2020 saw Cricket face unique situations.
2020 was supposed to be a year with a men’s and women’s T20 World Cup, some exciting tours, and the inauguration of the hundred.
The first few months of 2020 went as expected, with a few good tours and a cracking Women’s World Cup.
2020 started with Australia completing a whitewash against New Zealand and then had South Africa take on England at home in a Test series.
The England Tests were the last for Vernon Philander, who retired from International Cricket.
Vernon Philander’s retirement saw another member of the golden generation of South Africa leave.
Faf Du Plessis is one of the few remnants of a talented group of players representing South Africa.
February saw another set of high-profile games.
Bangladesh won their first Under-19 World Cup, and Australia won the Women’s T20 World Cup.
New Zealand beat India at home, in the Test series and one-day format, but lost the T20s.
South Africa lost to Australia at home, while Sri Lanka won an ODI series against West Indies.
The calendar was going as scheduled until the pandemic changed the scenario.
Come March; Covid-19 was gaining attention.
New rules came in to keep Cricket alive.
Fist bumps, saliva bans, and empty stadiums were among the new rules.
One of the first few games played without crowds was an ODI between Australia and New Zealand.
Despite efforts to keep international Cricket moving forward, England and New Zealand called off their overseas tours.
South Africa did the same in India.
The IPL was postponed due to the rise in India’s cases, and for a brief period, the Pakistan Super League was the only source of entertainment for Cricket Lovers.
The Pakistan Super League employed closed-door games and managed to finish the league stage, but a sudden rise in cases saw the playoffs postpone.
The 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup final, played in front of a full crowd at Melbourne, was one of the last to be played with a group, and the cricketing calendar came to a halt.
With many nations in lockdown, Cricket was scarce in April and May.
Attempts were made to bring back Cricket, and the use of bio-bubbles was trialed.
After a long gap, Cricket was finally back.
The West Indies tour of England came as a respite for Cricket fans worldwide, as they finally got to see some top-flight Cricket.
The love for the game was reignited, as Cricket returned in its best fashion, with the most extended format in play.
The Test series between England and West Indies went well.
The use of bio-bubbles turned successful.
The game also helped a social cause, with the Black Lives Matter initiative gaining momentum.
Each game saw the players take a knee out of respect, and as a movement, and Cricket was finally back.
With bio-bubbles successful, Pakistan followed West Indies on tour to England.
With another Test series in England, the joy towards the game came back.
Fans were reminded of how valuable sport is to spend a joyful life.
The English Cricket board led the way, initiating a Test series and taking the necessary precautions.
The West Indies and Pakistan Boards deserve equal credit, as they were among the first sides to travel during the pandemic.
After another fascinating Test series against Pakistan, Cricket again won in a limited-overs series between England and Australia.
There was also a limited-overs series against Ireland in the mix.
The English Cricket Board managed to complete a full summer of Cricket despite the pandemic.
They ensured the game goes on, and the Cricketing World has some form of entertainment in dark times.
The viewership of the games in England increased as people worldwide look forward to Cricket’s return.
Following a successful English Summer, The CPL took place after seeing how successful the bio-bubbles in England were.
The CPL continued to impress, as Kieron Pollard’s Trinbago Knight Riders marched to the title unbeaten.
Kieron Pollard led his side to 12 wins on the trot, as there were some exciting games throughout the tournament.
The tournament did miss names like Chris Gayle but still lived up to the expectations in the absence of crowds.
It was during the CPL, were the use of speakers for crowd noise was introduced.
Before the CPL, a new form of Cricket experimented on July 18th.
Three-team Cricket was tried to spread awareness on the Black Lives Matter and raise money for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
It was a unique format, suiting Ab De Villiers, as he led the Eagles to victory.
The 2020 T20 World Cup was postponed, as the venues were modified as well, and August saw one of the biggest headlines of the year.
After a year away from the game, MS Dhoni announced his retirement with an emotional post on August 15th.
The retirement was in true Dhoni style, as he did so with hardly any hints or any farewell game.
Minutes after his retirement, Out-of-favour Indian Cricketer and a close friend of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, announced his retirement.
Both match-winners and long-time members of the side retired on the same day, and Raina’s retirement was announced as he thanked and congratulated MS Dhoni.
In particular, MS Dhoni’s retirement was among the biggest news of the year to both the Cricketing World and the nation.
MS Dhoni was seen in the IPL 2020, which was successfully scheduled for September.
