THIS week marked a decade since the first ever Twenty20 tournament was launched, a moment which irrevocably transformed cricket.
In the ten years since the inaugural championship took place in England, the ground- breaking format has been a success across the world, with competitions such as the Indian Premier League marking a seismic economic boom for the game.
As well as its financial impact, 20-over cricket has also revolutionised the way in which the sport is played, spawning a number of extravagant shots and bowling variations.
The new generations of players are proof of the shortened format’s legacy, with emerging England players such as Joe Root and Jos Buttler as accustomed to playing a switch-hit or paddled flick over the wicket-keeper’s head as they are stroking an off-drive through the covers.
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For any player who has turned professional during the past decade, T20 cricket comes as naturally as the four-day format.
There are a select few, however, who have survived the pre-T20 era and adapted their games to thrive in this age of cricketing pyrotechnics.
One such man is Murray Goodwin, the veteran Zimbabwean who joined Glamorgan last winter having spent 12 years at Sussex.
Goodwin’s cricketing education came on the abrasive pitches of Perth, where his family had emigrated from what was then known as Rhodesia.
Western Australian terrain helped Goodwin master the art of back-foot batting, cutting and pulling his way to a number of high scores.
He enjoyed a fine international career with Zimbabwe but, by the time T20 was born, he was already 30 years old and a year into his time at Sussex.
“One thing you have to be is adaptable,” he says.
“That’s true of cricket as a whole, not just T20.
“You’ve got to take calculated risks, and make sure you know what your role is and stick to it.
“I’m a firm believer that playing good cricket shots will win the day.
“Some players can blast the ball for miles but I’ve never been the most destructive batsman so I try to play my natural game.”
Goodwin certainly adapted his approach successfully, playing a part in Sussex’s title-winning T20 campaign in 2009.
Whereas his strike rate in Tests was a careful 46.31 and in one-day internationals a swifter 68.50, Goodwin picked up the tempo in the shortened format and his 20-over strike rate now stands at an impressive 122.43.
He also boasts an excellent average of 28.67 from 98 T20 matches and, although he is now 40 years old, Goodwin is expected to play a prominent part in Glamorgan’s 20-over plans this summer.
The Welsh county have struggled in T20 competitions in recent years, but Goodwin is hopeful they will be lifted by their recent resurgence in the 40-over format.
“There’s definitely been an improvement in the team, but we’ve got to cut out our mistakes,” Goodwin adds.
“I think our batters have been guilty of switching off for one ball here and there, and that has been our downfall.
“Your concentration has to be spot on for every ball, particularly in the T20, which can be unpredictable.
“We all make mistakes but we have to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes.
“Last year was a bit of a debacle in terms of results, but I think we’re on the right track this season.”
Glamorgan kick off their Friends Life t20 campaign with a trip to face the Worcestershire Royals tonight (6.30pm).
Overseas signing Nathan McCullum, who was playing for New Zealand against England last night, is expected to feature.