Daniel Vettori is a master of drift, subtle variations in flight, speed and length. The combination makes him a fabulous T20 bowler. Add his lower-order batting to that equation and you have yourself a hell of an addition to your T20 line-up.

Easily, one of New Zealand’s greatest-ever cricketers, Vettori is considered the greatest exponent of left-arm orthodox spin since Bishen Singh Bedi.

Often bearing the brunt of being New Zealand’s sole wicket-taker except when Shane Bond would play, had the added bonus of making him very marketable as the face of the Kiwi side and soon the Indian Premier League (IPL) would come calling.

Vettori was bought for US$625,000 in the inaugural season of the IPL by the Delhi Daredevils with teammate and skipper Virender Sehwag calling him the best spinner in the world. He would go on to captain the Royal Challengers Bangalore, leading them to the 2011 final.

 

Career Statistics (2006-2015)

Full name: Daniel Luca Vettori

Born: January 27, 1979 (41), Auckland

Major teams: New Zealand, Delhi Daredevils, ICC World XI, Jamaica Tallawahs, Northern Districts, Nottinghamshire, Queensland, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Warwickshire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

T20I Career – New Zealand

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs   Wkts   BBI      BBM    Ave     Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

34       34     787     748       38     4/20     4/20    19.68   5.70    20.7     1        0      0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   Balls    Runs     Wkts   BBI      BBM    Ave    Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

143    143    3236    3424       131    4/20     4/20    26.13   6.34    24.7     1      0         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Took 38 T20I wickets at 19.68
  • Record best T20I economy rate (5.70)
  • 1 four-wicket haul in T20I
  • 131 T20 wickets captured at 26.13

Yuvraj Singh, like many of the greats, was a man ahead of his time. He was showing the world the fine art of attacking with almost reckless abandon but doing so with a kind of consistency that defies logic.

An elegant stroke maker, Yuvraj was an instant hit in One-Day Internationals, counterattacking some of the greatest bowling attacks in the world with much success.

What was more, Yuvraj seemed to relish the big occasion, saving his best efforts for the not just the big teams, but for the moments that count against those teams.

Yuvraj and a young Mahendra Singh Dhoni, over the few years following the former’s 2000 debut, set about making India’s middle-order something to be feared. The duo helping to chase down some of the biggest totals in ODI cricket.

Then came the advent of the T20 game in 2007. Yuvraj’s transition was instant.

He went to the inaugural World T20 and to date, there are very few to have matched his strokeplay during that tournament.

Yuvraj would become the first Indian to hit six sixes in an over on his way to winning the inaugural tournament.

Yuvraj’s career suffered later on after a battle with cancer made his appearances few and far in between. He never recovered the form he had shown earlier in his career but every now and then, there was a masterpiece.

 

Career Statistics (2003-2019)

Full name: Yuvraj Singh

Born: December 12, 1981 (38), Chandigarh

Major teams: India, Asia XI, Delhi Daredevils, India A, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors, Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Toronto Nationals, Yorkshire

Playing role: Middle-order batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

T20I Career – India

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs    HS    Ave      BF      SR         100    50     4s     6s   

58       51      9      1177    77*   28.02    863    136.38      0       8      77     74   

 

T20 Career

Mat   Inns    NO    Runs     HS    Ave      BF       SR        100     50      4s     6s    

231    216     27     4857      83    25.69    3772    128.76     0       27     386    261       

 

Career Highlights

  • Amassed 1177 T20I runs in 58 matches at 28.02
  • Most T20I runs off an over (36)
  • Equal most runs off one over in any format (36)
  • Fastest T20I fifty (12 balls)
  • 4857 T20 runs at 25.69

West Indies opener Evin Lewis just missed out on a place in the final six of SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 Edition earlier today.

SportsMax, ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), has been taking a look at what an all-time T20 team would look like.

