A World Cup to remember
It was a huge challenge for the governing body of world cricket to stage the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE while adapting to the norms of the new normal against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Life inside bio-secure bubbles has taken a toll on players and officials and even the media personnel who came to cover the flagship event were not given a reprieve in cricket's first major event since the pandemic.
However, despite all that, there was no shortage of drama, emotion, agony or heartbreak in the T20 World Cup this time around, which is undoubtedly an event that will be remembered for a long time.
It was a nightmare for Bangladesh, who started their campaign with a shock loss to Scotland before a roller-coaster ride saw Mahmudullah Riyad and his troops reach the Super 12 stage, but their fortunes remained unchanged.
Although they came close to beating Sri Lanka and West Indies, they returned home after suffering defeats in all five Super 12 games.
Bangladesh's off-field incidents also made headlines as some heated comments by senior players during press conferences courted plenty of controversy.
The tournament did witness some brilliant cricket as a spirited Pakistan were clinical throughout the Super 12 stage, getting a famous 10-wicket win over archrivals India in their opening game only to splice things up in the semifinal against Australia.
On the other hand, India bowed out of from group stages for the first time in the history of the T20 World Cup while associate nations Namibia and Scotland showed the world what they are capable of on the biggest stage.
England had also come out all-guns-blazing and in their attempt to live up to the tag of favourites, Eoin Morgan's side played a truly outstanding brand of cricket.
Jos Buttler struck the maiden hundred of the T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka as belief in the English lifting the trophy grew, but they were undone by a clinical New Zealand in a semifinal that will undoubtedly go down as one of the best games of the tournament.
The Kiwis eventually avenged their heartbreaking loss in the final of the 50-over 2019 World Cup in similarly dramatic fashion, courtesy of Daryl Mitchell's blistering unbeaten 72 in chase of 167.
Australia were not considered among the favourites but they kept doing the basics right to secure a last-four spot. Aaron Finch's side then dismantled high-flying Pakistan in another epic semifinal clash, which saw Matthew Wade smite three consecutive sixes to Shaeen Afridi and getting 22 runs in the over to register a thumping five-wicket win.
Despite losing their semifinal, Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan won hearts following his heroic showing. The cricketer had spent two days in the ICU prior to the game due to a severe chest infection but went on to strike a blistering 67 against the Aussies regardless.
The spectators also played a vital part in marking the event as a success and despite the UAE not taking part in the global event, teams received great support from the stands in the mega event.