In 2009, the ICC World Twenty20 moved to England where the sport’s shortest format aimed to make headway with the traditionalists. It was to England’s credit though that the conditions on offer gave rise to quality cricket. Pedigree came to count as the tournament went on to separate the men from the boys. The pitches offered assistance to bowlers who were ready to try hard and batsmen who possessed both a large repertoire of shots as well as rock-solid technique.
The Twenty20 competition stuck to what brought it success in its first outing. A tight, two-week long contest brought in the crowds and what they witnessed was no less than a rollercoaster ride.
Amongst the things that the 2009 tourney will be remembered for was the arrival of a new kind of shot that is since then known as the Dilscoop. At Trent Bridge against Australia, Tillakaratne Dilshan was quick to reach 46 and then ducked under a good-length delivery and scooped his bat vertically to hit a shot over the head of the wicket-keeper.
There were several upsets and seemingly cruel twists of fate. Netherlands overcame England off a last-ball overthrow by Stuart Broad. India were ousted by the home side and Australia made an unthinkable first round exit.
Ireland established their reputation as giant killers by entering the Super 8s, while Sri Lanka who were unbeatable throughout the tournament fell short in the final.
The early exits of reigning champs India, hosts England and giants Australia meant that that there was less hype and more substance. Focus was on the all field action.
For winners Pakistan, the result couldn’t have come at a better time. The team had experienced the mysterious death of their coach while on tour and a terror attack on their opposition Sri Lanka that put an end to cricket on their home soil. The win at Lord’s played a huge role in instilling a sense of pride for Pakistanis. And the fans were finally smiling again.