India Claim Victory After 13-Year Wait – T20 World Cup Highlights

The T20 World Cup was a strange one. A good one, but a strange one. We saw multiple new teams qualify for the tournament (including one very surprising entrant), and a win from India, which, while not wholly unexpected, was the first time India had picked up the T20 World Cup in 13 years, resulting in all sorts of parades in the street.

We figured that since the T20 World Cup 2024 is over (and the qualifications for the next World Cup are in full swing), we would have a look at some of the major highlights of this limited-overs event.

United States Enter Their First Major Cricket Tournament

The United States managed to get into the T20 by being one of the hosts of the event, because honestly, the US is hardly known for having the finest cricket team in the world. Let’s face it – if you’re betting on cricket, you’re highly unlikely to have the US as a potential winner of anything. However, the T20 World Cup decided to throw us a bit of a curveball.

While their first match against Canada went as expected (the US managed to win), it was the 6th of June pairing against Pakistan that made people sit up and pay attention. In front of the roaring crowds at the Grand Prairie Stadium (well, as roaring as a cricket match can get), the US managed to pull off one of the greatest upsets in cricket history by beating Pakistan, one of the best teams in the world.

Now, we know that some people will argue that the USA team is full of players who are not from the USA, which, to an extent, is true. The players on the USA team are there simply because they struggled to qualify for their ‘main’ nation’s international team. However, that shouldn’t take the credit away from the USA. They fought valiantly against Pakistan, and briefly, everybody thought they would go all the way (OK, nobody thought that). People were surprised about what the USA did, though. Even non-cricket lovers in the US managed to pull out the “USA! USA! USA!” chants for a couple of days or so.

Rohit Sharma Hits a Milestone (Several)

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma in action (Credit: sportsphotographereu / bigstock)

You just knew that this would be Rohit Sharma’s T20 when he hit several milestones on the 5th of June v Ireland (which India won). This included:

  • His 4,000th run in the T20Is
  • 1,000th run in the T20 World Cups
  • 600 sixes in international cricket
  • 300 wins in international cricket
  • 100 sixes in ICC tournaments
  • Most wins as an Indian captain in T20Is

So, a pretty accomplished player. By this point, India were already starting to show that they might have exactly what it takes to go all the way to the end, even if people already believed before the tournament that this would happen.

Scotland and England

On the 3rd of June, Scotland faced England at the Kensington Oval. The two teams might have been facing off in Barbados, but they managed to get the ‘perfect’ British weather – the game was rained out, with Scotland hitting 90/0 in 10 overs before the game was deemed to be a washout. We suppose the main highlight of this game was the fact that we never got to see where it would go.

New Zealand Went Home

Sure. The US winning against Pakistan was shocking, but to us, this was one of the more surprising parts of the tournament and a highlight that we think helped to steer India closer to victory.

New Zealand performed terribly during the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup. Terribly. This was the first time in a decade that the team was sent home in the group stages. Many people found this especially surprising since their team had all the talent that it needed to win the tournament, with most of the players being fully experienced.

There are many reasons why New Zealand struggled here, although much of it was down to major changes in the leadership, and just a general lack of seeming to care while they were playing. We’ll see them again in the 2026 competition, and they may go on to win it then.

Time Wasting

Gulbadin Naib
Gulbadin Naib (Credit: sportsphotographereu / bigstock)

Gulbadin Naib was called to task when Afghanistan faced Bangladesh. During the 12th over, Naib fell and claimed to be injured. This managed to kill the momentum Bangladesh had, and rain was slowly creeping in, which could have put paid to the rest of the game.

We don’t know whether Naib was wasting time. We would love to give him the benefit of the doubt, and his teammates claim that Naib was suffering from serious cramps. However, many people have analysed the camera footage, and they don’t believe Naib was in as much pain as he claimed to be. The situation is now under investigation by the ICC.

Australia Were Beaten

At least it wasn’t all controversy for Afghanistan. When Australia faced Afghanistan, it was supposed to be a routine win for them. Australia was one of the favourites for the tournament, and while Afghanistan does have a lot of skill on the field, they were thought to be no match for Australia. Turns out, they were underestimated.

Afghanistan beat Australia by 21 runs, helping them into the semifinal, and Australia ended up leaving the tournament far sooner than they would have hoped. Perhaps they should tempt David Warner out of retirement for the next tournament?

The Win

If you’re English, chances are that you would have loved England to survive their title defence. They had everything going for them, and many bookies painted England to be the favourites for the whole tournament. However, it wasn’t to be. Although, you’ll love the fact that, at the time of writing, England has managed to make it to the semifinals of Euro 2024, so football may be more their thing this year (although, by the time you read this, they could be on the plane home, looking rather sullen).

India, while a great team, had not managed to pick up an ICC trophy for 11 years, despite several near misses. Knowing that they would face South Africa would add to the potential challenge.

The game ended up rather close too, with India winning by just seven runs. It was a nail-biting finish and one that is likely to have a seriously positive impact on Indian cricket. This win showed that India had a team that could be the winner. They had a team that would no longer be second-best to the other teams in the tournament. They had a team that had grit and determination to win, and a team that would not be thrown off by how well their competitor was performing. An older Indian team would have keeled over and South Africa would have won. Not this team – and that puts India in good stead for the future.

The qualification stages for the 2026 ICC T20 World Cup are now in full swing. If the tournament this year is anything to go by, we’re in for an amazing one in two years’ time. Plus, if the USA are there again, maybe that country will finally start to pay attention to cricket.