In doing so, as the sports broadcasting powerhouse has done with its Ultimate XI Football, Test and ODI cricket teams, the SportsMax Zone has enlisted the help of a panel of experts, as well as a voting public to help with the decision-making.

Fans, called Fanalysts have a 30% weighted vote on who makes SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team, with the SportsMax Zone having another 30% of the vote. The panel of experts’ vote will count for 40% of the overall votes.

Fanlysts can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about the players before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Today, a panel of Kerry Scott, former cricketer, Chris Taylor, cricket umpire, commentator and expert, along with Sachin Ramsubhag, cricket commentator, had the unenviable task of whittling down a list of 13 potential openers to a final six for discussion on Friday, where a final pairing will be picked.

The 13 shortlisted for all-time best T20 openers were Indians, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan; New Zealanders, Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum; Australians, Aaron Finch, David Warner, and Shane Watson; South African, Quinton de Kock; Sri Lankan, Tillakaratne Dilshan, as well as West Indians, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, and Lendl Simmons.

The team were certain there were places for Sharma, Finch, Warner, Gayle, and McCullum.

However, difficulty arose when it came time to choose one from Lewis, Guptill and Rahul.

Guptill was the first to go with Scott and Ramsubhag overruling Taylor to go with Rahul over Lewis.

Meaning the final six for discussion are Gayle, Sharma, Rahul, Finch, Warner, and McCullum.  

One of New Zealand’s most consistent big hitters, Colin Munro is also much sought-after in all the T20 Leagues around the world.

But Munro wasn’t always a mainstay in the New Zealand team and had been in and out of the limited overs setup from his debut in 2012 until 2015 when he was the heaviest scorer in the Georgie Pie Super Smash. In the tournament, Munro would smash 366 runs at a strike rate of 175.

From then on, Munro was a fixture in the New Zealand top order, locking down the number three spot at the 2016 T20 World Cup.

A year later, Munro became just the fourth player to score multiple T20I centuries after Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, and Evin Lewis.

Munro, with three T20I centuries, stands on his own as an opener in the shortest format of the game.

He also topped the batting charts in the Hero Caribbean Premier League back in 2018 with a mammoth 567 runs for the eventual champions, the Trinbago Knight Riders. No player has ever scored more in a season. Munro has been a mainstay with the Trinbago Knight Riders since 2016 and has been retained for the Knight Riders for the 2020 season which begins in a few days.

 

Career Statistics (2010-present)

Full name: Colin Munro

Born: March 11, 1987 (33), Durban

Major teams: New Zealand, Auckland, Balkh Legends, Brampton Wolves, Delhi Capitals, Delhi Daredevils, Hampshire, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, New Zealand A, New Zealand Under-19s, New Zealand XI, North Island, North West Dragons, Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, Worcestershire, Worcestershire 2nd XI

Playing role: Opening batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium-fast

 

T20I Career – New Zealand

Mat   Inns   NO     Runs    HS     Ave     BF      SR       100    50     4s     6s    

65       62      7      1724     109*  31.34   1102  156.44     3      11    132    107        

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs     HS     Ave      BF       SR       100    50    4s     6s   

262    246    29     6308      109*  29.06    4359   144.71    4      37    524    341       

 

Career Highlights

  • 1724 T20I runs at an average of 31.34
  • 1st player to score three centuries in T20I cricket.
  • New Zealand Men's T20 Player of the Year 2019
  • 3rd fastest T20I fifty of all time (14 balls)
  • 3rd most T20I sixes (107)
  • 4th best strike rate in T20Is (156.44)
  • 6308 T20 runs at 29.06

Wahab Riaz’s arrival in all formats of the game was signalled by a One-Day International spell in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup.

Bowling against an Australian top order inclusive of Shane Watson and Michael Clarke, Wahab delivered at real pace, his 150 km/h bouncers and yorkers getting the batsmen in trouble.

“One of the fastest spells I have seen in a long tim,” said Clarke after the 2015 World Cup game.

