Twenty20 returns to its spiritual home as the world's best cricketers converge on England for a two-week spectacle.
Since the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007, the Indian Premier League has bloated the bank balances of the very best and seen sixes clear the ropes from Jaipur to Johannesburg.
Coming fresh on the back of six weeks of non-stop IPL action in South Africa, the World Twenty20 promises to be the finest international cricket competition ever seen.
Defending champions India have the burden of an expectation on their shoulders, England will seek to make a big impression at home and Australia will aim to add the Twenty20 world crown to their one-day title.
BBC Sport runs the rule over the 12 teams.
Australia's Twenty20 record in 2009 has not exactly been sizzling, losing twice to South Africa and once to Pakistan.
Although the majority of the squad opted out of the IPL to concentrate on the Ashes, only a fool would attempt to write off Australia's chances.
While Andrew Symonds was deemed surplus to requirements for the Ashes tour to England, the all-rounder is still a crucial cog in the Twenty20 machine.
Along with latest sensation David Warner, the experience of Nathan Bracken and the Husseys, Australia are always a constant threat.
Six hitters: Andrew Symonds, David Warner
Death bowler extraordinaire: Nathan Bracken
Toe-cruncher: Brett Lee
Best fielder: Michael Clarke
Squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke (vice captain), Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin (wk), Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Andrew Symonds, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Since the 2007 tournament, Bangladesh have played just two Twenty20 internationals, ominously losing both games.
Their star players featured infrequently in the IPL, with Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Mortaza making just a single appearance apiece.
But they do have, according to the International Cricket Council's rankings, the world's best one-day all-rounder in their side, Shakib al Hasan, and bagfuls of spirit.
Things don't look too rosy for the Tigers, but they do have the propensity to surprise now and then.
Six hitters: Mohammad Ashraful, Mashrafe Mortaza
Death bowler extraordinaire: Shakib al Hasan
Toe-cruncher: Mashrafe Mortaza
Squad: Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Raqibul Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Rubel Hossain, Shamsur Rahman, Mohammad Mithun.
With Paul Collingwood back in charge, albeit temporarily, England have, on paper, a squad capable of winning the competition.
However, losing Andrew Flintoff to injury is a big blow to England's hopes.
Kevin Pietersen, quiet so far in 2009, will threaten to shake off his slumber, while Graham Napier, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Eoin Morgan and James Foster are all regular threats to the safety of spectators in the crowds.
However, England's bowling could prove their weak point, especially at the death.
Six hitters: Graham Napier, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen
Death bowler extraordinaire: Ryan Sidebottom
Toe-cruncher: Stuart Broad
Best fielder: Paul Collingwood
Squad: Paul Collingwood (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Andrew Flintoff, James Foster (wk), Rob Key, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Eoin Morgan, Graham Napier, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.
The defending champions have taken Twenty20 cricket to a new level - on and off the pitch.
Out went the elder generation, replaced by a new set of jet-heeled players guided by Mahendra Dhoni's astute leadership.
Vastly improved in the field, India have the most explosive batting line-up in the tournament.
Take your pick from Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, who smashed six sixes off Stuart Broad in Durban two years ago, Suresh Raina, Dhoni, Rohit Sharma or Yusuf Pathan.
Left-armer RP Singh was the IPL's leading wicket-taker, while the rejuvenated Irfan Pathan offers variation with the tight lines of Harbhajan Singh keeping a tight lead on runs in the middle overs.
Six hitters: Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh
Death bowler extraordinaire: RP Singh
Toe-cruncher: Ishant Sharma
Best fielder: Suresh Raina
Squad: Mahendra Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha, Irfan Pathan.
Losing your best batsman to England ambitions is difficult enough at the best of times, but to happen twice in just three years is plain bad luck.
Although the losses of Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan are significant, Ireland are a sturdy unit with the capability to exceed expectations - just ask Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup.
However, Ireland's Twenty20 experience is slim - they did not qualify for the inaugural tournament and have only played three matches, all of which they have won (against Kenya, Scotland and Bermuda).
The O'Brien brothers - Niall and Kevin - have county experience, along with captain Will Porterfield, so much will depend on their batting prowess.
Six hitters: Kevin O'Brien, Jeremy Bray
Death bowler extraordinaire: Boyd Rankin
Toe-cruncher: Boyd Rankin
Squad: Will Porterfield (capt), Andre Botha, Jeremy Bray, Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, Trent Johnston, Kyle McCallan, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien (wk), Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Regan West, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.
When Dirk Nannes was overlooked for Australia's initial Twenty20 squad, the left-arm quick invoked his Dutch heritage by pledging his international future to the land of his parents.
While the Victoria and Delhi Daredevils fast bowler stands head and shoulders above his team-mates, he is not the only player with first-class experience.
Essex all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate, Bas Zuiderent and Daan van Bunge have all played county cricket, with the South African-born Ten Doeschate a particular favourite at Chelmsford for his big hitting.
But beating England and Pakistan will be a step too far for Jeroen Smits' team.
Six hitters: Ryan ten Doeschate, Bas Zuiderent
Death bowler extraordinaire: Dirk Nannes
Toe-cruncher: Dirk Nannes
Squad: Jeroen Smits (capt), Peter Borren, Mudassar Buhkari, Tom De Grooth, Maurits Jonkman, Alexei Kervezee, Dirk Nannes, Ruud Nijman, Darren Reekers, Edgar Schiferli, Pieter Seelaar, Eric Szwarczynski, Ryan ten Doeschate, Daan van Bunge, Bas Zuiderent
The Kiwis are in good Twenty20 form this year having twice beaten world champions India, while narrowly going down to a one-run defeat by Australia.
