The fourth edition of the ICC World T20 is just days away now, and the excitement it rising. The T20 format is adored by all ages – it’s fast, it’s exciting and the glamour quotient does its bit to catch the eye. And with the involvement of superstars in the format, it has not only increased its popularity, but has enticed the masses.
Given how close we are to another season filled with high-degree drama and excitement, it would be the perfect time to go down the memory lane – and have a glimpse of the earlier seasons.
Season 1: India
The teams headed to South Africa rather insipidly, but once the tournament kicked off, they got into the groove. There were some great games played and some great memories. It was the tournament when Gul and Clark were outstanding in the bowling department, bagging a truckload of wickets. Stuart Broad was the latest kid on the block, and well, he will be remembered for being mortified by Yuvraj Singh – who whacked him for 6 sixes in an over. Also, Chris Gayle was his natural self, whacking every ball he could over the rope.
The final was perfectly scripted between two of the fiercest rivals – Pakistan and India. The match was a close one which, like most T20s decided in the final, over of the game. India scored 157 and Pakistan were in trouble owing to Irfan Pathan’s brilliance. But what that game with be remembered for most will be Misbah’s infamous scoop, which handed India the trophy!
Season 2: Pakistan
The second season was filled with a feeling of schadenfreude – for different fans from different places across the globe. Sri Lankan Angelo Matthews beat the West Indies single-handedly in one over; England pleased the world by losing their opening game to the Netherlands. Zimbabwe pulled out of the World Cup. Australia ousted Andrew Symonds, consequently making an exit themselves. Ireland advanced to the second round. Umar Gul hit the stumps with a scary recurrence. Mendis did not make much of an impact.
However, Pakistan gave their country something to cheer about in troubled times. It was all about Shahid Afridi in the final as he guided his team to an unbeaten 54 to take Pakistan to the winner’s throne. They finally won what could have been theirs in the previous edition.
Season 3: England finally wins!
The Champions Trophy had been cancelled to accommodate another T20 World Cup and it was held in the Caribbean islands. It was a good move to have Afghanistan participating in the tournament. Australia took the tournament very seriously. Dirk Nannes stood out. Mike Hussey played an innings that will never leave the folklore of T20 cricket, to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat by leaving Saeed Ajmal dumbstruck with nowhere to hide. That innings was one that just portrayed the brilliance of Mr.Cricket.
The final of this edition was again – like the first – between two arch rivals: Australia and England. Kevin Pietersen played a great innings to beat Australia quite convincingly who again hoped for a Hussey miracle to save them, but one that didn’t come this time. England won, and that too after a long wait.
That was a recapitulation of the past editions of the tournament. This time, it is an even competition that would be great to watch. There is some serious talent to watch out for this time which would make the tournament worth following – purely for the admiration of talent – in case one doesn’t prefer the T20 format.