The scene; a hotel bar in Barbados less than 48 hours before the 2010 T20 World Cup final.
The Australian team had just returned back to base following their dramatic semi-final triumph over Pakistan.
They were cock-a-hoop after Michael Hussey plundered 60 from just 24 balls to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat off the penultimate delivery of the match.
Clearly and understandably elated by the nature of that heroic fightback in St Lucia, the Baggy Greens were sure they were going to go on and win the the tournament.
They made certain that the England players, sat in the Hilton lounge when they got back to the hotel that both sides were sharing, knew exactly how confident they were.
English cricket fans would love to believe that this incident was the inspiration for their own team’s victory two days later.
Well, as it happens, it was. In part, at least.
That is according to Ryan Sidebottom, the Yorkshire CCC legend, who played a key role in his country’s seven-wicket success at the Kensington Oval, 10 years ago to this day.
“We were back at the hotel after battering Sri Lanka and the Australian team came in from their win over Pakistan in the other semi-final,” revealed the 42-year-old, who was between spells with the White Rose playing for Nottinghamshire at the time.
“They were being typical Aussies. Quite lairy and loud. They were brimming with confidence. A lot of the lads knew each other, and some got on, so nothing was said directly to us, but you could tell by the way that they were carrying on that they thought they were going to beat us in the final.
“The way they were in the hotel definitely made us more determined ahead of the game. I remember thinking at the time ‘you know what, we’re gonna shut you up’. And we did.”
Their desire to silence the Australians may have been a significant motivating factor in England’s crowning glory, but there was much, much more to their success in that game – and at the tournament as a whole.
After a rather underwhelming start in the group stages, Paul Collingwood’s team went onto win four consecutive games – three of them in pretty comprehensive fashion – to reach the final.
And Sidebottom feels that a combination of things contributed to that charge to the competition’s showpiece.
“We had a good a captain. Collingwood really benefited from his experience in the Indian Premier League. I think that what he learned there had a big influence on us at the World Cup,” he added.
“The very attacking power-plays, more variety in the bowling attack and using spin to nulify the opposition batsmen in the middle overs were all big factors.
“Mentality was also important. There was a lot of doom and gloom after the 2009 tournament where we were knocked out in the group stage and lost to Holland, but we were quietly confident as a team going to the West Indies. We were positive in our approach.
“When you looked around that group of lads, there was a steely determination about them.
“We also had a lot of fun. We had a laugh when we practised. Of course we were professional and did things the right way, but we’d do daft catching drills just to try and lighten things up a bit.
“All of these things contributed to the whole team functioning outstandingly well on the pitch. Our situation looked a bit precarious after the first couple of games, but after that we went out and battered pretty much everyone we came up against.”
The variety of the English bowling attack came in the shape of Sidebottom’s own left-arm pace, in tandem with right-armers Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan. With Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy also impressing with ball in hand, none of England’s opponents managed to make it past 150.
Collingwood’s ultra-attacking batting line-up was equally effective, with a couple of last-minute replacements really catching the eye.
“We played England ‘A’ in Abu Dhabi before the tournament and [Craig] Kieswetter and [Michael] Lumb smashed us to all parts. They ended up opening the batting for us at the World Cup and were given the freedom to just go out and play,” Sidebottom added.
“Colly didn’t set them targets, he just told them to try and hit as many fours and sixes as they could in the first six overs. And it worked.
“They set the platform, then we had KP [Kevin Pietersen] coming in at three.”
The role of Pietersen, who smacked 248 runs in just six innings and was eventually named player of the tournament, cannot be understated
“When you have a player of KP’s ability it makes a huge difference. Not just in terms of the runs he contributes, but also because of the confidence and belief he instilled in the rest of the team,” Sidebottom added.
“And because when lads saw him batting so well it made them want to go out and try and match what he was doing.
“To put KP at three was a stroke of genius, really. There were some special knocks.”
One of those came in the final where he hit 47 alongside Kieswetter (63) as England chased down Australia’s 147-6.
“We batted, bowled and fielded really well again,” added Sidebottom, who set the tone for his country’s first-ever victory in a global final with two early dismissals.
“It’s part of history now. I’ve been fortunate enough to win a few trophies in my time and that one is right up there. It was an amazing experience.
“Walking out and signing the national anthem made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. There were so many England fans in there it felt like a home game.
“Opening the bowling and getting two early wickets to get us off to a good start was a great feeling.
“Afterwards, the celebrations were fantastic. I was full of rum and coke for about three days. They’re great memories to look back on.”