Probably the most versatile Twenty20 team in world cricket, the Kiwis have options galore with both bat and ball.
Brendon McCullum, the holder of the highest score in T20 history, can win matches with his explosive shot-making, while the talent of Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram can push totals towards the improbable.
With Daniel Vettori's superb control choking middle-over runs, the Black Caps will be a force to be reckoned with.
Six hitters: Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Jacob Oram
Death bowler extraordinaire: Kyle Mills
Toe-cruncher: Iain O'Brien
Best fielder: Ross Taylor
Squad: Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Neil Broom, Jacob Oram, James Franklin, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori (capt), Ian Butler, Peter McGlashan, Kyle Mills, Brendon Diamanti, Iain O'Brien.
Pakistan's plight has become almost impossible following the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, forcing Younus Khan's team to play their home matches in the Middle East.
But despite their lack of recent international exposure, the 2007 finalists remain a latent threat.
A blend of the subtle - Younus Khan - complements the man known as "Boom Boom" Shahid Afridi, while Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir are among the most potent opening bowling duos in world cricket.
And typically, the selectors have thrown in two teenagers into the squad, with 17-year-old Ahmed Shahzad already earning his one-day spurs against Australia and left-arm pace bowler Mohammad Aamir inviting comparisons with a young Wasim Akram.
Six hitters: Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal
Death bowler extraordinaire: Sohail Tanvir
Toe-cruncher: Umar Gul
Squad: Younus Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Ahmed Shahzad, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir, Saeed Ajmal, Shazaib Hassan.
Scotland were dealt a major blow when they failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup following a disappointing qualifying tournament in South Africa in April.
Many of the current squad have Twenty20 experience having travelled to South Africa for the 2007 tournament, when their only match saw them lose to Pakistan by 51 runs.
Captain Gavin Hamilton has plenty of experience from his time with Yorkshire and Durham, while bowler Craig Wright has been around the block.
Ryan "Rhino" Watson can hit a long ball, but with only one realistic chance of victory - against the Netherlands - hopes will not be too high for the Scots.
They also lost John Blain at the start of this week with Calum MacLeod coming in as a replacement.
Six hitters: Ryan Watson, Jan Stander
Death bowler extraordinaire: Craig Wright
Toe-cruncher: Calum MacLeod
Squad: Gavin Hamilton (captain), Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Gordon Drummond, Majid Haq, Calum MacLeod, Neil McCallum, Navdeep Poonia, Dewald Nel, Glenn Rogers, Colin Smith, Jan Stander, Fraser Watts, Ryan Watson and Craig Wright.
South Africa's batsmen have prospered in the IPL this season, with AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, JP Duminy and Jacques Kallis all featuring in the top 12 run-scorers in the tournament.
Meanwhile, previously unheralded left-arm seamer Yusuf Abdulla collected 14 wickets to finish in the IPL's top 10 wicket-takers.
Versatility, as always, is South Africa's strength, with all-round options in Albie Morkel, striker of the biggest six in 2007 tournament, Kallis and spinner Roelof van der Merwe.
The South Africans have won two and lost two Twenty20s this year, all against Australia. Expect them to be there or thereabouts come finals time.
Six hitters: Albie Morkel, AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs
Death bowler extraordinaire: Yusuf Abdulla
Toe-cruncher: Dale Steyn
Best fielder: AB de Villiers
Graeme Smith (capt), Johan Botha, Yusuf Abdulla, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robbie Peterson, Dale Steyn, Roelof van der Merwe.
While Mahela Jayawardene has relinquished the captain's role to close friend and confidante Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka are still a potent Twenty20 threat.
At 39, the bludgeoner Sanath Jayasuriya is still terrorising opening bowlers, while the likes of Farveez Maharoof and Tillekeratne Dilshan have become accomplished internationals.
Sangakkara has bowling options galore with the twin-spin options of Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, while Lasith Malinga's slingy yorkers are always difficult to hit.
Expect big things from the likes of Angelo Matthews and Thilan Thushara.
Six hitters: Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jehan Mubarak
Death bowler extraordinaire: Muttiah Muralitharan
Toe-cruncher: Lasith Malinga
Best fielder: Tillakaratne Dilshan
Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, T.M. Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Angelo Matthews, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thilan Thushara, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Farveez Maharoof, Jehan Mubarak, Indika de Saram.
The memory of 11 millionaires who thumped England by 10 wickets in Antigua last November seems like a dim and distant memory following a miserable 2009 tour to England.
But two weeks of Twenty20 should brighten captain Chris Gayle's mood, a man capable of ripping any bowling line-up apart in the first six overs.
Consistency is West Indies' main problem, with the sublime often following the ridiculous.
Lusty hitters Andre Fletcher, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo have the ability to clear the ropes with ease, but bowling remains a problem.
Six hitters: Chris Gayle, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo
Death bowler extraordinaire: Darren Sammy
Toe-cruncher: Fidel Edwards
Best fielder: Dwayne Bravo
Squad: Chris Gayle (capt), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Lionel Baker, Sulieman Benn, David Bernard, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Xavier Marshall, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor.