Ten years of England's T20 June 26, 2013

Adam Hollioake leads team of the decade

Adam Hollioake captains ESPNcricinfo's team of the decade, selected to mark ten years of professional Twenty20 cricket in England
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Today marks a decade since the ECB launched Twenty20 cricket. Advance ticket sales are said to be bouyant, but It is a decade reached uncertainly as the counties embark on the last season of the condensed midsummer format before switching to a season-long tournament.

But as England seeks to gain full benefit from its ground-breaking format, a format that has spawned several imitators - and one hugely powerful imitator above all - it is time to mark the occasion.

Below is a selection of the best county XI of the past ten years, based on players' impacts in the tournament over time. Overseas players who have just popped in briefly have been determinedly excluded. It is important to have stuck around for a while.

Inevitably, it will create debate. Plenty of players will feel unjustly left out. Tim states that "particular apologies go to Darren Maddy, Graeme Hick, Azhar Mahmood, Danny Briggs and Chris Liddle." Chris Liddle? Let us know what you think.

Marcus Trescothick
No sight in English T20 has been as consistently destructive as that of Trescothick at Taunton. Bludgeoning drives and disdainful pulls have driven bowlers to despair - as well as England fans lamenting that he only played three T20 internationals. His domestic T20 strike-rate, 161, is 16 better than anyone else among the top ten county run scorers.

Jonathan Trott
Yes, really. Until his England career, Trott had perfected the role of T20 anchor for Warwickshire - unobtrusively averaging 40 while scoring at seven-an-over. As he mixed deft touches, underrated power and a shrewd ability to judge a run chase, Warwickshire never had reason to complain.

Brad Hodge
Not even Chris Gayle has as many T20 runs as Hodge. Hodge, mostly using orthodox shots but hitting them with rare power and timing, hit a brilliant 77* to secure Leicestershire's T20 victory in 2004, and averaged 45 in English T20. His off-spin was also deceptively effective.

Owais Shah
No English batsman comes within 1000 runs of the total of 4500 runs Shah has scored. The format is made for Shah's clean striking, ability to hit the ball to unusual areas and skill savaging balls out the ground - like the three consecutive legside sixes off James Tredwell in the 2008 final.

Darren Stevens
England went through a spell of picking T20 specialists, but somehow Stevens was never one of them. His power and cool temperament make Stevens a superb chaser, as when he sealed the 2007 final. Add in his canny T20 bowling and Stevens has topped the PCA's list of most valuable T20 players in the past six seasons.

Adam Hollioake (capt)
The original T20 master. Hollioake's bowling varieties and relish for joining the attack at high-octane moments were perfectly suited to the format: flummoxed batsmen lost their wickets to him less than every ten balls. Add in his destructive batting and unrelentingly aggressive captaincy, and only age precluded him from being an IPL star.

James Foster
Able to stand up to the stumps even to a regular 80mph bowler, Graham Napier, Foster's measure is not just in his catches and stumpings - he has more T20 dismissals in English cricket than anyone else - but in how his presence disturbs the batsmen. In front of the wicket, his idiosyncratic foot movement - taking his stance as if the bowler is coming from square leg - helps make him a formidable finisher.

Dimi Mascarenhas
While he is more famous for his hitting ability, Mascarenhas is good enough to get into this side on bowling alone: his wickets come at 17 apiece, with an economy rate of only 6.7, for Hampshire. Bowling wicket-to-wicket and giving the batsmen nothing to hit in the Powerplay overs, Mascarenhas often bowls his overs straight through. On T20 finals day last year, his figures were 8-0-31-4.

Jeremy Snape
Snape was drifting out of cricket when Twenty20 started; and there seemed no place in this new game for an offspinner. Snape, though, had other ideas, like his 'moon ball', landing at an inviting 40mph and deceiving greedy batsmen. He also scored runs at crucial times, such as with his 18-ball 34 in the 2004 final. Also, in a tight situation, who better to have in your side than a sports psychologist?

Alfonso Thomas
Somerset's recent near misses are no reflection on Alfonso the Great's efforts. His skilful yorkers and well-honed slower balls have earned Thomas 94 wickets in English T20 cricket and a deserved reputation as one of the world's best death bowlers.

Ryan Sidebottom
The share price of left-arm seamers in T20 cricket is high, and Sidebottom has been the best around the domestic circuit. His ability to locate his yorker under pressure and seamless adjustment between bowling over and around the wicket has made Sidebottom a supreme operator at the start and end of innings.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on June 30, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    @Pyketts on (June 30, 2013, 15:03 GMT) Not passionate about this one bud. But yes Surrey were a team of stars when they were doing well. The Leics team which beat Somerset in 2011 was not so great on paper. Not sure who captained them that day - maybe Nixon , who I'd possibly include ahead of Foster regardless of stats. I think Nixon was one of the great characters of the game and would have him in there for his entertainment value. Also - and not sure how his stats stack up - but against Somerset Cork has been pretty decent. Again I like the guy as a character and he'd have to be mic'd up as I used to love some of the banter between him and Colville

  • Pyketts on June 30, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    @JG2704 I think this is the first time I'm going to out-stat you! I've just checked and he did win it once with Surrey but not sure that makes him a great captain. He also did very little in every final he played in.

    Leicestershire won it twice in three years, a far less fashionable (and wealthy) club than Surry so maybe Snape or Hodge should be the captain of the team.

  • JG2704 on June 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @Pyketts on (June 28, 2013, 10:50 GMT) Re Holliaoake - not sure , but I think je may have twice captained Surrey to T20 glory. If so , that's pretty good going

  • Pyketts on June 28, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @JG2704 depending on Bell's Ashes performance yes, even I'm starting to lose patience with him! Will need a replacement though, Taylor?

    If Holliake only played 20 games I'm not sure he can be described as an excellent captain in this form of the game.

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    @class9ryan on (June 28, 2013, 2:53 GMT) Yardy was another unsung hero of that side

  • class9ryan on June 28, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Sidebottom was really the unsung hero in that WC T20 triumph in the Caribbean.

    Shah and Hodge have been travelling to all parts of the world to play T20 cricket.

    Nixon deserves a place in the team.Holliake was a excellent captain.

    Interestingly no Graham Napier

    But very sad 2 see lot of these players not been regulars in their national T20 sides including Hodge, Shah who been unfortunate to make it to their national team consistently.

  • JG2704 on June 27, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    @Pyketts on (June 27, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

    LOL - I'm not that bothered either way re Cook ( sceptical re his captaincy) so you've got yourself a deal there. Does Bell's dropping include tests or is that stretching it?

  • Pyketts on June 27, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    @JG2704 - Trott and KP to open in ODI's with Cook out, two issues sorted for the price of one! If you let me do that I'll let you drop Bell!

    @Saba Saeed Sheikh, I don't really think the captain in T20 is actually that important and having only played 20 matches (as per another comment) I'm not sure he could be seen as a worthy inclusion.

  • on June 27, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    Hollioake was an excellent captain. That's why he's there.

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    There are always players who folk say should be there etc. TBH the only out and out surprise on the list is Trott but I don't know his stats too well. I've said about Darren Stevens on many a thread. He so often does something with bat or ball or both. Re Napier - not sure what his stats are but he's always looked pretty consistent with the ball and capable more than consistent with the bat. Obviously there are players who have only played a season or so that had a big impact. The West Indian KP was one. It's also easy to forget players and then when someone mentions them you think "oh yeah". Thought Maddy was pretty useful and Nixon's another who deserves a mention - as do many others

  • JG2704 on June 30, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    @Pyketts on (June 30, 2013, 15:03 GMT) Not passionate about this one bud. But yes Surrey were a team of stars when they were doing well. The Leics team which beat Somerset in 2011 was not so great on paper. Not sure who captained them that day - maybe Nixon , who I'd possibly include ahead of Foster regardless of stats. I think Nixon was one of the great characters of the game and would have him in there for his entertainment value. Also - and not sure how his stats stack up - but against Somerset Cork has been pretty decent. Again I like the guy as a character and he'd have to be mic'd up as I used to love some of the banter between him and Colville

  • Pyketts on June 30, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    @JG2704 I think this is the first time I'm going to out-stat you! I've just checked and he did win it once with Surrey but not sure that makes him a great captain. He also did very little in every final he played in.

    Leicestershire won it twice in three years, a far less fashionable (and wealthy) club than Surry so maybe Snape or Hodge should be the captain of the team.

