This week sees the start of Glamorgan’s white-ball campaign as the Welsh county look to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their Sunday League success in 1993 by winning more one-day silverware.
It’s 25 years since Tony Cottey scored the winning boundary at Canterbury as Glamorgan won the 1993 Sunday League title under the captaincy of Hugh Morris . In the intervening years, Glamorgan have won the County Championship in 1997, besides winning further one-day silverware in 2002 and 2004, as well as appearing at Lord’s in one-day finals in 2000 and 2013, besides reaching T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston in 2004 and last summer. But events at Canterbury in September 1993 as Glamorgan clinched the Sunday League with a thrilling victory in their final game against Kent, hold a special place in the Club’s annals as it was their first-ever one-day title.
Their Canterbury Tale was also made even more special by the fact that it was the final game for their illustrious overseas batsman Viv Richards who walked out to bat at the St. Lawrence ground to a spontaneous and emotional standing ovation from the crowd of 12,000. His arrival at the crease came as Glamorgan were chasing 201 to win but soon after arriving out in the middle, his partner Matthew Maynard was trapped l.b.w. But Tony Cottey then came in to keep Glamorgan`s hopes alive and also create a special name for himself in Glamorgan’s history.
As the Swansea-born batsman later reflected, “I don`t mind admitting that was the most nervous I`ve ever been before going out to bat. I just couldn`t watch and it was torture waiting to go in. Fortunately, as soon as I got out there, the nerves went, and it was great batting with Viv. It was easy to come in and bat with him, as the opponents were so concerned about him that it took the pressure off me.”
Even so, there were still a few heart-stopping moments, as Viv Richards was firstly hit on the chest by Duncan Spencer, Kent`s Anglo-Australian pace bowler, and then the West Indian was caught off a bouncer. It looked as if Spencer had dealt a match-winning blow for his adopted county, but the umpire called no-ball, to a roar of delight from the phalanx of Welsh supporters, and Richards remained at the crease.
This was the defining moment of an enthralling contest, as from this point on, everything went in Glamorgan`s favour, as Kentish spirits started to wilt. The pair duly added 60 in ten overs before Cottey hit the winning runs by top-edging Spencer high over the head of wicket-keeper Steve Marsh. As the ball sped to the unguarded boundary, the two Glamorgan batsmen ran off, punching the air with sheer delight. The champagne corks popped and emotions ran high in the Glamorgan dressing room. Viv himself was overcome with emotion and was in tears as the team celebrated their success.
As Robert Croft also remembers “Seeing Viv cry in our dressing room afterwards was a strange thing. Here was a guy who had done everything in the game, and to see him sitting there crying with joy, wearing a Glamorgan shirt, touched the hearts of all of us who were with him. He played for us for three seasons in all and, by the end of that time, he really wanted to win something with us. That was the mark of the man.”
The final words though about the events 25 years ago at Canterbury belong with Cottey - “It was a great feeling to have won the game and it was something else to have scored the winning runs – albeit with a straight drive over the keeper`s head! The win meant the world to us Glamorgan lads who had grown up together playing the game. But to see someone like Viv crying afterwards simply because it meant so much to him really brought home our achievements.”