Wahab’s pace and wicket-taking ability has made him a hit in the T20 leagues around the world. He was a platinum selection for Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, leading the team in number of wickets for the last few years. He has also had stints in the Afghanistan Premier League, the Global T20 Canada, the Mzansi Super League and in the Bangladesh Premier League.

 

Career Statistics (2008-present)

Full name: Wahab Riaz

Born: June 28, 1985 (35), Lahore, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Cape Town Blitz, Central Punjab (Pakistan), City Nazim XI, Comilla Victorians, Derbyshire, Dhaka Dynamites, Dhaka Platoon, Essex, Essex 2nd XI, Hyderabad (Pakistan), Hyderabad Hawks, Hyderabad Region, Imtiaz Ahmed's XI, Kandahar Knights, Karachi Kings, Karachi Port Trust, Kent, Kowloon Cantons, Lahore, Lahore Eagles, Lahore Lions, Lahore Ravi, Lahore Region Whites, Lahore Shalimar, National Bank of Pakistan, North West Frontier Province-Baluchistan, Northern Warriors, Pakistan A, Pakistan All Star XI, Pakistan Blues, Pakistan Chief Ministers XI, Pakistan Cricket Academy, Pakistan Cricket Board Patron's XI, Pakistan Greens, Pakistan Under-17s, Pakistan Under-19s, Peshawar Zalmi, Punjab (Pakistan), Punjab Badshahs, Rangpur Riders, Surrey, Water and Power Development Authority

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

T20I Career – Pakistan

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs   Wkts   BBI     BBM     Ave    Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

31       30     609     813       30     3/18    3/18     27.10   8.00   20.3     0        0       0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns    Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave     Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

252    248     5347     6379     296     5/8     5/8      21.55    7.15   18.0     0        2      0

 

Career Highlights

  • 9th most wickets in T20 cricket (296)
  • 296 T20 wickets at 21.55
  • 30 T20I wickets from 31 matches at 27.10

It is ludicrous to think that Australia’s Mitchell Starc may have been a wicketkeeper had a coach not seen him as a young teen and demanded he put down the gloves and start running in to bowl fast.

Since that day at 14 years old, opposition batsmen have been ruing the foresight of the coach.

Just six years later, Starc was in the Australia squad to India, but he never did well until he was dropped and went to England to play for Yorkshire. There he learned to properly swing the ball.

Starc returned to the Australia side an improved bowler. He was also much quicker than the 135 km/h with which he first rose to the international level, pommelling batsmen with swinging yorkers at 150 km/h plus.

After establishing himself as the Australian spearhead in all forms of the game, Starc finally took the plunge into the Twenty20 leagues, joining the Indian Premier League (IPL), in 2014.

While he did well, he always prioritized international cricket over the T20 leagues. Still, he proved devastating in the Big Bash, leading all wicket-takers in the competition’s inaugural season.

Starc is already considered one of Australia’s greatest fast bowlers.

 

Career Statistics (2009-present)

Full name: Mitchell Aaron Starc

Born: January 30, 1990 (30), Baulkham Hills, Sydney, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia Under-19s, New South Wales, New South Wales Second XI, New South Wales Under-17s, New South Wales Under-19s, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sydney Sixers, Western Suburbs, Yorkshire

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

T20I Career – Australia

Mat   Inns    Balls   Runs    Wkts     BBI     BBM    Ave    Econ   SR     4w    5w    10w

31        31      696      802        43       3/11     3/11    18.65   6.91    16.1     0       0       0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI      BBM     Ave     Econ     SR      4w    5w    10w

94        93    2055     2451      140      4/15     4/15     17.50   7.15     14.6       1      0         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 43 T20I wickets in 31 matches at 18.65
  • 15 T20 WC wickets in 10 matches
  • 140 T20 wickets captured at 17.50

When Pakistan were previously in England for a Test series, Babar Azam saw a promising start cut short by a bad break.  