  • JG2704 on June 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @Pyketts on (June 28, 2013, 10:50 GMT) Re Holliaoake - not sure , but I think je may have twice captained Surrey to T20 glory. If so , that's pretty good going

  • Pyketts on June 28, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @JG2704 depending on Bell's Ashes performance yes, even I'm starting to lose patience with him! Will need a replacement though, Taylor?

    If Holliake only played 20 games I'm not sure he can be described as an excellent captain in this form of the game.

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    @class9ryan on (June 28, 2013, 2:53 GMT) Yardy was another unsung hero of that side

  • class9ryan on June 28, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Sidebottom was really the unsung hero in that WC T20 triumph in the Caribbean.

    Shah and Hodge have been travelling to all parts of the world to play T20 cricket.

    Nixon deserves a place in the team.Holliake was a excellent captain.

    Interestingly no Graham Napier

    But very sad 2 see lot of these players not been regulars in their national T20 sides including Hodge, Shah who been unfortunate to make it to their national team consistently.

  • JG2704 on June 27, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    @Pyketts on (June 27, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

    LOL - I'm not that bothered either way re Cook ( sceptical re his captaincy) so you've got yourself a deal there. Does Bell's dropping include tests or is that stretching it?

  • Pyketts on June 27, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    @JG2704 - Trott and KP to open in ODI's with Cook out, two issues sorted for the price of one! If you let me do that I'll let you drop Bell!

    @Saba Saeed Sheikh, I don't really think the captain in T20 is actually that important and having only played 20 matches (as per another comment) I'm not sure he could be seen as a worthy inclusion.

  • on June 27, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    Hollioake was an excellent captain. That's why he's there.

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    There are always players who folk say should be there etc. TBH the only out and out surprise on the list is Trott but I don't know his stats too well. I've said about Darren Stevens on many a thread. He so often does something with bat or ball or both. Re Napier - not sure what his stats are but he's always looked pretty consistent with the ball and capable more than consistent with the bat. Obviously there are players who have only played a season or so that had a big impact. The West Indian KP was one. It's also easy to forget players and then when someone mentions them you think "oh yeah". Thought Maddy was pretty useful and Nixon's another who deserves a mention - as do many others

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (June 26, 2013, 12:15 GMT) Pretty sure Ryan has retired from Eng and Dimitri said a few things re Eng back along so I think he burnt his bridges so to speak

  • JG2704 on June 26, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    @ Pyketts on (June 26, 2013, 10:15 GMT) I'm not dead against it but thought KP did well as an opener so I'd move him back there

  • bharath74 on June 26, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Adam Hollioake was a very gud captain, he won the cup in sharjah. He had all the traits of Cronje. He would be perfectly suited for coaching position.

  • Erebus26 on June 26, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    Amazing that Leicestershire have won the tournament three times but only one of our players has been represented - Jeremy Snape. Really poor cricinfo.

  • on June 26, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    How can Hollioake make this list. He only played 20 odd games

  • ajetti on June 26, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    No wonder English players are not exactly setting T20 matches on fire anywhere on the planet! Apart from Trott (ex-SA) and Hodge (an Aussie), the rest of this team is ho-hum! ECB listening?

  • on June 26, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Never Napier - not by comparison to the list here. If you want Napier, you want Styris, and that Glamorgan lad who smacked a quick hundred once. One innings is not enough. It's a good list.

    Maybe Ryan McLaren? - but he's in the Stevens & Dimi slots - and they win. Shah is irritating - but undoubtedly suited and successful - but I'd have Maddy over him.

  • ARad on June 26, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Not many of these players are playing T20 internationals. What does it say about the professional T20 setup in England?

  • AlexPG on June 26, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    There's a name clearly missing from this list.

    Graeme Ashley Hick

    Only Trescothick on that list has a comparable strike rate (156 versus 157), and only Trott can beat his batting average of 36.4 (although Trott's innings are scored at a strike rate forty lower).

    Not a trendy choice, maybe not a great innovator like some batsmen, but for scoring big runs quickly you can't beat Hick.

  • on June 26, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Ian Harvey HAS to be in the list, wasn't he one the first to score a century, brilliant "death" bowler who's variety of slower balls was unequalled at the time!

