Much before IPL, when T20 cricket took baby steps

Even before the razzmatazz of the Indian Premier League (IPL) elevated the Twenty20 format to dizzying heights of popularity, T20 cricket had found its home in England, taking one baby step at a time.

As Adam Hollioake's team lifted the silverware that night,  it appended itself to the annals of cricketing history which hasn't been the same since.   -  Getty Images

Even before the razzmatazz of the Indian Premier League (IPL) elevated the Twenty20 format to dizzying heights of popularity, T20 cricket had found its home in England, taking one baby step at a time. The Twenty20 Cup was organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) , with Hampshire and Sussex squaring off in the tournament opener on June 13, 2003 at The Rose Bowl, Southampton. 

 

After over a gruelling month of slam-bang cricket, watched by 2,57,759 spectators ,it all came down to the summit clash between Surrey and Warwickshire at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.  Warwickshire won the toss and chose to bat, but folded for a modest 115 with 11 balls still left to play. Right-arm medium fast bowler Jimmy Ormond wreaked havoc on opposition batsmen with returns of 4-0-11-4.  In response, Surrey made light work of the target , romping home by nine wickets.

Opener Ali Brown remained not out on 55 off 46 deliveries including six boundaries and three towering sixes. He found an able second fiddle in Ian Ward (50) who was the only Surrey wicket to fall during the chase. When Adam Hollioake's team lifted the silverware that night,  it appended itself to the annals of cricketing history which hasn't been the same since.

As cricket claimed the centre stage on July 19 2003, the makings of an exhilarating, madcap addition to the game didn't go amiss. 

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