Bangladesh will square off against Afghanistan in the tournament opener in Mirpur on March 16, while former champions India and Pakistan will go head to head in the first match of the Super 10 stage at the same venue on March 21. The top eight (full member) teams in the ICC T20I Championship rankings in October 2012 enter the Super 10 stage. The remaining eight teams compete in the group stage, from which two teams advance to the Super 10 stage. Following are the key players to watch out for during the tournament: India squad for 2014 T20 World Cup 2014 T20 World Cup squads READ MORE ON T20 WORLD CUP (JPN/Agencies)
The final will be played in Mirpur on April 6, while Chittagong and Sylhet are the other two venues that will be used for the tournament.
Chris Gayle, West Indies
The tall Jamaican is dreaded for his big-hitting ability. No boundary is big enough for the left-handed opener and even his mishits often land in the stands.
In recent times, Gayle has been more watchful during the initial overs, signalling his intent to bat long and launch into the slower bowlers in the middle overs.
Gayle smashed the first century in Twenty20 Internationals against host South Africa in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 and can upset the opponent's gameplan.
David Warner, Australia
A stocky left-handed opener who can single-handedly win a match for his team. Whenever the diminutive southpaw has batted deep, Australia have invariably posted imposing totals.
Warner boasts of a strike rate of 138 in Twenty20 Internationals and can clear the boundary at will. A feisty cricketer though not always in control of his emotions, Warner seems to be finally at peace with himself.
Also an excellent fielder, the 27-year-old will head to the tournament in rich vein of form after highly successful test series against Australia and South Africa.
Virat Kohli, India
One of world's most exciting young talents, the 25-year-old right-hander has become India's most dependable batsman in recent times. His aggression and youthful exuberance reflect in the way he bats.
Kohli can score fast without looking ugly and can pace his innings according to the game's demand.
A smart runner between the wicket and a sweet timer of the ball, his brilliant fielding is an asset to a team not really known for its agility.
AB de Villiers, South Africa
The talented middle-order batsman has the ability to adapt to any situation and can effortlessly shift batting gears which makes him an indispensable part of the South African team.
When in flow, De Villiers is a nightmare for any bowler for his knack to improvise which can upset any field setting.
The 30-year-old, South Africa's best batsman currently, also dons the gloves which affords his side more balance.
Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka
Another dasher at the top of the order, the right-hander was the highest run-getter in the 2009 World Twenty20 in England, where Sri Lanka finished runner-up to Pakistan.
His famous "Dilscoop", a shot he plays to send the ball soaring over the wicketkeeper's head, underlines his ability to improvise and makes him a batsman hard to contain.
Dilshan can also pierce the field with his flowing off-drives and is an useful off-spinner with the ball in the middle overs.
Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka
Malinga has now played international cricket for almost 10 years but batsmen still struggle to read the paceman with blond-tinted hair and a sling-shot action.
Malinga's fast, unorthodox action, toe-crushing yorkers, slow bouncers and pinpoint accuracy make him one of modern day cricket's most versatile bowlers.
The 30-year-old plays only the shorter formats these days and it is difficult to score briskly off him due to his subtle variations.
Mitchell Johnson, Australia
Johnson is nursing a toe infection and could miss the start of the tournament but, if fit, he is expected to spearhead Australia's bowling attack.
The left-arm paceman will be tough to face even on the low and slow wickets in Bangladesh as he has the ability to generate express pace from the most docile of surfaces.
His accurate swinging deliveries with the new ball and his prowess of dishing out fast yorkers in the death overs make him a genuine match-winner in the 20-over format.
Umar Gul, Pakistan
The 29-year-old is a veteran of the Twenty20 format, having proved his utility time and again.
Gul was the highest wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the 2007 event, when Pakistan finished as runner-up to India, and again in 2009 when his team won the title.
He has not been in prime form since returning from a long injury layoff but is still capable of generating disconcerting bounce and bowl yorkers at will in the closing stages.
Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan
Another key bowler in Pakistan's World Twenty20 triumph, Ajmal, who was the joint second highest wicket-taker in 2009, will harass the batsmen with his bag of tricks.
The off-spinner, the best exponent of the other way turning 'doosra', is also the most successful bowler in the format. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq will depend heavily on Ajmal's knack of restricting the scoring rate and picking up wickets under pressure.
Along with Shahid Afridi, Ajmal quickly bowls through the middle overs to create extra pressure on the batsmen.
Sunil Narine, West Indies
The West Indian is the latest addition to the list of mystery spinners with his ability to turn the ball appreciably in both directions without any perceptible change in the bowling action.
Batsmen have found it extremely difficult to score against the off-spinner who enjoys an enviable economy rate of 5.85 in the batting-dominated format.
Narine's miserly bowling puts extra pressure on the batsmen to score off the other bowlers and he is expected to be a key player during the defending champions' campaign.
Shahid Afridi, Pakistan
An aura of unpredictability always hangs around Shahid Afridi when he takes the cricket field.
His swashbuckling batting and fiery legspin make him an exciting player in the shortest format of the game but there is always a chance for him to self-destruct, by throwing away his wicket at a crucial juncture or by means of wayward bowling.
On his day, however, the 34-year-old former captain can win a match single-handedly and Pakistan will hope that he can continue his Asia Cup form into the World Twenty20.
Afridi who hurt his hamstring during the 50-over tournament in Bangladesh, was at his adventurous best when he took Pakistan to the Asia Cup final with close wins against arch-rivals India and hosts Bangladesh.
Shane Watson, Australia
The highest run-scorer and player of the tournament in the last edition of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, Watson has the power to pummel any opposition attack and is particularly harsh against the spinners.
The burly all-rounder's ability of hit the spinners out of the ground will make sure Australia do not get tied down in the middle overs against the slow bowlers.
Watson's tight line and length is an added bonus for the team and he often reposes that faith by picking up vital wickets.
Marlon Samuels, West Indies
Samuels has already proved his worth by digging West Indies out of a hole to the World Twenty20 title with a brilliant half-century against hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2012.
The classy stroke-player can play all the shots in the book and is almost unstoppable when he is on song with the bat. A part-time off-spinner who can fire in deliveries in the block hole, Samuels has great control in varying the pace of his deliveries and could be a vital weapon for the defending champions on the low and slow Bangladesh wickets.
Yuvraj Singh, India
The left-hander was the hero of India's Twenty20 World Cup victory in 2007 and was the player of the tournament during the home triumph in the 50-over format in 2011.
One of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball, as England's Stuart Broad found out when he was hit for six consecutive sixes in an over In 2007, Yuvraj can change the complexion of a match in the spate of a few deliveries.
A crowd favourite, more so after his successful battle against cancer, Yuvraj's gentle left-arm can also be very effective on the slow surfaces in Bangladesh.
Corey Anderson, New Zealand
The new kid on the block, Anderson grabbed eyeballs when he broke the record for the fastest century in international cricket with his 36-ball hundred against West Indies on the first day of 2014.
The 23-year-old has played just eight Twenty20 matches for New Zealand but the left-hander's big-hitting ability is tailor-made for the format.
He has a five-wicket haul with his left-arm medium pace bowling in the 50-over format and will be a decent bowling option for captain Brendon McCullum in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh will square off against Afghanistan in the tournament opener in Mirpur on March 16, while former champions India and Pakistan will go head to head in the first match of the Super 10 stage at the same venue on March 21.
The top eight (full member) teams in the ICC T20I Championship rankings in October 2012 enter the Super 10 stage. The remaining eight teams compete in the group stage, from which two teams advance to the Super 10 stage.
Following are the key players to watch out for during the tournament:
India squad for 2014 T20 World Cup
2014 T20 World Cup squads
READ MORE ON T20 WORLD CUP