hosts became the 2012 champions with an emphatic 36-run victory over Sri Lanka, who were threatening to earn themselves a reputation as T20 bridesmaids…

But that was put to bed in the 2014 tournament, when legend Kumar Sangakkara put in a man of the match display to beat India by six wickets - and with a couple of overs to spare. Not even a 78 from Virat Kohli could deny them their place in folklore.

Ultimately, though, we’ve saved the best ‘til last. England had one hand on the trophy when West Indies needed 19 runs from the final over with just four wickets remaining. Up stepped all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who after taking 3/26 in his four-over bowling spell, smashed four consecutive sixes from the first four balls of Ben Stokes’ over to clinch World Cup glory for the second time.

We think you get the picture.

Who will be next to write their name into T20 history? Sit back, relax, grab a beer if you’re so inclined, because it’s going to be one hell of a ride in the UAE.

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James Tindall is an experienced sports betting and casino writer and is an industry veteran of more than a decade. James' main passion is football and he is an extensive follower of the English Premier League, the English Football League and much more. James is also a keen amateur cricketer so will also be providing us with tips from the IPL, as well as English County Championship and England Test matches. Away from sport, James likes to kick back by watching some of his favourite shows on Netflix, but when he's after a slight change in pace you will find him at the online poker table making generous donations to his opponents' bankrolls!

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