It is 10 years this month since England won a global limited-overs tournament for the first time.
Before Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and super overs, there was another England team which ruled the white-ball world.
At the 2010 World T20 in the West Indies, England stumbled upon a winning formula that blew everyone else away.
Here is their story, as told by captain Paul Collingwood and player of the tournament Kevin Pietersen in a special BBC Sounds documentary.
How the pieces fell into place
England were rated as outsiders going into the tournament and a last-minute change to their batting plans proved to be a masterstroke as they replaced Joe Denly and Jonathan Trott with the more aggressive Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb.
Collingwood: We played a game against England Lions in Abu Dhabi which opened our eyes to a couple of players who we could add to the squad. Those two had real power at the top of the order and they took our bowlers down. Whatever we had done in World Cups in the past hadn’t worked, so we needed to take a chance, even though it was last minute.
Pietersen: History was completely against that team. We had the players we needed but we needed to change the English mindset of being conservative. I’d spent a lot of time travelling around the country with Paul Collingwood, talking about the way we played one-day and T20 cricket, and we knew the only way to play that form of the game was to give it a good clout. Paul led that.
It wasn’t all about tactics, though…
Collingwood: What I really wanted to emphasise to the team was how we wanted to get their minds right so they could go out there with confidence and have smiles on their faces. We always made sure we were 100% on it in training, but when we were away from the game we enjoyed being in the Caribbean. I wanted the lads to enjoy the beaches and the golf courses. It was about happy minds, not techniques.
Confidence from defeat
England were in a group with hosts West Indies and Ireland. They lost to the Windies in a rain-affected game, the hosts chasing down 60 inside six overs after England posted 191-5. The match against Ireland was a no-result, the rain arriving when Ireland were 14-1 chasing 121 to win.
Collingwood: I still believe we would have beaten West Indies if it had gone a full 20 overs. I was happy we got a score up towards 200. That gave me confidence because I knew our bowlers – if we got it right with the bat – would be dangerous.
Pietersen: The West Indies game was a confidence builder for us because we thought we had played well and we knew we’d been done by the weather. We went into the next game with a new level of confidence that we could do better than we actually thought.
England dominate Super 8s as bowlers come to the fore
England made a stuttering start in the tournament’s early stages but they blew their opponents away in the Super 8s. They beat Pakistan by six wickets – Pietersen hit an unbeaten 73 off 52 balls – then hammered South Africa by 39 runs, Pietersen again starring with 53 off 33. In their final match of the Super 8s, England squeezed past New Zealand by three wickets thanks to Eoin Morgan’s 40 off 34 balls.
Collingwood: The feeling at the end of the Super 8s was a genuine belief we could go on and win the World Cup. You could sense the team was getting better and better. We were so dominant in those three matches.
There was a pattern emerging for England as their bowling attack – containing Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy – restricted the opposition to less than 150 in every game.
Collingwood: I remember six months before the World Cup asking our team analyst Nathan Leamon what kind of ball we should be bowling at the back end of the innings and he came back with a stat about yorkers. If you got a yorker right, it was still the very best ball you could bowl, but it had to be spot on. The grid around it, if you missed the yorker, you were going for heavy runs.
Then he showed me a metre-sized square box at head height outside off stump. He noticed bowlers just didn’t go for runs when the ball was in that area. He said it was an underused tactic and we seized upon that by bowling in those areas. We were ahead of the game in that World Cup.
Pietersen on cloud nine
It was going perfectly for England, who were due to face Sri Lanka in the semi-finals. First, however, star batsman Kevin Pietersen was to fly home for the birth of his first child, Dylan.
Pietersen: That whole three-week period, my mind was elsewhere, in London. I was thinking about the volcanic eruption in Iceland and nearly missing the birth of my first child because the plane had to fly right around the top of Iceland instead of going straight north (from the Caribbean to the UK). In the end, I caught a private plane from Barbados to Jamaica, to get to a plane which took me to New York and then from there we had to fly around the volcano to London.
