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Interviews Thread - Randy - 02-12-2018

Post all the player interview threads here.

(02-11-2018, 10:28 PM)Bada Wrote:  Andre Nel liked a confrontation or two on the field. In fact, he adored them and felt the adrenaline of a tussle with batsmen charged him up good. The former South African fast bowler retired in 2009 with the reputation of being quite a 'character', but reveals how he's exactly the opposite off the field.

In an interview with Cricbuzz, the 40-year-old opened up on his coaching ambitions, a few regrets for his off-field troubles during his playing days, the disappointment at the dearth of similarly-feisty cricketers today, the equation he shares with one of his most famous nemesis - S Sreesanth, and more.


Is Andre Nel the same guy after his playing days?

It's funny, you guys have seen me on television and I am quite aggressive and passionate. But I am pretty relaxed off the field. I think I have done a lot of things wrong in my cricketing career also but the nice thing about it is that I didn't have the opportunities to see and correct my mistakes, but now when I see the guys doing the same things that I was doing, I go and tell them 'guys I know where this is going, probably go this way.' So that sometimes is a nice thing to be able to do. But I am pretty relaxed and laid back these days and probably the softest guy you can meet off the field. But I still think when I got the opportunity to play for my country, [I knew] you might get one chance and you might as well give it everything. If you don't want to give everything, you might as well leave it. That's always been my motto in my life and that's why I always did well for my country.

What have you been up to these days?

I coached Eastern side for a while. I have always been in the Titans' set up, involved in National academy. Unfortunately, I moved on to work for my own stuff. I am doing some work in marketing, looking after our suite. Training guys and playing some golf, it's actually quite a nice job. But I still love being around people, being involved with sport in general -- rugby, cricket, soccer. That's what I have been doing, I still love watching cricket. It's been quite enjoyable, something away from sport for me. But cricket is always my first love, I have been involved with it one way or the other. I would like to get back to coaching one day if there is an opportunity coming up. But I am enjoying what I am doing at the moment.

Why did you give up coaching then?

Thing is, it's quite difficult in South Africa. Unfortunately, our contracts didn't get renewed, I was asking questions the franchise I was coaching at, what's going on with some funds and they didn't quite enjoy that. Eventually, I would rather move out and do something where I can be myself. I was sort of dictated to do what I was doing... I won't do it. That's quite odd for me. If I want to coach, if my name [is] attached to a side, I want to coach the way I do, and do the best I can and I wasn't allowed to do that, so I know by now you probably know I am very passionate about things I do; if I do, I do it properly.

You spoke about mistakes you wouldn't want the kids to make. Can you elaborate?

I think the off-field demeanour is probably the thing that I was pretty much disappointed about in my career. But when I played, I always played to the best of my capabilities, gave my best. I said a few words to few people but that was always part of my armoury. I don't know if that was best action, but the moment I looked for a fight or a scrap, it didn't mean I wanted to do something to the batsman. But I knew it made me a better bowler when I was aggressive and I used to look for a fight to make a better bowler and that's how I wanted to do it. I wouldn't change anything about how I played and what I did on a cricket field, but all the things that I did off the field probably changed a lot for me, all those stupid things I did, and that's where I sort of guide the guys off the field sometimes these days because no one takes the time to educate the players when they all of a sudden get all this fortune and fame when they play for the country. There is a lot money, lot of opportunities and sometimes they don't get coached or educated properly [about] what to do with all that all of sudden. And having been all through that and also made all those mistakes during that period, you can guide guys in the right way so that they don't make those mistakes in their careers and don't have to deal with unpleasant situations and that's the thing I would change about my career.

What if you saw an Andre Nel in a kid?

It all depends... you have to understand your players. You might see if this helps a bowler to be better bowler, being aggressive. Some bowlers might not want to be aggressive to be a good bowler. You have to see what these guys are about. Sometimes I wish Morne Morkel was a bit more aggressive. He is a brilliant bowler but he always seems to be so calm and relaxed. It's brilliant, that suits him but if he showed that aggressive intent to certain batters, they would probably think 'oh what's wrong with Morne Morkel? Something's up with him, now he is looking for a bit of a fight!' That could become a different armoury, different angle to Morne Morkel.

