Always a threat, Pakistan have made two finals and a semifinal, an indicator of how comfortable their wild lot is in this oscillatory format. Here too, expect the unexpected from this vastly talented bunch, especially from the classy opener Imran Nazir, the confounding Saeed Ajmal and the dangerous Umar Gul.
That we haven't even mentioned Shahid Afridi, the Akmal brothers and Sohail Tanveer should tell you just how brimming with raw talent the team is. But Pakistan would need to watch out against middle-order implosions.
Even New Zealand, with a section of players having played in the SLPL - are not to be taken lightly. Their army of bits and pieces cricketers has overreached so regularly in big tournaments that another surprise showing wouldn't be a surprise after all.
The 12 teams have been split in four groups of three each in the preliminary league, with the top two from each group advancing to the Super Eights, which is when the real deal begins. The initial groups, save for the designated group of 'death' (Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh), should follow seedings, but the format lends itself to upsets - so count them out at your own peril.
Provided seedings are honoured at least initially (a lot depends on who wins the India-England and Sri Lanka-South Africa league matches) Group 1 of the Super Eights should constitute England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, with the top two making it into the semifinals.
The possible composition of Group 2 of the Super Eights is already a talking point. Former champions India and Pakistan are expected to lock horns with Australia and South Africa for the two remaining semifinal spots. From here on, it's anybody's game. But that's what it's always been - all a bit of a hit or miss. Let the sixes rain.