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World Twenty20 team of the tournament

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Oliver Brett | 14:48 UK time, Sunday, 21 June 2009

Concentrated into just over two weeks of intense seat-of-your pants cricket, the second edition of the ICC World Twenty20 saw many individual reputations enhanced, while other big names left barely a dent in the memory banks.

Here is my team of the competition, selected from the best players across all competing teams, and - as you will doubtless question why some people are missing - I have added a second XI as well.

1. Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka). For so long he has clung onto the shirt-tails of bigger names in the side, now this remarkably versatile right-hander took a whole tournament by the scruff of the neck with a series of dashing innings. And he even invented a new shot, the "Dilscoop".

2. Chris Gayle (West Indies - captain). Welcomed Australia to England with a destructive 88 at The Oval on day two to leave a very sour taste in Ricky Ponting's mouth, and played a lone hand in the semi-finals against Sri Lanka's terrific bowlers.

3. Kevin Pietersen (England). Number three is the perfect position for Pietersen in Twenty20 cricket, particularly if he starts his innings inside the first six overs. Hit 154 runs in four innings at better than nine runs an over.

4. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan). After some indifferent batting, he struck a brutal 51 to dump the favourites South Africa out of the tournament, and also played the match-winning knock in the final. He also bowled quite beautifully throughout.

5. Yuvraj Singh (India). Did not deserve to be on the losing side when clubbing 67 off just 43 balls at Lord's against West Indies, and gave England a scare on the same ground with a couple of sixes in a chase they could not quite pull off.

6. Dwayne Bravo (West Indies). His blistering innings won the match against India when the chase looked a forlorn one, having taken four wickets in the same game. In this side he is selected as the third seamer.

7. Kamran Akmal (Pakistan). I very nearly went left-field to stick Niall O'Brien in, but while I am not always convinced by Akmal's glovework, it was pretty solid on the whole, and 188 runs in the tournament at a healthy rate cannot be quibbled with.

8. Wayne Parnell (South Africa). This kid is frighteningly good for a 19-year-old and is a big find by his country's selectors. Left-arm seamer who went for less than a run a ball and took 4-13 against West Indies at The Oval.

9. Umar Gul (Pakistan). Symbolised Pakistan's journey through the tournament, bouncing back from horrible returns against England and Sri Lanka to take 5-6 against New Zealand and become the outstanding yorker-at-the-death exponent.

10. Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan). A late developer who was already 30 when making his Pakistan debut, he has lapped up these English pitches, bowling his off-breaks economically throughout and taking a bunch of wickets as well.

11. Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka). After the semi-finals, the world's only world-class carrom-ball bowler had 12 wickets at an economy of less than five an over. Was particularly brilliant against Australia, but nobody read him with any ease.

...and here's my 2nd XI: Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, AB de Villiers, Younus Khan (capt), Lendl Simmons, Niall O'Brien (wkt), Roelof van der Merwe, Stuart Broad, Dale Steyn, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan

What would your team be?


  • Comment number 1.

    first comment.

    Amir's first over was great for Pakistan in the final, so i would maybe place him above broad, or to a lesser extent, steyn. He's only Seventeen!!! Duminy and albie morkel should be considered too, but probably for the second XI

  • Comment number 2.

    How on earth you can have Yuvraj above ABDV is a mystery to me.

  • Comment number 3.

    Well Yuvraj is a better and more explosive batsmen and can bowl spin which has been the major bowling weapon in this tournament.

  • Comment number 4.

    nearly perfect oliver, but swap akmal for o'brien and its pretty much spot on, a bit harsh on kallis. How can u pick akmal over o'brien is beyond me, i mean he must be the most dopiest person in when and how he gives his wicket away. O'brien for England!!

  • Comment number 5.

    hey oliver. do you remember your article when you advised readers not to place a tip on pakistan winning the tournament? feel pretty sill now don't you? luckily i ignored you and placed a bet on pakistan winning. and i'm english btw.

  • Comment number 6.

    Gayle is a mince captain & other than his 88 against a poor Australian attack was only ok. Kallis 2nd highest run scorer at 2nd highest average, at a high strike rate & he bowled pretty well. De Villiers in for KP, as ever in this format KP has struggled to produce any big innings - only 1 fifty. Yes he should and poss could perform, but De Villiers did do the business throughout out and was awesome in the field.

    The lack of captain would mean either bunging in Vettori who is an outstanding spinner or Sangakarra. The Choice is yours....

  • Comment number 7.

    Swap Gayle for Kallis and Pietersen for Younus Khan (with Younus Khan the captain) and you would pretty much have it spot on.

    Younus Khan scored quite a few runs and (particularly in the last few games) captained the side really really well.

    Gayle isn't a great captain and apart from a couple of great knocks, he didn't really perform to the standard he would have liked. Kallis was consistent this tournament and ended up second in the leading run scorers table.

  • Comment number 8.

    Mendis + quality! Him and Dilshan for player of the tournament.

  • Comment number 9.

    Should be Mendis = quality! (Why can't you edit comments??)

  • Comment number 10.