The batsman made a half-century in the opening game at Lord’s in May 2018, but his involvement in the series was painfully cut short when struck on the left arm by a Ben Stokes short ball.  

Forced to retire hurt with 68 to his name, Babar did not appear again during the tour. A fracture ended his contribution as the tourists triumphed at the home of cricket, while he had to watch on as his side were crushed in the second Test at Headingley. 

At that stage of his career, Babar was viewed as a limited-overs specialist still making his way in the Test arena. With an average under 25 prior to playing England, he was – at the age of 23 – a player with obvious potential working out how to play the game of patience.

Just over two years on, he returns to England having enhanced his reputation to such an extent that the so-called 'Fab Four' - Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson - have company. It is unclear who identifies as the cricketing versions of Paul, John, Ringo and George, but Babar is not like the fifth Beatle – his identity is clear.

Start a discussion with cricket fans over who should be considered the lead act in the group and you are opening a cricketing can of worms. It is a topic that, understandably, stirs up national pride, but also heated discussions about the weight of importance given to each format. 

What is not up for debate, however, is that Babar deserves to be in the conversation. His white-ball numbers are outstanding – he averages over 50 in Twenty20 and one-dayers for Pakistan – yet his Test statistics in recent times provide additional evidence for those keen to argue his case.  

Indeed, his average of 75.9 across his 12 Test knocks since the start of 2019 is the best rate of any batsman to have 10 or more innings during that period. Better than Kohli, despite the India captain piling on the runs at home against South Africa, including a career-best 254 not out. Better even than Smith, whose Ashes heroics last year were so crucial in helping Australia retain the urn on English soil.  

He also sits above the same pairing when it comes to contributing for his team, providing an astonishing 22 per cent of Pakistan’s total Test runs over the period. There is clearly substance to the style now, a determined streak to go with the eye-catching technique.  

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, tipped Babar to become one of the best in the world at the start of the year; he was a little late to get on board a bandwagon that now offers standing room only. 

"I think he is right up there already," Azhar Ali, Pakistan's Test skipper, said on the eve of the series opener with England at Old Trafford. 

"His performances have improved massively in Test matches over the last year or so. Firstly, he was performing really well in white-ball cricket and people thought he was only a white-ball player, but he took on that challenge and played with a lot of freedom and flair.” 

Babar's career totals do not stand up to the sheer volume scored by Kohli, Root, Smith and Williamson - at least not yet. Still, since 2018, he sits above the quartet in terms of Test average (65.5) and strike-rate (63.2 runs per 100 deliveries).

That stretch includes a memorable maiden hundred on home soil. While rain ruined the spectacle of the first Test played in Pakistan for over a decade, Babar brightened up the final day against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi with an unbeaten 102 that delighted the crowd who had patiently waited to see their team return.  

Scores of 60 not out, 100 and 143 followed in the remainder of a truncated series, all from a player who did not reach three figures until his 17th Test. 

Prior to that breakthrough innings against New Zealand in November 2018, Babar had managed an unspectacular 822 runs at 30.4. Since then, though, there have been four more three-figure scores in 10 games, plus a 97 in a losing cause against Australia in Adelaide when no colleagues were willing to stick around in support. 

Pakistan are likely to lean on him heavily again in England, particularly as they come up against a team brimming with fast-bowling options and fresh off a 2-1 series victory over West Indies. 

Babar's development - including a highly productive Cricket World Cup campaign last year on English soil, as well as finishing top run-scorer in the T20 Blast while playing for Somerset - suggests he will relish the challenge.

The head-to-head battle with Root will be one of the main storylines, too. England's captain has much on his plate in the coming weeks, including fathoming out a way to nullify the brilliant Babar, who has stylishly climbed his way into the top tier of international batsmen.

Bridesmaids through the 2000s and the 2010s when the ICC World events came along, Sri Lanka had made it to two World Cup finals and two World T20 finals since Lasith Malinga debuted, losing on all four occasions.

The World T20 of 2014 started with a crisis in leadership. With a host of former skippers in the side, but all of them reluctant to lead, Malinga happened upon leadership towards the end of the league stages when the management decided to drop their original skipper, Dinesh Chandimal.

And boy, did he prosper. Bowling yorkers at the death at will to stifle the Indians, he ensured that the trophy finally came home - leading Sri Lanka to one of its finest moments on the cricketing field. It made him only the second captain of his country after Arjuna Ranatunga to lift an ICC world title. But long before that Malinga had been blessed with an action that defied the longevity he had. A whippy almost side-arm way of delivering, Malinga defied all logic and proved accurate despite convention suggesting he would struggle with it.

With that whip came swing and pace. Of course, performances like the one in that final were almost inevitable given the work that Malinga put into perfecting his craft even with his strange delivery action.

 

Career Statistics (2004-present)

Full name: Separamadu Lasith Malinga

Born: August 28, 1983 (36), Galle

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Basnahira, BCCSL Academy XI, Galle Cricket Club, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Kandy, Kent, Khulna Titans, Maratha Arabians, Melbourne Stars, Montreal Tigers, Mumbai Indians, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Palace Diamonds, Rangpur Riders, Ruhuna, Ruhuna Reds, Ruhuna Royals, Southern Express, Southern Province, Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Board XI, Sri Lanka Cricket XI, Sri Lanka Emerging Team, Sri Lanka Masters, Sri Lanka Schools XI, St Lucia Zouks

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

T20I Career - Sri Lanka

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts     BBI   BBM     Ave        Econ      SR    4w   5w 10w

84          83        1799     2225       107       5/6    5/6      20.79       7.42      16.8    1     2     0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave       Econ     SR     4w  5w  10w

295       289       6508     7680        390      6/7     6/7     19.69     7.08      16.6    10    5     0

 

Career Highlights

  • Most T20I wickets 107, (84 matches at 20.79)
  • 1st bowler to take 100 T20I scalps
  • 2nd most T20 wickets (390 at 19.69)
  • T20 WC champion 2014 (captain)
  • Most T20I hat-tricks (2)
  • Most wickets in IPL history (170)

IPL purple cap winner for most wickets (28) in 2011

He has been an asset for the Bangladesh team for a long time. In the bowling department, Shakib al Hasan possesses accuracy and consistency. Meanwhile, on the batting front, Shakib al Hasan has aggression and a variety of strokes in his arsenal.

He made his international debut in 2006 for the ODI and T20 teams in 2006. A year later, he was drafted into the Test team for the very first time.

In 2009, he ascended to the role of Bangladesh skipper and to date, remains the captain of the Test and T20 team.

Shakib began his tryst with the IPL in 2011. From that year to 2017, he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Then, in 2018 he joined the Sunrisers Hyderabad and now has stuck with them for another year.

He has not exactly contributed much with the willow, with his personal best being an unbeaten 66. However, he can boast of two half-centuries and a strike rate of 127.28.

 

Career Statistics (2006-present)

Full name: Shakib Al Hasan

Born: March 24, 1987 (33), Magura, Jessore

Major teams: Bangladesh, Adelaide Strikers, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Khulna Division, Kolkata Knight Riders, Peshawar Zalmi, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Worcestershire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

T20I Career - Bangladesh

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave       Econ     SR    4w   5w   10w

76          75        1667     1894         92     5/20     5/20    20.58       6.81    18.1    3      1       0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts      BBI   BBM      Ave       Econ     SR     4w   5w    10w

308       302       6487     7459        354       6/6     6/6       21.07      6.89     18.3    8       4       0

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd most T20I scalps, 92 in 76 matches at 20.58
  • Most wickets for Bangladesh in T20 WC (30 at 19.53)
  • 3 T20I four-wicket hauls, 1 five-wicket haul
  • 5th most T20 wickets (354 at 21.07)
  • 1st to be ranked 'No.1 all-rounder' in all three formats

Marketing leg-spinner's modern face with chic, Rashid Khan outnumbers leg-breaks with googlies, something he has perfected into a reliable and somewhat retaliatory weapon, executing it with very little change in action. Having doted on Shahid Afridi's modus operandi since childhood, Rashid bowls similar lines - linear, from stump to stump - and does so at a quick pace, rebelliously using his fingers more than the wrists, thus not allowing the batsman any time to shimmy out and get to the pitch of the ball.