With the success of bio-bubbles in international Cricket and fair use in a multi-team league as big as the CPL, the IPL’s scheduling came back to the discussion.
The tournament was held entirely in the UAE, as the game repurchased smiles to Cricket lovers.
The tournament was among the most-watched events, and many top Cricketers like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, and Jasprit Bumrah were back in action.
With a long gap, quite a few teams looked rusty, and there were some injuries throughout the tournament.
Barring a COVID-19 scare in the initial stages, the league went through well, and Mumbai Indians have crowned Champions for the fifth time.
They broke their streak of winning on odd years, and Rohit Sharma continued his unbeaten run-in finals, winning his sixth trophy.
The win was another feather in Kieron Pollard’s cap as he led his side to a CPL title a few months before.
The IPL 2020 went through well, and Mumbai showed dominance, as Cricket kept making comebacks in a pandemic year.
Following the IPL 2020 , a string of international tours was scheduled.
Pakistan took on Zimbabwe, West Indies took on New Zealand, South Africa faced England, and India went to Australia.
India’s tour of Australia was their first assignment during the pandemic, and a lot of efforts were taken to ensure the time took place.
With international Cricket returning at a brisk pace, the Cricketing world was hit by another surprising retirement.
Mohammad Amir joined MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ian Bell, and Vernon Philander, as he retired at 28.
With issues between him and the board, he decided to call it a day, as International Cricket said goodbye to another talent.
With the year coming to its final stages, the summers of South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia began.
After more limited-overs, Cricket, Test Cricket made a return, and the games we have been treated to prove why Test Cricket is still the best.
India started their Test series with Australia and dominated most of the first Test before collapsing to their lowest total of 36.
Australia’s bowling was top-quality, as they completed an easy win, despite being behind for most of the Test.
As Australia took on India, West Indies played some Test Cricket with New Zealand.
They played on some exciting surfaces in New Zealand, with so much grass making the pitch indistinguishable from the square.
After a promising performance in England, West Indies struggled in New Zealand and lost the Test series.
The last two weeks of 2020 saw a blockbuster week for Cricket.
There were three boxing day Tests, and each game was a cracker.
After collapsing to their lowest ever score in the first Test, India beat Australia in Melbourne to complete a famous overseas win.
South Africa completed a comfortable win against Sri Lanka, who lost a few players in the Test.
During the South African Boxing Day Test, Faf Du Plessis was dismissed on 199.
The third Boxing Day game is probably the best of the three and a contender for the year’s best game.
New Zealand faced Pakistan at Mount Maunganui, a game that is one of the Test format’s most excellent advertisements.
With Kane Williamson getting a century in the first innings and Neil Wagner bowling with two broken toes, New Zealand dominated the Test until the final day.
Defending 373, a New Zealand win was on the cards, but Pakistan showed some great fight.
Their resistance was led by Fawad Alam, who has been on the sidelines for nearly twelve years.
After countless domestic performances ignored by the selectors, Fawad Alam fought hard with a magnificent century.
He, along with Mohammad Rizwan, resisted, and Pakistan came agonizingly close to saving the Test.
New Zealand picked up the final wicket on day five’s dying moments to finish a great Test match.
Despite the defeat, Pakistan went against all odds and came close to saving a Test, which had all the perfect Test match elements.
Pakistan had been the most active nation during the pandemic, and it fitted that they closed the year with a classic Test to prove the most extended format still has a place in today’s world.
The Test concluded an interesting 2020, which saw a Cricketing drought and Cricket’s return to satisfy hungry fans.
The year faced many ups-and-downs, with multi-national tournaments upfront, a pandemic, the return of Cricket, some painful retirements, and Test Cricket proving itself as the best format of the game.
Mental stress was a big concern throughout the year, as bio-bubbles saw Cricketers in isolation away from their families for large parts of 2020.
While players couldn’t leave the hotel or spend too much time with family, many began to enjoy the company of their teammates.
With many years to come, 2020 will undoubtedly remain a particular year, as it reminded everyone of the love towards their favorite sports.
With sports worldwide in doubt, the return certainly entertained everyone in a year, which kept everyone restricted to their homes.
To sum up, the year,2020, has seen Cricket fans wait for Cricket in any form and savored each moment of the game as it was played.
The players gained respect towards the game, and sides began to enjoy the game and their opponents’ company, with many in isolation for long periods.