  • moaningmike on June 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Predictably, there is a call for Napier. However, his T20 record with the bat is dreadful. In 67 innings he averages 15.2, and that includes one extraordinary knock of 152 not out. Hardly earth-shattering. And if you take that once-in-a-lifetime innings out of the equation, he averages 12.8, which by any standards is not top class. It is possible to make a case for his inclusion as a bowler, but an all-rounder? One who comes off once every 60-odd innings? You can't be serious.

  • on June 26, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Unbelievable that Napier is not in the list. Compare his stats 106 wickets @21.29 in T20s that's better than most English bowlers ever to play the format without even taking into consideration his batting!

  • Hayes_Close_End on June 26, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Napier - got to have him in there!

  • on June 26, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I say we are definitely missing Napier in this one instead of Stevens or Shah. He goes to play day in & day out to get wickets 99 matches out of 100. & everyone knows his ability to hit the big ones. I think we missed a trick by not having him in the last T20 WC or even for ODIs

  • Munkeymomo on June 26, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin: Mascarenhas or Sidebottom would get in for me, or maybe Meaker. The side picked yesterday was way short on bowling. Rankin, fair enough, Dernbach hell no. There were no other proper bowlers (pace).

    Mascarenhas, Napier and Nash are 3 names I'd still consider in an England 2020 lineup.

  • Lenny_Fox on June 26, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I think I have to agree about Napier, even it was just for that one innings against whoever it was

  • Harlequin. on June 26, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    All bar 2 of those players are still kicking around, Hodge is an Aussie and Thomas is a Saffer. Even so, that is the lions share of a viable English team, yet none of those players are in the current squad - I wonder how this team here would fair when pitched against the Kiwi's...

  • on June 26, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    No Napier? This is outrageous he has 107 wickets

  • Pyketts on June 26, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    A decent team but you have to question where Maddy is in this list. Not a great cricketer but so effective in T20's with bat and ball, would have him over Hollioake or Hodge.

    @JG2704 backing for Trott moving to the top of the order in ODI's?!

  • on June 26, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    For batting alone, I'm sure Buttler will soon be in there. As we all love an XI of sorts, could you do a XI of one-season wonders? Tyrone Henderson is the first name that immediately springs to mind!

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  • on June 26, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    For batting alone, I'm sure Buttler will soon be in there. As we all love an XI of sorts, could you do a XI of one-season wonders? Tyrone Henderson is the first name that immediately springs to mind!

  • Pyketts on June 26, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    A decent team but you have to question where Maddy is in this list. Not a great cricketer but so effective in T20's with bat and ball, would have him over Hollioake or Hodge.

    @JG2704 backing for Trott moving to the top of the order in ODI's?!

  • on June 26, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    No Napier? This is outrageous he has 107 wickets

  • Harlequin. on June 26, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    All bar 2 of those players are still kicking around, Hodge is an Aussie and Thomas is a Saffer. Even so, that is the lions share of a viable English team, yet none of those players are in the current squad - I wonder how this team here would fair when pitched against the Kiwi's...

  • Lenny_Fox on June 26, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I think I have to agree about Napier, even it was just for that one innings against whoever it was

  • Munkeymomo on June 26, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin: Mascarenhas or Sidebottom would get in for me, or maybe Meaker. The side picked yesterday was way short on bowling. Rankin, fair enough, Dernbach hell no. There were no other proper bowlers (pace).

    Mascarenhas, Napier and Nash are 3 names I'd still consider in an England 2020 lineup.

  • on June 26, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I say we are definitely missing Napier in this one instead of Stevens or Shah. He goes to play day in & day out to get wickets 99 matches out of 100. & everyone knows his ability to hit the big ones. I think we missed a trick by not having him in the last T20 WC or even for ODIs

  • Hayes_Close_End on June 26, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Napier - got to have him in there!

  • on June 26, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Unbelievable that Napier is not in the list. Compare his stats 106 wickets @21.29 in T20s that's better than most English bowlers ever to play the format without even taking into consideration his batting!

  • moaningmike on June 26, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Predictably, there is a call for Napier. However, his T20 record with the bat is dreadful. In 67 innings he averages 15.2, and that includes one extraordinary knock of 152 not out. Hardly earth-shattering. And if you take that once-in-a-lifetime innings out of the equation, he averages 12.8, which by any standards is not top class. It is possible to make a case for his inclusion as a bowler, but an all-rounder? One who comes off once every 60-odd innings? You can't be serious.