With the performance of Scotland and Kenya not being up to scratch in the ICC World Twenty20, lets play fantasy selector for a while, and pick a team of the best associate cricketers to play the newest form of the game.
1. John Davison (Canada)
Very much an obvious selection this one. Davison is probably one of those players for whom Twenty20 was invented. Agressive batting at the top of the order would get our Associate XI off to a fantastic start, and his tidy off-spin could be just what is needed in Twenty20, where spin has often proved to be very affective. Whilst big hitting is not the be all and end all of Twenty20 batting, one can't ignore a batsman capable of destroying a bowling attack the way Davison can.
2. David Hemp (Bermuda)
In order to contrast with Davison's big hitting at the top of the order, we need an opening partner who is able to bat sensibly, perhaps staying in throughout the innings, and steadying the innings in the event of Davison getting out early. It also helps that Hemp is perhaps the most experienced Twenty20 player in the associate world, playing in 33 matches for Glamorgan, scoring 716 runs at an average of 29.83. His batting can be aggresive too though, as a strike rate of 127.62 shows.
3. Eoin Morgan (Ireland)
Another player with some Twenty20 experience from county cricket. Whilst he has not been brilliant in this years tournament for Middlesex, his class is obvious to all. As his form for Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League earlier this year shows, he is capable of some big scores, and could fit well into the role of either John Davison or David Hemp when the first wicket falls. Very much the ideal number three in this form of the game.
4. Steve Tikolo (Kenya)
Steve Tikolo usually makes it into any associate XI, and a Twenty20 XI is no exception. Still the best player outside of the Test world, and has shown that he is just as good at Twenty20 cricket as he is in the longer forms of the game. Against Uganda, despite his team losing, Tikolo was head and shoulders above the other 21 players in the match. He scored 66 opening the batting, and went for just eight runs from his four overs, taking three wickets in the process.
5. Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands)
The first name on the team sheet. Ten Doeschate is challenging Tikolo for the title of best non-test player, and in this form of the game, he probably takes it. He has played 29 Twenty20 matches for Essex, and whilst his batting is well known in associate circles, his bowling is a potent force, one which is criminaly underused by his county. All-rounders are a must in Twenty20, and ten Doeschate is probably the best all-rounder in the associate world.
6. Ashish Bagai (Canada)
In Twenty20, a wicket-keeper who can bat is more important than in any other form of the game. And in Ashish Bagai, Canada have possibly the best man for the job. His form in the World Cricket League earlier this year was outstanding, scoring 345 runs at the incredible average of 86.25. His glove work is top notch too.
7. Lionel Cann (Bermuda)
One of the most aggressive batsman in world cricket, never mind non-test cricket. Cann was near the top of the Sky Sports international sixes league up until the start of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament. He often comes in low down the order for Bermuda and is usually a big hitting, fast scoring style of batsman. An ODI strike rate of 117.46 shows his agressiveness, and an average of 32.73 shows that he can be hard to dismiss when in full swing. And when he is in full swing, the ball often goes a long way. The pinnacle of his career came in the Bermuda domestic season when he clubbed 207 from 116 balls in a 50 over match for St David's CC against Flatts Victoria.
8. Trent Johnston (Ireland)
The Irish captain would probably also captain this side. He'd contribute with bat and ball too, with some big-hitting down the order, and some clever medium pace bowling. Whilst his ODI bowling average doesn't exactly set the world alight, a first-class bowling average under 20 does, as does an ODI batting strike rate of 105.96.
9. Majid Haq (Scotland)
As already mentioned, spin bowling is very useful in Twenty20 cricket. And in Majid Haq, Scotland have a spinner who is not just a decent off-spin bowler, he is also a more than useful batsman. He can be used in a "pinch-hitting" role, or in a lower order role. In his only Twenty20 international to date, he took 2/49 against Pakistan, his wickets being Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik.
10. Binod Das (Nepal)
Binod Das, though he is yet to have the chance to shine on the world stage, is one of the best bowlers in associate cricket. His first-class bowling average of 11.42 and economy rate of 2.30 show just how good he is. His limited overs bowling is just as useful, with an average of 18.25 and economy rate of 3.59 in Under-19 ODIs.
11. Charles Waiswa (Uganda)
An economical bowler is just what is needed in Twenty20 cricket, and medium-fast bowler Waiswa fits the bill perfectly. He has an economy rate under four in first-class, List A and Under-19 ODI cricket, and in the Twenty20 quadrangular in Kenya, had an economy rate of 4.87 across his two matches, winning the man of the match award after taking 2/18 in Uganda's famous win over Kenya.