He is a brilliant bowler but he could show little bit more aggression, that could make him a better bowler than he is now. So it all depends upon what the bowlers want, understanding what the player is about and then you take it from there. And not everything is about aggression -- if you are smart and like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, no aggression but pure skill, swing and talent [are enough]. You have to work with players' capabilities and see what he needs to make him a better bowler and that's the kind of challenge for a coach to understand what these players want and what's best for them. I have played for a long time, I played County cricket and I played a lot here, international cricket, and yes it's a pity that I can't use that knowledge to players but I will one day be able to use that to somebody.

So you enjoyed getting in people's face?

That's what sport was for me. I come with aggression, you come with a battle back and you show me that you are not scared, that's what sport is all about. That's why you want to play international sport -- the true battle. And whoever comes on top, well done to him and that's what it is about. I have also lost some battles and it was enjoyable. Sometimes you lose and sometimes you win but make sure as better sportsman, you go and shake hands with the opponent whether you win or lose, and go on from there.

I always enjoyed the bat-ball battle but I am also a man, I like giving it back and get him out. So you still win that battle. But that's the nice thing about it. If you want to play international sport, you can't accept enjoying winning a battle or losing a battle... 'Ok listen, this time you won, may be I will beat you next time.' That's what sports is all about, I have always enjoyed that, that's in my nature, I like doing that. The moment people called me something, that's my nature to prove you wrong. That's the most I enjoy about sports.

So you are friends with Sreesanth?

I don't think I was angry, I can't even remember what I said to him, these [are] things probably [said] in the heat of the moment and battle and after that it was gone. I forgot about it straightaway. It's one thing, I could never tell you what I said to you on a field, because it's in the heat of the moment and after that it's gone irrespective what's happened then. Yeah, I heard he has gone to court in match-fixing and apparently he is in big trouble. He has found a lawyer to defend him now, wants to play in England or somewhere. So I still follow. But he was a good cricketer of that time, I will always respect him for that. He was a good cricketer and a good bowler of that era.

Did you speak after that dance?

We always used to have a laugh together, we would see each other and laugh. We never had hard feelings, it was in the heat of the moment. But that's the thing, in South Africa, everyone misinterpreted me as aggressive. Yes, I was aggressive but I would be the first person to go and have beer with you and have a laugh with you. Most of the guys I had the biggest fight with are probably best friends with me. So people don't understand this person away from cricket. It's always easier to make up opinions on what you see on television but never make an effort to meet you off the field and that's the nice thing about me.

Do you think modern cricket lacks characters like you? Are you entertained?

The rules have also changed so much that you cannot be a character anymore. You have to be quite restrained. You can't do as much anymore. It does make it difficult to have characters in cricket these days. But there's so much talent that almost overpowers the characters. I can probably name the characters off my fingers on one hand. That's a sad thing. I think, it's not the images, it's the rule changes, and the penalties are getting so harsh that they are taking the characters out of cricket because they are not allowed to express themselves. Yes, there are a lot of people watching, lot more kids you got to be noted of that. Be sensible. But it would be nice to see a bit more characters, it's a little more fun watching guys, not sledging it out, but having a little go at each other. Because sometimes it's a little monotonous for me because it's the same thing. Bat dominates, very rarely ball dominates. Something different is always exciting to see.

What if this de-merit point systems were in place at your time?

I wouldn't have played a lot of matches. I think it's a good thing but also these days you should try to push the boundaries. They're all too scared to push the boundaries. Rules are there to be pushed, not bent, but pushed to the limit. I think a lot of guys are very scared to do it. I think it's a good thing. [It] manages players better, and less trouble. More respect for players and for kids and people seeing it. That's a good thing but it takes away the characters. I know I wouldn't have played a lot. But I also know that if I hadn't done that, I would never be half as decent a player that I was.

