One of cricket's biggest carnivals and perhaps the most entertaining one, the T20 World Cup, is knocking on the door again. Sixteen teams, 45 matches and a month of cricketing action await cricket-loving people around the world.
While there is no denying that T20 is all the rage now and has been for a while, this particular edition is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of all as it will bring all the biggest stars of the game under one umbrella for the first time since our planet was engulfed by Covid-19 close to two years ago. Sport, like other avenues of life, started to function normally adhering to health guidelines, and so here we are upon another global sporting spectacle, albeit one year later than originally scheduled.
From a Bangladeshi perspective, there is reason to be excited and optimistic about this tournament. Even though Bangladesh did not fare too well in the past six editions of the T20 World Cup, the nature of this format and current form make the Tigers a dark horse, if not one of the outright contenders, for this edition to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
Bangladesh had the most victories in the calendar year (9 wins in 17 matches), which included series victories over Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. In Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, Bangladesh have one of the world's best all-rounders and one of the finest pacers in the world respectively. The experience of Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das and skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and the youthful exuberance of Naim Sheikh, Afif Hossain and Mahedi Hasan have given the Tigers an excellent balance to go all the way. And then there will be Shamim Hossain and Shoriful Islam, two of the members of the under-19 team which delivered Bangladesh their first global title -- the ICC Under-19 World Cup -- just before the pandemic set in.
With the entire nation behind them, we hope that the Tigers take a leaf out of the youngsters' book and emulate the success on a bigger scale in Oman and the UAE.
In keeping with the national and international cricket euphoria, it is our pleasure to present 28-page The Daily Star T20 World Cup 2021 special 'Belter'.
The handy guide looks in detail at the prospect of all 16 participating teams, providing comprehensive statistics, analysis and cartoons.
Best wishes to the participating teams, especially ours.
Editor & Publisher