    I agree with you that O'Brien should be selected as the best wicket keeper of the tournament but I just don't understand how you can say "O'Brien for England". You can't just go around looking for England to steal the best players of other countries when the English players aren't good enough.

    It annoys and frustrates me when the best Irish players go and play for England and you perpetuate the idea by asking for another to join England. Can you imagine how well Ireland would do if we had Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce? They don't even make the England team but aren't playing with their true team. I'm 100% certain we would have won more games if we had all players available to us. Even the Sky Sports commentators said that all Irish players (i.e. Joyce and Morgan) should play with Ireland.

  • Comment number 11.

    Only change i would closely consider is AB Devilliers or kallis for Pieterson, but i can understand you feeling pietersen can be more destructive. On form for this tournament it has to be AB or Kallis, i cant seperate the two, maybe kallis for the bowling option

    As for this comment:
    "The lack of captain would mean either bunging in Vettori who is an outstanding spinner"

    plenty of experience in the side so dont worry the captain will sort itself out, i would say whoever bats at 3 actually, so any of the 3 i mentioned in the sentence above

    Vettori was injured most this tournament, so you cant pick him in a player of the tournament now can you! (and im a kiwi)

  • Comment number 12.

    Gayle has to be in, no one else single handedly won games like he did, and he almost did it in the semi final too.
    There isnt a cricketer in the world more dangerous and feared then him in full flight and thats what 2020 is all about.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ Oliver Brett

    after Pakistan victory, you better review your team. ;)

  • Comment number 14.

    nice team bt nt d best ma team would be
    b.mccallum (nz)
    k.peitersen villiers
    yuvraj singh
    harbajan singh
    zaheer khan
    umar gul
    12th man bravo

  • Comment number 15.

    Tom de Grooth from the Netherlands should be in the 2nd XI for his Man of the Match performance in Netherlands shock win over England. Off course, the players who are named now are much better than him, they are pro's and he is just an amateur. But he played a brilliant innings there at Lord's.

  • Comment number 16.

    Absolutely pathetic that Kallis is not in your team. Shows your BBC bias to put KP in ahead of him. The man scored 238 runs in just 5 innings with an average of 59 ( the highest in the tournament )with a S/R of 126 PLUS 3 wickets at a n average of 26! Gayle , Yuvraj , KP all ahead of Kallis!? ridiculous.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hard to disagree with much - I haven't looked at the stats and wonder if Simmons scored more heavily than Gayle, but I know who any bowler would rather face!

    I would have ABDV in for Yuvraj - I feel he was put in more on reputation rather than performances? Yes he bowls spin, but with Afridi & Gayle already in you don't really need that option.

    KP did score a reasonable number of runs, at a very decent strike-rate, in most games. I can't help but feel he wouldn't have been quite so desparate and got out as early had he been in a team with ABDV, Afridi and Bravo coming in after him instead of Shah Collingwood & Foster?!

    Malinga & Kallis are the other two who stand out as being unlucky. Despite my words above I think Kallis could take KP's place, and you could toss a coin and pick any two of Malinga, Parnell or Gul and the team wouldn't be worse off.

  • Comment number 18.



  • Comment number 19.

    Kallis for his bowling as well. He was bowling at almost 90 mph v England, so I would put him ahead of Bravo.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think a few of the selections were quite diplomatic, unlike the XI on the tv which better represented the best players of the tournament. Why the need to include a better spread of countries though?? Though I will give it to the author, it certainly creates a lot of debate and comments!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    1. Christopher Gayle (can spin too)
    2. Tillekeratne Dilshan (can spin but brilliant fielder)
    3. Jacques Kallis (top class all rounder)
    4. AB De Villiers (Hard hitting bat and top fielder)
    5. Yuvraj Singh (The King of Power Players)
    6. Kumar Sangakarra (Keeper and captain)
    7. Dwayne Bravo (all rounder and brilliant fielder)
    8. Shahid Afridi (Boom Boom and brilliant fielder)
    9. Umar Gul (death bowler)
    10. Lasith Malinga (can open with Bravo and at death with Gul)
    11. Ajantha Mendis

  • Comment number 22.

    My team of the tournament would be similar to this, but with a few changes. I would replace kamran akmal with foster behind the sticks because, although akmal is very good with a bat in hands, there is no denying that foster is the best wiki in the tourny and his speed from catch to stump is incredible. I would also bring in another english player to replace saeed ajmal, swann is the man for this job, as he can also bowl an excelent off break, and he is also quite useful with a bat, for a high order bowler. Apart from these two changes i agree with the team above though. Excellet tourny aswell, no denying that. :D

  • Comment number 23.

    Check this video, imo a better XI of players that have actually performed in the tournament. Possibly I'd have Parnell in for one of the spinners, depending on conditions but that's about it.

  • Comment number 24.

    1 C. Gayle (WIN)
    2 T. Dilshan (SRL)
    3 S. Afridi (PAK)
    4 J. Kallis (RSA)
    5 K. Pietersen
    6 A.B. de Villiers (RSA)
    7 D. Bravo (WIN)
    8 K. Akmal (PAK)
    9 W. Parnell (RSA)
    10 U. Gul
    11 A. Mendis

  • Comment number 25.

