The qualifying stages of the 2016 World Twenty20 are officially under way in India. Scotland and Ireland are among the eight teams competing in over the next week to seal a spot in the Super 10 stage, which begins on March 15 and ahead of that, IBTimes UK have taken a look at the five players who could prove pivotal to their country's hopes of success.

Mohammad Amir – Pakistan

Amir returned to the Pakistan team in January after returning from his five-year ban from international cricket for his role in the spot fixing scandal that shook the game in 2010. The left-arm paceman is still only 23 and he will have the chance to remind the world of his undoubted quality with the ball, as he showed in Pakistan's Asia Cup campaign.

Boyd Rankin – Ireland

Ireland were given a telling boost for their World Cup campaign when 31-year-old Boyd Rankin announced his return to their ranks in December 2015. The fast bowler made 82 international appearances for his country of birth between 2007 and 2012 before making himself available for England with hopes of a Test call-up in mind. His debut and sole wicket came in the ill-fated 2014 Ashes campaign in Sydney but is now back in Irish colours in what will be his fourth T20 World Cup.

Colin Munro – New Zealand

Munro smashed New Zealand's fastest ever Twenty20 half-century in a the two-match series against Sri Lanka in January off just 14 balls, a haul good enough for second place in the all-time rankings, shared by India's Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle. Smashing sixes is what he does best.

Chris Gayle – West Indies

At 36, the most prolific batsman in Twenty20 cricket is back among the big hitters in the West Indies squad. His 2016 has so far been remembered for all the wrong reasons after he became embroiled in a sexism storm after asking out reporter Melanie McLaughlin on live television. On the field, the veteran still managed to equal that remarkable half century record at the Big Bash – 50 off 12 balls. His reputation as one of the most feared batsman will certainly see him add to his considerable tally of 807 runs in this competition.

Jos Buttler – England

After the disappointment of being dropped from the Test squad in 2015, Buttler has continued to enhance status as one of England's most dangerous option in limited-overs cricket. After hitting the quickest England ODI century off 46 balls against Pakistan in November last year, a feat that smashed records previously set by himself, The 25-year-old has already demonstrated his ability to score all around the wicket.