The rescheduled ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 kicks off in Oman on Sunday, October 17, with Oman taking on Papua New Guinea in the tournament opener.
This edition of the tournament was scheduled to take place in Australia in 2020. However, due to the COVID pandemic, it was decided that India will host the event in 2021 (which was later moved to the UAE and Oman) with Australia hosting the 2022 edition.
Earlier this year, the Indian cricket board decided to move the tournament to the Middle East “keeping an eye on the COVID-19 situation”.
A total of 16 teams will be taking part in this tournament.
West Indies are the tournament’s most successful team, having won the T20 World Cup (that was earlier called World T20) twice.
They are also the defending champions after having beaten England in the final of the 2016 edition.
India won the inaugural tournament in 2007 by beating Pakistan in the final. Pakistan managed to go one better in the 2009 edition.
Sri Lanka and England are the other winners of the T20 World Cup.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is offering total prize money of $5.6m.
Winners of the 2021 edition will get $1.6m, losing finalists take home $800,000 with losing semi-finalists pocketing $400,000 each.
Twenty20 is generally a batter-dominated format of the sport. And in terms of domination, there is no batter in men’s cricket deemed more destructive than Chris Gayle of the West Indies.
He became the first batter to score a T20 century in the opening game of the 2007 T20 World Cup and sits comfortably atop the six-hitting chart for the tournament.
Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has scored the most runs in the tournament – 1,106.
Gayle, who will be taking part in the 2021 edition, stands a chance of overtaking the Sri Lankan as he is only 96 runs behind.
While Gayle hit the tournament’s first century, it is former New Zealand captain Brendan McCullum who recorded the tournament’s highest score – a 58-ball 123 against Bangladesh in 2012.
England’s Alex Hales, Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad and Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal round up the top five. Nobody other than Gayle will be taking part in the 2021 tournament.
Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who was part of the 2009 tournament winning squad, holds the record for most wickets in the tournament – 39.
Two Sri Lankans and two other Pakistanis round up the top-five, showing the sides’ dominance with the ball at the tournament.
Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis recorded the best bowling figures of the tournament – a stunning 6-8 against Zimbabwe.
Teammate and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath sits behind him with a 5-3 against New Zealand who were also the opposition when Pakistan’s Umar Gul tore through their batting lineup at the 2009 edition.
Sri Lanka’s all-round dominance is visible again when you look at the highest team totals. They smashed the Kenyan bowlers all over the park to record the highest total in the tournament’s history (260-8) before dismissing the opponents for just 88.
And it is Sri Lanka, winners in 2014, once again in the record books after having dismissed Netherlands for a paltry 39 – the lowest team total in the tournament’s history.