An A to Z of the 2016 T20 World Cup
The ICC World Twenty20 2016 has come and gone, and overall it was a memorable and enjoyable tournament. There were some thrilling matches, some brilliant moments, and a few bits some players and teams would rather just want to forget. We have compiled an A-to-Z list of some that stood out. Add your own in the comments.
All information has been obtained firsthand, unless otherwise stated.
A Is for Associates
Despite being made to go through a round of matches that looked remarkably like a pre-qualifier, one associate team, Afghanistan, managed to make it through to the round of matches with the big teams.
The limiting of associate teams playing against Test-playing nations is a real shame for the expansion of the game, and some associates believe that it's because the ICC is worried that one of the top-tier teams might miss out on revenue.
B Is for Brathwaite
With four sixes in a row in the final over of the World T20, Carlos Brathwaite wrote his name into the history books. For a relatively unknown player to hold his nerve under such overwhelming pressure took something really special.
C Is for "Champion Dance"
Cheesy as the song by Dwayne Bravo might be, the "Champion dance" became a thing by the end of the tournament. It's the new "sprinkler" or "Gangnam Style" of the cricketing world.
D Is for Double
It wasn't just the West Indies men who won a World T20 trophy—the women did, too.
The women having beaten Australia earlier that day, ending the dominance that had stretched over three tournaments, the West Indies teams completed a fairy-tale victory despite facing numerous challenges.
E Is for Emotional
One of the reasons we love sport is because of the emotions it evokes. You would have needed a heart of stone not to feel for Ben Stokes when the England bowler sunk to his knees in agony after being whacked for four consecutive sixes in the World T20 final.
The West Indies didn't seem to notice, though, and they were at the other end of the emotional scale.
F Is for Fielding
The tournament dished up some spectacular fielding moments, and teams were reminded once again of just how valuable having a well-drilled fielding side is.
No moment was more impressive than this effort from Bangladesh's Soumya Sarkar.
G Is for Gargantuan
The match between South Africa and England in Mumbai, India, yielded a gargantuan effort and scoreline. Batting first, South Africa had posted 229 for four, which England managed to chase down with two balls still to spare.
As far as run chases go, this was by far the biggest effort of the tournament.
H Is for Hundreds
Hundreds were notably absent from the tournament with only Tamim Iqbal (against Oman) and Chris Gayle (against England) managing to reach triple figures in the competition. No one else even got into the 90s once.
I Is for Injured
One man's injury is another's opportunity, something Lendl Simmons showed when he was flown in for an injured Andre Fletcher.
Having arrived just a day before the West Indies were due to play their semi-final against India, Simmons hit an unbeaten 82 off 51 to help the Windies seal their spot in the final of the competition.
J Is for Joker
What more is there to say about MS Dhoni's joking with this Australian journalist?
K Is for Knockout
Despite there being just one round of actual knockout matches in the tournament, a few fixtures turned out to be just that. The final group game between Australia and India decided who qualified for the semi-finals, while South Africa were knocked out by results from other teams.
The format was far from ideal, but at least it had a few pressure moments.
L Is for Lagging Behind the Rest
As defending champions, Sri Lanka had a bitterly disappointing run in the tournament. Just one win was not good enough. Sure, they are currently in a rebuilding phase, but this shows just how much hard work lies ahead to get the cracks in the foundations filled.
M Is for Michelle
Australia's James Faulkner and Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman both took five-fors in the tournament. While a Michelle (five-for) in T20 cricket is rare as it is, what was even more surprising about the feat of these two is that they are both quicker bowlers.
Spinners are by far the most successful in this format, but it's wonderful to see quicker bowlers execute skill even on tracks that might not really suit them.
N Is for Nauseous
In the women's tournament, Australia captain Meg Lanning passed out in the changing room with a chronic stomach bug just a few moments before needing to go out and bat against South Africa. She chipped in with an unbeaten 30 off 19 to help her side win by five wickets.
O Is for Oratory
Darren Sammy's post-match speech after the West Indies claimed their second World T20 title was one of the great speeches of sport.
It was short and to the point, with Sammy simply saying that the team felt disrespected by the West Indies cricket board and that the win was for all the people in the Caribbean, but it was refreshing to see a sportsman speak with such honesty. He's since been rebuked by his board.
P Is for Powerplay
From South Africa's resistance against using spinners during the powerplay to England smashing 89 runs in six overs, the powerplay was the source of much awe and debate during the World T20.
In the age of see-ball-hit-ball cricket, it remains one of the most intriguing parts of any T20 game, and the World T20 was no different.
Q Is for Quarrel
After Carlos Brathwaite hit the winning runs that led West Indies to their second World T20 title, Marlon Samuels taunted Ben Stokes, who bowled the final over, something for which he was later fined 30 percent of his match fee.
Samuels, who was named man of the match, also had a pop at retired Australia legend Shane Warne at the post-match interview, saying: "I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously, and all I want to say is 'this is for Shane Warne.' I answer with the bat, not the mic."
R Is for Retiring
Will he or won't he? That's always the question when Shahid Afridi mentions retirement. Following the 2015 World Cup, Afridi had announced his intention to retire from international cricket following the World T20 in India, but he opted not to do so after Pakistan's exit from the competition.
S Is for Spinners
Gone are the days where the fear of spinners getting clobbered in limited overs gripped teams. These days, spinners are the go-to option in T20 fixtures, even in the powerplay. Of the top five wicket-takers in the tournament, four were spinners.
T Is for Technology
T20 has not yet progressed to use reviews, but this tournament did trial the use of commentary during a review when a decision is referred upstairs by the umpires themselves.
These reviews simply add a bit of extra insight for the viewer watching at home, but surely it can't be long before third umpires are allowed to interject without being prompted by the on-field umpires?
In a format like T20, where things happen and change quickly, there is little time for a player to send a review upstairs, but perhaps if there is an umpire dedicated to making sure every decision is spot-on, we could get running commentary for decisions in the near future.
U Is for Umpiring
With the previous slide in mind, it is worth noting that there were no real howlers by the umpires in this tournament. The only real critique is that it seems as if umpires simply aren't checking for no-balls anymore, unless a wicket falls and it is referred upstairs to be sure.
This happened on a number of occasions, which only makes the case for allowing third umpires to interject at will all the more feasible.
V Is for Valiant
As already mentioned, just one associate team made it from the first group stage and that team was absolutely thrilling.
Afghanistan won the hearts of many cricket fans, and their journey to here has been truly inspirational. Their win against eventual champions West Indies will go down as one of the most memorable victories of the tournament, but this team is far from finished just yet.
W Is for West Indies
While Test and even 50-over cricket might seem to be on the decline in the Caribbean, they have proven that there is plenty to be cheerful about in the shortest format of the game.
If the board can harness that passion and translate it into Test and ODI cricket, the Windies might once again become a force to be reckoned with.
X Is for X-Tras
South Africa claimed the dubious honour of conceding 53 extras in their four group matches—36 of those being wides. In a game where the margins are so small, these kinds of blips simply aren't good enough.
Y Is for Yorker
Yorkers have gone out of fashion a bit in cricket these days, but on more than one occasion, the fast bowlers showed that when you get it right, it is still one of the most effective deliveries in any format of the game.
Z Is for Zinc
Zinc cream is making a comeback with Australia's Ellyse Perry and South Africa's Sune Luus all sporting the trademark patches across their cheeks in the tournament.