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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Eight key players to watch in 1st round

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As the ICC T20 World Cup gets underway, all the worlds’ eyes will be on the first round of the tournament which features lesser-known teams.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Eight key players to watch in 1st round
The United Arab Emirates and Oman are ready for the seventh edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The men’s T20 World Cup takes cricket’s centre stage after a gap of five years. The previous edition was held in India back in 2016 and West Indies emerged as the champions.
This year the T20 World Cup will feature 16 teams. The tournament is split into two phases. The first round begins on October 17. It is a preliminary qualifying round. This round will feature teams from Ireland, Namibia, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, and Oman.
These eight teams have been split into two groups. Group A comprises of Ireland, Namibia, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands. Group B will have Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, and Oman. The top two teams from each group will progress into the next phase of the tournament.
The four qualifying teams from the first phase of the tournament will join eight teams – England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and New Zealand – in the next round.
As the World Cup gets underway, all the worlds’ eyes will be on the first round of the tournament which features lesser-known teams. Despite the less popularity of the teams, the first round promises to be a thrilling one. The teams in the first round boast of some young and upcoming talent who can surely set the tournament ablaze with their skills.
Here are the eight rising star players to keep an eye on in the first round of ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
1. Curtis Campher of Ireland:
Ireland's Curtis Campher (Image: Reuters) Ireland's Curtis Campher (Image: Reuters)
Curtis Campher is a promising allrounder. The 22-year-old made his international T20 debut against Zimbabwe this year. But the world took a note of his talent when he scored an unbeaten fifty on his ODI debut against England last year. Campher has played 12 T20 games scored 176 runs and picked 8 wickets.
2. Gerhard Erasmus of Namibia:
Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus (Image: .t20worldcup.com) Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus (Image: .t20worldcup.com)
Gerhard Erasmus is Namibia’s T20 captain. He was given the responsibility to lead the team at the age of just 23. Erasmus made his T20I debut against Ghana in May 2019. Since then, he has played 22 games scoring 522 runs and picking 12 wickets.
3. Maheesh Theekshana of Sri Lanka:
The 21-year-old Sri Lankan is known for his right arm offbreaks. Maheesh Theekshana is at the beginning of his international career. He played his only ODI match against South Africa in on September 7. The ODI debut was a memorable one for the young spinner has he picked four wickets for 35 runs. It was the best figures for a Sri Lankan bowler on ODI debut. Three days later he made is international T20 debut against the same opponents.
4. Philippe Boissevain of the Netherlands:
Philippe Boissevain made his T20I debut for the Netherlands at the tender age of 19. Boissevain merits his place in the Netherland side for his legbreak googlies. The 20-year-old has played seven T20 games and has picked 6 wickets.
5. Kashyap Prajapati of Oman:
The 26-year-old spinner has his origins in India. Apart from his bowling, Kashyap Prajapati is a very capable opener too. In September, in an ODI game against Mumbai, Prajapati smashed 146 runs from 138 balls hitting five fours and nine sixes.
6. Chad Soper of Papua New Guinea:
Chad Soper is one of the more experienced players of the Papua New Guinea side. He made his ODI debut against Hong Kong in November 2016. In that match Soper bowled an impressive spell of 7.4-1-39-3. In total, the bowler has played 17 T20 games and has picked 19 wickets an impressive average of 13.63.
7. Brad Wheal of Scotland:
Scotland's Brad Wheal on right (Image: Cricket Scotland Twitter) Scotland's Brad Wheal on right (Image: Cricket Scotland Twitter)
Brad Wheal is a right arm fast bowler. The bowler made his ODI debut for Scotland against Hong Kong on January 26 2016. Four days later the pacer played his first T20I game against the same opponent. Wheal has played 29 T20 games and picked 37 wickets at an impressive average of 20.67. The 25-year-old has been so impressive that he was signed up by the London Spirit to play in the Hundred.
8. Shoriful Islam of Bangladesh:
Shoriful Islam of Bangladesh (Image: Shoriful Islam Twitter) Shoriful Islam of Bangladesh (Image: Shoriful Islam Twitter)
Shoriful Islam was part of the Bangladesh squad that lifted the U-19 World Cup in 2020. Shoriful Islam was one of the finds of the tournament as he picked nine wickets. The young pacer thrilled the world with his raw pace and aggression. Islam is just 20 and has played 49 T20 games picking 62 wickets an average of 22.06.
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