Cricket enjoyed one of its most memorable years in 2019 as England ended their World Cup agony on home soil while a resurgent Australia retained the Ashes urn on enemy territory.
Big names such as Steve Smith and Ben Stokes shone bright, however, there were several other unheralded players for whom 2019-20 turned out to be a breakthrough season.
With their notable performances over the course of the year, these players managed to propel themselves into the limelight usually been reserved for the superstars. When the sport does ultimately resume, they will all be itching to continue the good work they have shown recently.
Here, we look at eight of the biggest breakthrough stars over the last year or so.
Mayank Agarwal (India)
After piling on the runs for Karnataka in domestic cricket, Agarwal was finally rewarded for his perseverance with a Boxing Day Test debut against Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The opening batsman impressed with two half centuries in three innings. The best, though, was yet to come from Agarwal who had a rather disappointing tour of the West Indies subsequently.
As India finished the year with home clashes against South Africa and Bangladesh, Agarwal stepped up the class with two double tons and a century. The right-hander’s polished technique and impressive temperament saw him forge a delightful opening partnership with Rohit Sharma as India swept aside the Proteas and Bangladesh in emphatic fashion.
In 2019 alone, Agarwal amassed 754 runs at an average of nearly 69.
Nicholas Pooran (West Indies)
Pooran’s talent was clear to see when he smashed a stunning 143 against Australia in Dubai during the 2014 ICC U19 World Cup.
The left-hander looked destined to scale greater heights in senior cricket before fate took an unruly turn in the following year.