Missing ingredient: No new star player

The only new face in the 2012 T20 World Cup was Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Akila Dananjaya.

Colombo: In terms of entertainment, the World Twenty20 did provide the thrills. That the flamboyant West Indians took the title is proof enough. Overall, it had most of the elements - close matches and the wickets provided a good contest between bat and ball.Sri Lanka's Akila Dananjaya celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Martin Guptill. (Reuters)

But, to be rated as successful, a crucial ingredient was missing. Apart from the joy of watching the big names, the most exciting aspect of a World Cup is to watch new talent emerge and make a mark.

For all the razzmatazz, T20 World Cups have not acted as a platform for fresh talent.

It's a tournament supposedly for young legs, but we didn't see an 18-year-old blaze away to glory. Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow were expected to shine but England have been forced to fall back on Kevin Pietersen.

It's a tournament where established players took their game to the next level. Seasoned campaigners like Shane Watson, Chris Gayle, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis, Marlon Samuels and Saeed Ajmal hogged the limelight.

It was Yuvraj Singh's six sixes that was the talking point of the inaugural edition. Two years later, Shahid Afridi ruled the stage when the tournament was held in England and in 2010 in the Caribbean, Pietersen stole the thunder.

It's a contrast to the 50-over format. Jonty Rhodes flew into everyone's imagination with his diving run out in the 1992 World Cup and went on to become one of the best fielders ever. At the same event, Inzamam-ul Haq stood out with his bold strokeplay and ended up in Pakistan cricket's folklore. Navjyot Sidhu and Steve Waugh made their mark in the 1987 edition; Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana in 1996.

Yuvraj and Zaheer Khan announced their arrival at the 2000 ICC knock-out tournament, and are still key members of the India side.

In World T20, even if someone has got exposure, he has rarely made use of it. Joginder Sharma is remembered for the last over in the 2007 final against Pakistan but turned out to be a one-event wonder.

Except for David Warner, no one has made progressed from T20 international cricket to the big league in other formats.

The only new face in the current edition was Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Akila Dananjaya. It remains to be seen if he goes on to change the trend.

Mahela Jayawardene, who did well to adjust in the shortest form, says: "To play T20 you need to have a base and that is what you build on. Most of the successful cricketers in T20 have played Test cricket. Guys who had great starts to their careers have built on that. That base is important to keep improving."


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