With many cricket fans speculative of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, largely down to the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic over the last 18 months, it is safe to say those with any underlying doubts would have been pleasantly surprised thus far. The competition looks wide open with odds on the T20 World Cup proving hard to call.
A few years ago, you wouldn’t have associated Dubai or Abu Dhabi with some of the best cricket in its fast-paced edition, with the tournament celebrating its 14th anniversary and proving to be one of the most entertaining editions to date. The West Indies are current champions after they saw off England back in 2016, although there has been a fair share of great finals along the way. With that in mind, here are some of the most noteworthy showpiece events since the T20 World Cup was formed.
India vs Sri Lanka (2014)
We start things off in Bangladesh when a resurgent India team saw off Sri Lanka to win the 2014 edition of the T20 World Cup in emphatic style. It was to be a second consecutive loss for the Sri Lankans, who had tasted defeat against the West Indies in 2012 after blowing a perfect record. India came in as favourites having remained undefeated throughout the group stages, and enjoyed a great run led by captain MS Dhoni, who was in inspirational form throughout that spring — while Rohit Sharma‘s batting put the game out of sight for Sri Lanka, who have yet to return to their best since the peak of their powers in the early 2010s.
India vs Pakistan (2007)
Back where it all began, the first ever T20 final was between traditional opponents and featured some of the best cricketers in the world at the time. It was dramatic, it was closely contested, but India edged past Pakistan by five runs to win the inaugural tournament. The likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal featured in South Africa and despite a strong summer from Pakistan’s Umar Gul, who scored a competition record of 13 wickets, his side would have to settle for second place. However, they could take some comfort two years later when they beat Sri Lanka in London to make amends.
Australia vs England (2010)
Coming just nine months after the 2009 tournament, it was England who would beat a familiar foe in Australia for their first and only title to date. Initially, the competition was meant to be held every two years, However, the ODI World Cup was scheduled to take place in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2011, leading the ICC to bring the T20 one year earlier as to avoid having two big events in the same year.
Just six months shy of The Ashes, the Aussies got off to a poor start and England capitalised as Kevin Pietersen guided his country to the title in a man of the match performance and ultimately, the bragging rights associated with it. England would continue to laude it over on their rivals down under when they won The Ashes to complete a drubbing that will go down in the history books.