Is This The World's Oldest T20 Tournament?

The Chauntry Cup is now nearly 80 years old
The Chauntry Cup is now nearly 80 years old

If you think Twenty20 cricket is a relatively new phenomenen, then you might be surprised to learn that a Twenty20 tournament in Lichfield was first played back in 1935.

The Chauntry Cup is now almost 80 years old and its first winners were Pelsall CC in 1936.

A double-page spread from the local Mercury newspaper in 2009 details the competitions origins (report attached).

"The event was the brainchild of Frank Halfpenny – a member of the club, who attended its AGM and heard that finances were low and that the committee was wondering how to increase its income.

"Halfpenny was well known in the city for his sporting activities – besides cricket, he was a crown  green bowler and for a time was president of Lichfield Bowling Club, Lichfield Wednesday Football Club and Lichfield Cycling Club.

"He was also an avid supporter and shareholder of Aston Villa and was later to become a councillor for the city, a sheriff and the mayor.

"He suggested that the club organise a 20-over competition of one innings apiece twice a week and a final of two innings for each side.

"Halfpenny would provide a trophy to be known as the Chauntry Cup – named after his house – and all  matches would be played during high summer."

So there we are - as the Indian Premier League gets underway, it is clear that the origins of Twenty20 cricket are really not that new at all!

Newspaper cutting provided by Lichfield CC

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