While tests offer us moments of sheer individual class and T20s light up our screens with fast-paced exciting cricket, nothing beats the thrill that comes along with the advent of the Cricket World Cup. It is a celebration of the world's very best where the game's star names get to showcase their talents on the biggest stage of all and cement their name in their country's folklore.
A proper festival for the devotees of the game, every 4 years we witness the rise of upcoming stars that go on to become legends for their country. These budding cricketers are poised to make their mark on the cricketing fraternity and thus, here is a list of the top young players to look out for in the upcoming World Cup.
The 19-year-old first came into the spotlight in the U-19 World Cup where he took 12 wickets, the highest by a Pakistani in the tournament, before making headlines by scalping five wickets for a mere 4 runs in the PSL, earning himself a deserved call up to the national side. Having just played 20 matches for the senior squad across all three formats, he already has 42 wickets to his name.
But there's much more to the 6 ft 6-inch player's game than terrifying the opposition batsmen with deadly bowls recording speeds greater than 140 kmph. He is also explosive batsman and his batting credentials have earned him the label of an all-rounder who seeks to excel in all the departments of the game.
The Australian squad is full of typical Aussie pacers, the towering fierce figures as is evidenced by all the four other pacers being 6 foot 3 inches plus. In comparison, Jhye Richardson stands at a mere 5 foot 10 inches, something which makes him stand out from the rest.
He doesn't rely on abusing his pace in order to get wickets but it's his smooth action, beautiful wrist position and the ability to swing the ball both ways that more often than not gets him wickets. That does not mean he doesn't regularly hit the 140 kmph work. Having played only 12 ODIs, he has picked up 24 wickets, 4 of which are of Virat Kohli. He has impressed time and again, and has been named by ICC as one of the tournament debutants to look out for.
Quite an unknown name not that long ago, the 19 years old Pakistani quick has burst onto the scene and only a couple of days back made his T20I debut against England, having already received his international cap against Australia in March.
Known for his pace and accuracy in the domestic circuit, he recorded his highest speed of 151 kph in a PSL match which made headlines and went down as the tournament's fastest ball. He went on to be named MOTM in the tournament's final. A chip off the old block, his pedigree combined with a lethal bowling action makes him a hard bowler to face, and the upcoming World Cup offers him the perfect platform to catapult his career to the next level.
The gift of timing, raw Carribean power and keeping it simple with his feet- a formula for success that has paid dividends for 22-year-old Hetmyer as former West Indian cricketer Stuart Law recently described him as "once-in-a-generation player."
Already having scored 4 centuries and 2 fifties in only 16 ODI innings, his explosive hitting found it's the way into the IPL recently as he blasted his way to a quickfire 76, destroying another young talent Rashid Khan in the process, to earn his team a satisfactory win. Having been taken under the wings of Kohli and de Villiers at RCB, the Guyanese is learning from the very best and is definitely one of the players most likely to make a mark in the mega event.
Having generated some genuine pace legends over the years, West Indies have lacked the kind of pacer recently whose very run-up can terrify batsmen. Oshane Thomas is just that, and much more.
The 6-foot fast bowler is fierce to say the least and his enormous jump is capable of rattling batsmen before the ball is even bowled. He regularly touches the 150 kmph mark and had ended last year's CPL as the top wicket getting pace bowler. His 15 wickets in 8 ODIs includes a 5 wicket haul against England a couple of months back. He was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals in the IPLs and got a chance to display his mettle in the coveted league.
The 22-year-old is pipped to be the next big thing in Caribbean cricket, and West Indies would be sincerely hoping for the claim to be true.
A find of the decade for Bangladesh, he has got off to a dream start in national colours and has taken an astonishing 84 wickets in 18 test matches so far, including 3 five wicket hauls in his first two Test matches against England and 12 wickets in a test against West Indies, an all time best by a Bangladeshi bowler.
Having led his team in the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 in which he was named player of the tournament, the all rounder has not skipped a beat ever since. The off-break bowler has struggled with the bat so far for Bangladesh, but his domestic records show it is nothing but a slump in form and he has the ability to put up big scores. A very exciting prospect, all eyes will be on him when Bangladesh play in the upcoming World Cup.
We know it feels like he's been around forever, but well, he's still only 20 years old. Exciting, isn't it? The Afghan already has close to a 100 international caps across the 3 formats, and has 123 wickets in 57 ODIs, with an average of just 15.
Already having been at the top of the bowler rankings in ODIs, having become the youngest player ever to do so, the leg-break bowler also has been top of the ICC All-rounders charts. Fastest bowler to 100 ODI scalps and the youngest ever player to captain an international team, he is already a legend in Afghanistan having been a part of the team that played the nation's first ever test match. It's astonishing to think he has his whole career in front of him, and the Vice Captain of Afghanistan's ODI squad would be looking to lead the team to unprecedented glory.
While the likes of Jofra Archer and Alzarri Joseph are not yet sure to make it to the World Cup, there are other hot blooded prospects keen to make a mark such as Mujeeb ur Rahman and many more. Players like Kagiso Rabada and Babar Azam, though still very young, have already been around the game long enough while on the other hand players like Vijay Shankar, though not exactly young, are budding and equally keen to leave behind a footprint in the sands of time. We are all geared up for an exciting tournament, and only time will tell whether these players will fulfill their astronomical potential.