Danny Briggs: Happy to be a record breaker - and to hear 'Freddie Mercury' sing

Danny Briggs celebrates a wicket against Gloucestershire - the game in which he became the top wicket taker in English T20 contests / Picture: Getty Images
Danny Briggs celebrates a wicket against Gloucestershire - the game in which he became the top wicket taker in English T20 contests / Picture: Getty Images

I had no idea I was close to becoming the leading wicket-taker in domestic T20. It was Harry Finch that came up to me halfway through our batting innings against Gloucester and said, ‘Congrats!’.

He had seen the tweet from the club when I went past the mark, but I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. I’m very proud to have got the record and to have played in enough matches to get there.

It was good to get a little bit of love on Twitter and other places. It was something a bit different for me as I’m not really big on social media. And to go from having no idea to getting a fair bit of attention about the record was nice.

It was lovely to get a message from Yasir Arafat, who I went past with the total. I enjoyed playing with him towards the end of my time at Hants. He slotted into that team really well. It was nice to get messages like that; to know that people are watching and still taking a bit of notice!

You do remember getting big names out. That’s something that’s great about the format is that you get the opportunity to bowl at some of the best players in the world. But it’s performances rather than individual wickets that stick out for me over myT20 career.

The one that jumps out for me is the quarter-final against Durham in at the Ageas Bowl in 2011 when I was playing for Hampshire. They had a good team - guys like Ben Stokes and David Miller – and we bowled them out for under 100.

The way I look at it, getting a record like that is a reminder that I’m still going okay in Twenty20 and that I’m still in a place where I can contribute. Now I want to go even further, take a lot more wickets and help Sussex to win more matches.

We’ve got an exciting squad and we feel with the quality we’ve got that we should be getting through the group stages and taking anyone on in knock-out games in this year’s comeptition. We have a fairly experienced side.

Quite a few of the guys have played international cricket or in tournaments around the world, and we all learned a lot from getting to last year’s final.

We’ve had a good run in this year’s tournament and momentum is a big part of T20 cricket. If you get on a roll, you go into games with an extra bit of confidence.

Then you get an extra boost knowing that pretty much everyone is in some sort of form – everyone has stepped up with the bat or the ball. For those things to be happening at the same time is a big bonus.

On top of that, the crowds at Hove have been brilliant. That definitely makes a difference. When you get a full house behind you and then you play some good cricket, that’s a powerful thing. It makes it very tough for the opposition. Hopefully we can reward our supporters with a home quarter-final for them to come and watch.

It’s been brilliant to sing the team song so often in this year’s comp. We’ve had the addition of Jason Swift, the assistant coach, leading us into ‘Good Old Sussex by the Sea’ with his Freddie Mercury impersonation. It started on the bus back from Gloucestershire.

Swifty loves his Karaoke and he just piped up with his Freddie vocals and now it’s found its way into the team song. Our aim is to give him as many opportunities to perform as possible by winning as many games as possible.