Friday, January 21st, 2022


Worcestershire Seconds Coach, Kadeer Ali, took part in the first T20 tournament in 2003 and admits the players’ approach was entirely different from how the tournament is viewed today.

This summer will mark 20 years of the competition which has evolved into the Vitality Blast and the short format of the game has since taken off all around the world.

It has become a mega money-spinning venture with top players and coaches from all countries taking part.

Steve Smith, Andre Russell, Colin Munro and Martin Guptill are amongst the many leading stars who have played T20 cricket for Worcestershire throughout the years.

Martin Guptill featured for the Rapids in the Vitality Blast in 2018 & 2019.

Kadeer said: “There was a bit of a mixed reaction from the players when T20 was introduced. The younger lads were quite excited, but the senior lads were not quite sure.

“For the first three years, it was very relaxed and wasn’t taken seriously at all. It was a bit of fun, and no planning went into games.

“Batting orders were all over the place. Pinch hitters were used. No one knew what was going on, and it was just a bit of fun.

“There were no meetings about the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses.

“The powerplay was massive, and if you won that, you generally won the game. We would send in pinch-hitters like Gareth Batty, Matt Mason and Kabir Ali to try and make the most of the six overs with two fielders out.

“There was a lot of thought around the spinners getting hit, but they actually bowled really well and were the leading wicket-takers, and even today, they are a vital part of T20 cricket.

“People weren’t quite sure how to go about it, but it was played in good spirit, and people just went out and expressed themselves.

Kadeer always felt there was the potential for T20 to become the massive part of cricket it is today.

He said: “It has obviously evolved hugely, and the game has massively evolved, and the Vitality Blast is really big over here.”

“With the crowds we got straight away, I always thought in the back of my head that this could get big.

“When it really took off was in 2007 when India won the World Cup and the IPL came in and generated huge money, and interest levels have gone through the roof.”