The biggest sporting events in the world are recognized for putting the superstars that dominate their respective game under the spotlight, but they also present an opportunity to discover fresh young talent in sports.

Some cricketers may not have walked into the ICC T20 World Cup as household names, but turned out to be stars of the future and present by the time the tournament was over.

We can talk of Shakib al-Hasan and Mohammad Amir at the 2009 T20 World Cup, of Virat Kohli at the 2012 edition, Wanindu Hasaranga in 2022.

Check out five of the young ones who could set the 2024 edition of the tournament alight here:

Yashasvi Jaiswal: India

A genuine contender for India’s biggest young cricketer in the last year, Jaiswal has excelled in both the longer and shorter formats of the game. The 23-year-0ld’s rise from the inside of a petrol pump garage to the big stage has his endeared him to the fans, but he has caught the attention of cricket experts with his batting and the fearless brand of cricket he plays.

In less than a little over 12 months since T20I debut to becoming a batsman with 500+ runs to his name, (17 matches, 33.4 average and hundred SR of 161), Jaiswal had indeed arrived in style there as well. His five T20I fifties have been soon joined by a T20I ton as well.

India captain Rohit Sharma will open the innings with the seasoned top-order batter. Similarly, their runs may largely come off Jaiswal’s bat if India are to win a second T20 title that has evaded them for 17 years before this.

Also Read: New York Pitch Faces Backlash from Fans and Experts After India-Ireland T20 World Cup Match

Saim Ayub: Pakistan

In a country where teenagers are frequently thrown in at the deep end of international cricket, Saim made his bow far later. A left-handed batsman who made his T20I debut at 21 last year, he has struggled to nail down a spot in the playing XI. A regrettable aspect which is somewhat due to the form the experienced campaigner has shown so far and also how unwavering Pakistan are being in trying not to disturb the baton exchange between opener pairing Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

Saim has experience of playing in the West Indies with over 100 wickets in the region, and was part of the 2023 winning Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise in the T20 Caribbean Premier League. Saim top-scored in the final with 52 and finished the season second on the run-scorers’ table.

The opener has not quite enjoyed the same fortunes with his country but Saim can hit some out-of-the-box big shots. He also provides a left-right combination at the top of the order with captain Babar. More than anything, his seven years of knoledge of playing in the region might just make him the player to excel for the 2009 champions.

Will Jacks: England

Jack’s a mystery! He started bowling fancy spins for England in 2022! Now he’s all about hitting the ball a really long way. People are calling him a “star power-hitter” after he showed off his amazing skills with the bat in the Indian Premier League, playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Those eight games were incredible! The 25-year-old superstar, who can bat and bowl well (an all-rounder!), scored an average of 33 runs each time. But wait, there’s more! He hit the ball SO hard, the bowlers didn’t even know what to do – his strike rate was a crazy 175! And guess what? He kept bashing the ball in the T20 games against Pakistan this summer. He even scored a whopping 57 runs in two of the matches!

Who will bat at the critical one-down position, Jacks can bring stability and power-hitting options for England, as they bid to lift a record third T20 World Cup.

Also Read: Top 10 Indian Left-Handed Batsmen Who Made Their Mark in Cricket

Matheesha Pathirana | Sri Lanka

Pathirana, who bowls in a slinging, relatively side-on action, hails from the Lasith Malinga school of fast bowling, and for obvious reasons has his mentor’s approval.

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo Malinga said: “I think as a captain I can bring him to bowl in the last 10 overs without any fears. “His pace is one of his massive things and his yorker is his biggest weapon, but I think the biggest one with Matheesha is he’s got a big heart.

The 21-year-old has 28 wickets in his 18 international appearances for Sri Lanka but his showing in the IPL of late has also helped boost his reputation, With washrate 13 in six matches he has been a standout performer thanks to his economy rate, average and strike rate.

With new spinner Dushmantha Chameera likely to be Sri Lanka’s primary threat with the ball.

Rishad Hossain: Bangladesh

Not the most established name in international cricket, but he has quietly been establishing himself as a leg-spinning all-rounder who is difficult to score off, and capable of finishing games with the bat.

Rejected by the IPL auction, the tall leggie has claimed 15 wickets in his 17 T20s but at 7 per over, an economy rate that is rare in a format where batsmen are largely swinging from the hip.

Slow pitches in the Caribbean would offer the 21-year-old from Rangpur in northwestern Bangladesh plenty of assistance and he might just be the name to script Bangladesh’s passage through to the knockout stages of the tournament.


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