I got to London, went straight to the hospital, and saw everything – Dylan was born, I spent the day with my wife Jess – it was the most emotional and amazing day – then I went home for a couple of hours and had a sleep. I then went back to the hospital again to check everyone was OK, had a car take me to Battersea Heliport, then a chopper take me to the plane. I slept all the way to the Caribbean, another chopper flew me straight to the team hotel, I practised and then the next day was the semi-final. It was 48 crazy hours and I was on cloud nine.
Sri Lanka smashed in the semi-finals
England were becoming a real force by the semi-final stage, hammering a Sri Lanka side containing legends Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara by seven wickets. Pietersen again top-scored with an unbeaten 42 off 26 balls.
Collingwood: Against Sri Lanka, you need to get two key players out – Jayasuriya and Dilshan. If they get hold of you, it can be cruel. I remember Sidebottom swinging one away from Jayasuriya early on, finding the edge and the ball almost came to me in slow motion. I knew it was such a big moment. It managed to stick and it was a great start to the game. Then to get Dilshan with something we’d spoken about in the team meeting, that was great. You know when those kind of things work, it could be your day – and it was. It was a comprehensive win.
I’ll always remember the celebrations after the semi-final win. Andy Flower came up to me and said to us we had to taper down because we were in the final a few days later, but I said no to that. All along we’d talked about having the team together and enjoying each other’s company, so whether it’s the first game of the tournament or the semi-final, we weren’t going to change. We had a big night.
Dominant Australia down Pakistan – but were they nervous?
Australia beat Pakistan in the other semi-final, chasing down 192 thanks to Mike Hussey’s 60 not out off 24 balls.
Collingwood: We watched the Pakistan v Australia game via a scorecard on our mobile phones because we were on the golf course. I remember Hussey smashing it everywhere in the last over for a remarkable win and that made me nervous for the rest of the round. We saw the Aussies in the hotel bar after their semi-final and they were cock-a-hoop.
However, before the final I went for photographs with Australia captain Michael Clarke and I sensed a nervousness in his voice which I have never come across before. You just knew the Aussies thought England were on a roll and were a genuine team. I took a lot of confidence from that and tried to relay that to the boys.
The final – England’s ‘lucky’ charm
Australia were right to be nervous. In the final, they limped to 147-6 thanks to David Hussey’s 59 off 54 balls. Sidebottom was the star of the show with 2-26. England raced to victory in 17 overs thanks to Kieswetter (63 off 49) and Pietersen (47 off 31). Collingwood hit the winning runs.
Collingwood: The moment I knew it was going to be our day was when we were leading the mascots out. Every player gets hold of a mascot’s hand and I had a young girl beside me. I wanted to make her feel comfortable so I asked what her name was. Her name was Lucky! The warmth to my heart. I promise you, I turned round to Stuart Broad and said ‘we’ve got this’. I’m not a believer in that kind of stuff but it gave me comfort straight away.
Once the game started, Sidebottom was on fire, taking early wickets. Things need to go your way and things just seemed to be happening for us. It couldn’t have gone any better.
Pietersen: 147 was never going to be enough. If you work it out, 147 is a run a ball and 27 runs, meaning you only need to hit five boundaries. There’s absolutely no pressure at all. That’s how I view chasing. When people say a team needs 180, they don’t really need 180; they need a run a ball and 60 runs in boundaries. Can they score 15 boundaries in 120 balls? Of course they can. My success came from being able to simplify things.
Collingwood: It was a nervy total to chase but the great thing is the boys didn’t hold back. Kieswetter was on a different level – the faster the Aussies bowled, the faster they went off the bat. It wasn’t just about knocking the runs off, but having the same attitude we’d had all tournament. We walked the walk.
The elation of victory
Collingwood: If you could bottle that feeling we had when the winning run was scored, you’d be very rich. It was pure elation, freedom and happiness. To see all of your team-mates running towards you from the dugout, I don’t think it can get any better than that. It’s pure heaven. It’s why you play the game.
Pietersen: The whole tournament was fun. It makes me smile and brings back happy memories. It was one of my better team days in an England shirt. The 2005 Ashes and the final day at The Oval was magnificent and changed the way cricket was viewed in this country for a long time, but to beat Australia in the final with that team was very special. To be a part of it brings back the fondest of memories.