    My T20 Team of the Tournament would be :

    1. S.Afridi
    2. C.Gayle
    3. J.Kallis
    4. K.Pietersen
    5. A.B.De Villiers (WK)
    6. Y.Singh
    7. D.Bravo (C)
    8. W.Parnell
    9. U.Gul


    This team can get off to a match winning start
    be it with the bat or the ball. All of them are
    proven match winners.

    This side can take on any T20 team
    in the world.

  • Comment number 26.

    @ mrsingh07

    Niall O'Brien over Kamran Akmal? Are you having a laugh? Akmal may sometimes be a bit sloppy but he is still solid while his batting has been great in this tournament, even if a bit reckless at times. How many times has Niall O'Brien produced a match winning innings for Ireland? In Twenty20 you cannot be in the team purely for wicket keeping. Batting is essential and Akmal outperforms O'Brien easily. I can judge by your name that you are biased towards Pakistan. Also, apart from that one innings of 67, Yuvraj made no impact whatsoever. Same with Gayle.

    1. Tillekaratne Dilshan
    2. Jacques Kallis
    3. Younis Khan (Captain)
    4. AB De Villiers
    5. Dwayne Bravo
    6. Shahid Afridi
    7. Kamran Akmal (WK)
    8. Umar Gul
    9. Wayne Parnell
    10. Lasith Malinga
    11. Saeed Ajmal

  • Comment number 27.

    kamran akmal
    shahi afridi
    yunas khan
    misbah ul haq
    shoaib malik
    abdul razaq
    umar gul
    saeed ajmal
    fawad alam
    this is the proven best team of the tornament

  • Comment number 28.

    You cannot put KP in a team of the tournament - he hardly did a thing. You cannot add people because of reputation instead of form - unless you are a england selector? There were many players better at no 3 than KP this tour.

  • Comment number 29.

    My team.

    1.Dilshan - Who else?
    2.Gayle - Can't captain at all but can destroy a side completely.
    3.Pietersen - England would'nt have made the super eights without him.
    4.De Villiers - Fantastic batsman but an unbelievable fielder.
    5.Sangakarra (c/wk)- Mainly because i cannot stand Kamran Akmal.*
    6.Afridi - Should be lower in the order and his bowling baffles many.
    7.Ten Doeschate - Is a powerful batsman and an accurate bowler.
    8.Swann - Definately a better spinner than Ajmal.
    9.Gul - The best death bowler in the tournament.
    10.Malinga - Amazing bowling and has the best disguised slower ball.
    11.Nannes - Shame we did'nt see much of him cause he has serious pace.

    * the reason why i dislike Akmal is because he must be the most annoyng person to be in a team with. He is always shouting behind the stumps every ball and he has such an annoying voice. Apart from that he is a great batsman and a great keeper.

  • Comment number 30.


  • Comment number 31.

    My Team of WT20, 2009 is:
    4.SANGAKARRA(C), (W)

  • Comment number 32.

    How about the best team that didn't play in the T20 world cup?

    1. Gilchrist
    2. Hayden
    3. Tendulkar
    4. M Yousuf
    5. Prince
    6. Trescothick
    7. Flintoff
    8. Warne
    9. Kaneria
    10. Akhtar
    11. Siddle

  • Comment number 33.

    OK. Strike Yousuf and Akhtar from that list and drop in Sehwag and Napier. That's better. How did I forget them!!!!

  • Comment number 34.

    T20 Team of Eighties
    1. Greenidge
    2. Srikkanth
    3. Richeards
    4. Crowe
    5. Miandad
    6. Dujon
    7. Kapil
    8. Imran (Captain)
    9. Akram
    10. Marshall
    11. Garner
    12. Qadir

  • Comment number 35.

    3. Richards

  • Comment number 36.

    Not a bad 80's team but needs spin!!! Qadir for Kapil for sure. Also might get in Ravi Shastri for Marshall. Would then open the batting with Botham and have all bases covered.

  • Comment number 37.

    1. c gayle
    2. k akmal
    3. k pietersen
    4. yuvraj singh
    5. m jayawardanne
    6. a symonds
    7. s afridi
    8. wayne parnell
    9. stuart broad
    10. a mendis
    11. m muralitharan
    12. ab devilliers

  • Comment number 38.


    C GAYLE (C)

  • Comment number 39.

    I think Oliver Brett has got it pretty much right, but I would take out Pietersen and bring in Kallis and also take out Yuvraj and bring in either Sangakkara or Younus Khan (either of these players could also be captain given both players were very successful in this role). Pietersen and Yuvraj both played some good innings, but I don't think they had as much of an impact in this tournament as Kallis (the second highest run-scorer in the tournament), Sangakkara or Younus Khan. I might also put Malinga in the team ahead of Parnell. The rest of my team would be the same as Oliver Brett's.

  • Comment number 40.


    No Ian Botham ???? Twenty20 would have suited him perfectly, batsman, bowler and fielder.

  • Comment number 41.

    Honeslty the first 11 is a very good selection but I would make one change. Take Kamran Akmal off and replace him with Sanga.


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