The T20I debut for Rashid came a few days after his ODI debut on October 26, 2015 at Bulawayo against Zimbabwe. The Afghan team won the match by 6 wickets and Rashid took one wicket in the match.

Since then his importance to the Afghanistan team and for any team he joins on the T20 circuit cannot be understated. Today there is no bowler with a better T20I average, and no bowler in IPL history has ever had a better economy than the 6.55 Rashid boasts.

 

Career Statistics (2015-present)

Full name: Rashid Khan Arman

Born: September 20, 1998 (21), Nangarhar

Major teams: Afghanistan, ACB Development Squad, Adelaide Strikers, Afghanistan Under-19s, Afghanistan XI, Band-e-Amir Dragons, Band-e-Amir Region, Boost Defenders, Boost Defenders, Comilla Victorians, Durban Heat, Guyana Amazon Warriors, ICC World XI, Kabul, Kabul Eagles, Maratha Arabians, Mis Ainak Region, Nangarhar Leopards, Quetta Gladiators, Speen Ghar Region, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sussex, Sussex 2nd XI

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Legbreak googly

 

T20I Career - Afghanistan

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave       Econ     SR    4w   5w    10w

48          48        1098     1124         89       5/3    5/3     12.62      6.14     12.3    3      2       0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave       Econ     SR    4w    5w    10w

211       209       4853      5100       296     5/3       5/3       17.22     6.30    16.3    6        2       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Best bowling average in T20Is (12.62)
  • 4th most T20I scalps, 89 in just 48 matches
  • 3 four-wicket hauls, 2 five-wicket hauls in T20I
  • Topped the ICC T20I Player Rankings for bowlers in 2018
  • Tied 2nd fastest to 50 T20I wickets (31 matches)
  • 8th most T20 wickets (296) taken at 17.22
  • Best economy rate in IPL history (6.55)

After making a comeback to the Pakistan side in 2006, Umar Gul established himself as the spearhead of the attack. With Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir and Shoaib Akhtar bowing out of the team in one way or the other, Gul was given the mantle of leading the attack. His best performances came in the T20 World Cup in England when he annihilated New Zealand with a spell of 5/6; the best T20 bowling performance of all time. He helped Pakistan secure a spot in the final and eventually the 2008 title.

Gul played for the Kolkata Knight Riders during the opening edition of the IPL and has represented the Western Australia Warriors in the Big Bash. He has also played for the Sussex Sharks in the Friends Provident T20 competition. In 2012, Gul became a part of the opening edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League for Uva Next aiding them to win the T20 League.

 

Career Statistics (2005-present)

Full name: Umar Gul

Born: April 14, 1984 (36), Peshawar, North-Western Frontier Province

Major teams: Pakistan, Gloucestershire, Habib Bank Limited, Kolkata Knight Riders, Multan Sultans, North West Frontier Province, North West Frontier Province Panthers, Pakistan A, Pakistan International Airlines, Peshawar, Peshawar Panthers, Quetta Gladiators, Sussex, Uva Next, Western Australia

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

T20I Career – Pakistan

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI     BBM       Ave       Econ        SR     4w   5w  10w

60         60         1203     1443        85        5/6     5/6       16.97       7.19       14.1      4     2      0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts      BBI       BBM       Ave       Econ     SR     4w    5w   10w

161       160       3400      4299       215       6/24       6/24     19.99      7.58      15.8     8      3       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Most 4 wicket hauls (and over) in T20I history (6)
  • 5th most T20I wickets (85 at 16.97)
  • Most wickets taken at T20 WC 2007 (13) & 2009 (13)
  • T20I Performance of the Year 2013
  • 215 wickets taken at 19.99

Australia and Netherlands player Dirk Nannes happened upon cricket quite late in life. He was always talented at it but his first love was skiing. That meant he would play a few domestic games at the start of the season and maybe a few more towards its back end, but there was no consistency as he travelled the world in between, skiing in major tournaments.

