From Sydney Thunder to Delhi Daredevils, here are the teams that have suffered an unenviable T20 run
The only common theme has been the sense of gloom around Babar Azam’s unit. Add their defeat in the PSL 2021 eliminator to Zalmi, and the Kings are now one defeat away from becoming just the sixth side to lose ten in a row in men’s franchise T20 leagues.
Here’s a look at the five longest losing runs. (Note: England’s T20 Blast and New Zealand’s Super Smash not included)
Sydney Thunder: 19
(Big Bash League, 2011-12 to 2013-14)
Thunder lost the third game of the inaugural BBL season, and wouldn’t win again until their seventh game of the tournament’s third edition – their eight-out-of-eight reversal in 2012-13 remains the only instance of a team losing every game of a BBL campaign.
Daniel Smith, Chris Rogers, Michael Hussey (and even Chris Gayle, for two games) were at the helm through the barren run of more than three years, with Gayle and Martin Guptill featuring as overseas stars in the first two seasons, and Tillakaratne Dilshan , Eoin Morgan and Ajantha Mendis part of the setup for 2013-14.
Fortunately for Thunder fans, better days lay ahead: they evaded the wooden spoon for the first time in 2014-15, and went the distance the next time around to win their only BBL title.
St Lucia Zouks/Stars: 14
(Caribbean Premier League, 2016 to 2018)
St. Lucia – last name Zouks, at the time – had a decent run in CPL 2016 before going down to Trinbago Knight Riders in the eliminator. They had to wait about two years for their next win.
They changed their name to Stars for the next edition, but saw the lights go out on them in devastating fashion: nine losses and one no-result, in what remains the only winless campaign in CPL history. By the time the elusive victory arrived – in their fifth game of 2018 – a second campaign had gone out of Stars’ reach.
Ironically, they were led by Daren Sammy – the only man to win two T20 World Cup crowns as captain – through most of the horrid run, and even had Kieron Pollard take charge in 2018.
They reverted to Zouks as their kicker for the next season, and did manage to make the top four in 2020, before another rebranding to Kings for CPL 2021.
Pune Warriors India: 11
(Indian Premier League, 2012 to 2013)
The Warriors didn’t really set the stage on fire through their three-year existence in the IPL – their win-loss ratio of 0.363 (12 wins, 33 losses) is nearly twice as worse as any other team in the competition’s history – but in 2012, even by these standards, they hit their nadir.
Sourav Ganguly’s side started quite brightly with three wins in their first four games (and four in the first seven) before it all unraveled spectacularly. Deccan Chargers had lost five in a row and seemed destined for the bottom spot, but even they did the double over the Warriors – two wins in six days, in fact – and by the end of it, Warriors pipped Chargers to the wooden spoon.
While they were without the services of Yuvraj Singh as he recovered from cancer, the Warriors were far from short on resources: Steven Smith, Jesse Ryder, Angelo Mathews, Marlon Samuels and Michael Clarke were among their overseas contingent, while Robin Uthappa and Ashish Nehra provided experienced Indian heads.
Delhi Daredevils: 11
(Indian Premier League, 2014 to 2015)
It may seem a distant memory given the highs of the Capitals era – three consecutive playoff finishes, including a maiden IPL final in 2020 – but the end of the Daredevils years made for painful watching from Delhi: six successive editions outside the top four, four of which saw them sit in the bottom two.
The period from 2013 to 2015 was when they hit absolute rock bottom, winning just ten games out of 44. In the midst of that phase came this spell from hell, starting from the India leg of IPL 2014.
Two wins out of five in UAE were followed by nine losses on the bounce, all nine under the leadership of Kevin Pietersen. It was, much like the Warriors, a reasonably-well assembled unit – Jean-Paul Duminy, Ross Taylor and Imran Tahir provided overseas weight along with Pietersen, while in Dinesh Karthik, M Vijay, Manoj Tiwary and Mohammed Shami they had a fair domestic core – but it just never clicked for the Daredevils.
The streak spilled over to IPL 2015, where they lost their opening two games, before Mayank Agarwal and newly-acquired record buy Yuvraj helped the Daredevils snap out of it against Punjab.
Antigua Hawksbills: 10
(Caribbean Premier League, 2013 to 2014)
In their brief CPL existence, not much went the way of the Hawksbills – they only won three times in 16 games spanning two seasons, before being replaced by the St Kitts and Nevis franchise for CPL 2015.
Their contingent for the 2014 edition, where they suffered eight of the ten losses making this streak, was led by Marlon Samuels and included the likes of Carlos Brathwaite, Rahkeem Cornwall and Sheldon Cottrell, who would all go on to make a name for themselves in the near future. Overseas recruits David Hussey, Brad Hogg and Saeed Ajmal brought with them sizable T20 expertise.
Antigua were most hit by the lack of support to Samuels in the batting department; the skipper scored 374 runs at 53.42 (SR 141.66) through this ten-match run, but no other batter touched 150 runs and no one who batted more than twice averaged even 20.