When he did start to take cricket seriously, he was immediately noticeable. Genuinely quick, the left-arm seamer also swung the ball but he never seemed to quite turn the heads of Australia. After he turned out for the Netherlands in the World T20 in 2009, Australia did take a look at him. By 2014, he was one of the best T20 bowlers in international cricket and dominated the World T20 in 2010, taking 14 wickets at 13.07 to lead all wicket-takers in the tournament.

In 2010, looking to ensure longevity in a career that started late, Nannes quit the longer formats of the game, though he impressed in those.

His decision to become a limited-overs specialist went well. His T20 career lasted 215 games in which he took 257 wickets at an average of 22.51.

 

Career Statistics (2007-2015)

Full name: Dirk Peter Nannes

Born: May 16, 1976, Mount Waverley, Melbourne, Victoria (44)

Major teams: Australia, Netherlands, Australian Cricketers Association Masters, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Lions, Melbourne Renegades, Middlesex, Mountaineers, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Somerset, Somerset 2nd XI, Surrey, Sydney Thunder, Sylhet Royals, Victoria

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs   Wkts   BBI     BBM    Ave     Econ    SR      4w    5w    10w

17       16      366     459       28      4/18    4/18    16.39   7.52     13.0     1         0      0

 

T20 Career

Mat   Inns    Balls      Runs     Wkts     BBI      BBM     Ave      Econ     SR      4w    5w    10w

215     211     4624      5720       257      5/31      5/31     22.25    7.42     17.9      7      2         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Took 28 T20I wickets in 17 matches at 16.39
  • Took 15 T20 WC wickets in 9 matches at 15.93
  • 1 T20I 4-wicket haul
  • Most T20I wickets in the calendar year 2010 (14)
  • 57 T20 wickets captured at 22.25

Babar Azam has successfully managed to prove himself as a batsman for all formats and his exploits in T20 cricket are also there to be seen. Though it is a format renowned for requiring the muscling of big shots, Babar quickly made a name for himself by playing delightful and eye-pleasing strokes. He also broke Virat Kohli's record for the fastest batsman to 1000 T20I runs and in 2018 dethroned Aaron Finch to become the number-one batsman on ICC's T20I Rankings.

In the four years since his T20I debut for Pakistan, Babar Azam established himself as one of the most important members of the squad and has been given the reigns of the T20 and ODI teams. It is not out of the realms of possibility he will be captaining in all formats in the not-too-distant future.

 

Career Statistics (2012-Present)

Full name: Mohammad Babar Azam

Born: October 15, 1994, (25) Lahore, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Baluchistan, Central Punjab (Pakistan), Faisalabad and Rawalpindi, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Islamabad, Islamabad Region, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore, Lahore Blues, Leopards, Pakistan A, Pakistan A, Pakistan Cricket Board Blues, Pakistan Under-15s, Pakistan Under-19s, Pakistan Under-23s, Punjab (Pakistan), Rangpur Riders, Rawalpindi Rams, Somerset, State Bank of Pakistan, Sui Southern Gas Corporation, Sydney Sixers, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

 

T20 Career - Pakistan

Mat    Inns   NO   Runs   HS    Ave      BF      SR       100    50   4s    6s  

38        38      9     1471    97*   50.72   1148   128.13    0     13   146   21

 

T20 Career

Mat     Inns   NO   Runs   HS     Ave     BF      SR       100   50     4s     6s  

142      138     25    4861    102*  43.01  3879   125.31    3     38    490    87 

 

Career Highlights

  • 4th most runs in T20I by a Pakistani (1471)
  • 2nd highest batting average in T20Is (50.72)
  • Fastest to 1000 T20I runs (26 Inns)
  • Most T20 runs in the calendar year 2019 (1607)
  • Topped the ICC T20I batsman rankings in 2018
  • 4861 T20 runs at 43.01

Kevin Pietersen, of South African descent, was a similar precocious talent, bringing such inconceivable skill and swagger back into the gentleman's game.

His memorable knock in 2010 ICC World T20 finals helped England to take home their first ICC Championship.

He has been a consistent club player and has played for teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils, etc. in Indian Premier League. He has also played in the Pakistan Super League for Quetta Gladiators and Melbourne Stars of the Big Bash League.

 

Career Statistics (2003-2018)

Full name: Kevin Peter Pietersen

Born: June 27, 1980, (40) Pietermaritzburg, Natal

Major teams: England, Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Dolphins, Hampshire, ICC World XI, KwaZulu-Natal, Melbourne Stars, Natal, Nottinghamshire, Quetta Gladiators, Rising Pune Supergiants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St Lucia Zouks, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Surrey

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

 

T20I Career - England

Mat   Inns      NO    Runs     HS    Ave       BF      SR      100    50     4s     6s 

37        36        5      1176     79    37.93      831    141.51   0       7     119    32  

 

T20 Career

Mat     Inns    NO   Runs    HS      Ave       BF      SR       100   50   4s     6s  

200      193      25    5695    115*   33.89    4160    136.89   3     35   495   220  

 

Career Highlights

  • 4th most runs in T20I by an Englishman, 1176, avg. 37.93
  • 37 T20I Caps for England
  • Player of the tournament for 2010 T20 World Cup
  • 5695 runs at 33.89

With the typical Caribbean flair and the ability to make it look effortless, Samuels can be a tough proposition on his day and win it for his side single-handedly.

Combining all those abilities he chalked out a crucial 78 in the ICC World T20 2012 final, one of the finest innings in the shortest version of the sport, to help West Indies take a world title home. The way he took on Lasith Malinga, the deadliest limited overs bowler in the world, was a testament to his talent.

Samuels was also part of various T20 leagues in the year 2012. He was bought by Duronto Rajshahi and played the Bangladesh Premier League, and was even the team's highest run-scorer with 242 runs in 11 innings in the competition. In the same year, he signed a contract with Pune and represented them in the fifth and sixth IPL editions.

 

Career Statistics (2006-2018)

Full name: Marlon Nathaniel Samuels

Born: February 5, 1981 (39), Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Antigua Hawksbills, Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Comilla Victorians, Delhi Daredevils, Duronto Rajshahi, Jamaica, Karnataka Tuskers, Kowloon Cantons, Leeward Islands, Melbourne Renegades, Peshawar Zalmi, Pune Warriors, Rajshahi Royals, Sagicor High-Performance Centre, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, St Lucia Stars, UWI Vice Chancellor's XI, West Indies A, West Indies B, West Indies Select XI, West Indies Under-15s, West Indies Under-23s, West Indies XI, WICB President's Celebrity XI

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style:  Right-hand bat

Bowling style:  Right-arm off-break

 

T20I Career - West Indies

Mat    Inns   NO    Runs     HS      Ave       BF      SR       100    50     4s      6s 

67       65      10      1611     89*     29.29   1386    116.23    0     10     144     69 

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      NO   Runs     HS      Ave       BF     SR        100    50     4s     6s  

187       181       38     4571     106*   31.96   3876    117.93    2      29    388    191   

 

Career Highlights

  • Only player to win 2 T20 WC player-of-the-final awards (2012 &2016)
  • Most runs scored in a T20 WC final (85)
  • 2nd most T20I runs by West Indian, 1611, avg. 29.29
  • 67 T20I caps for WI
  • 4571 T20 runs at 31.96
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