So who are these characters you would have loved to bowl to?

I would love to bowl at Kohli. I always wanted to get the best players out. Yes I might have failed but if I can compete at that level, I would have loved to bowl to him. I would love to bowl to Pandya too... he's a nice, lovely character. He is always looking for his battle, that's his nature. He wants to counter-attack. That's a challenge I would have liked to take on. Also, Shikhar Dhawan - looks like a guy who doesn't veer away from a battle. The bigger the battle... that's what I would have wanted. These three seem like real characters in the Indian side. There are other good players - like Pujara is an unbelievable player but he doesn't give anything away. But those three guys look like, if you give them a battle, they'll give you a battle back. That's the guys I would like to bowl to.

Did a batsman ever start a sledging battle with you?

No. It didn't always happen. It's almost a mutual thing. If I say something, you can sometimes get the batters to talk back to you. The batters are usually always quiet. Probably the biggest person was Matthew Hayden. He used to almost look for a fight with you. Because he is such a big guy. But very rarely you had a batter come back at you or saying the first things. I know there's an instance, you can check out on YouTube with Gautam Gambhir. I think it's the initial thing... where you look for a fight and then they come back. Never a batter has started the confrontation.

Ok, how did that nickname Gunther come about?

It's the funniest thing how the name started. We played in England, one of our technical guys in the team, said sometimes when I bowl... you know the german guys going to the mountains... they lack oxygen going to the brain, they go slightly loopy. He said when I bowl, it looks like I get lack of oxygen to the brain and I go loopy. So he nicknamed me Gunther, an aggressive German name. It was just a fun thing in the team. The press got a sniff of it. At the end of the day, It was actually nice. Because the press got carried away with the Gunther issue and they made a bigger issue of it and I didn't have to do anything else. The work's been done for me. It actually helped me because the press helped me to talk myself up and make myself more aggressive than I wanted to be. He never comes up anymore, he disappears. He hardly ever comes up.

Brett Schultz wore the 'Bear' moniker with pride, as do you. Is it a South Africa fast bowlers' thing - this aggression?

I think it's inbuilt. We are just so competitive. Certain guys take competitiveness and passion in different ways. All the guys... AB or whoever, Morne is really passionate about playing for SA. But he does it differently. I think a lot of South Africans do it like they want to show it to people sometimes. Maybe it's a show, maybe its not. It's an inner desire that you cannot control it. It just happens and then afterwards you go 'shit what happened here'. I think it's inbuilt in South Africans. We are just so passionate about sport and we just show it in different ways than most people.

How much of that is due to the influence of Rugby?

It could be a lot. Growing up playing Rugby and contact sport, it might be. I don't know, it all depends on the person. I think it comes to a place when you are playing international cricket, you know which frame of mind you have to be in to be at your optimal performance. And sometimes you have to do certain things to make sure you get into that space to perform at the best level. And that means if you need to get aggressive, get you into a fight, to get into an optimum performance level, then you have to do that to be the best. I think that's what sometimes guys do, cause as an international sportsman, you know what level you have to be at to be the best. If you need to do certain things to be there, so be it.

Why pacers in particular?

We are South Africans, we are big guys, we eat a lot. We are athletes. I think that's just our thing... our DNA. Fast bowlers are hard to find. But because we are quite competitive and big guys, they sometimes get found easier here. Yes you have to nurture them and make sure you guide them the right way , fitness wise and strength wise. Don't use them out too quickly too fast. Lot of times, you find a really good, really fast bowler, he might be 18 and if you push him too quickly, by 22 he'll be tired of fast bowling. And that's why a lot of guys, the late developers as bowlers would do better because they haven't been pushed so quickly so fast. I think it helps that our guys play more rugby and then all of a sudden by 16-17, they realise 'I can bowl fast', and they start focussing on that department. So I think it helps us. My legacy is that hopefully one day I can be involved with cricket again. Especially I've always been passionate about bowling and would love to educate and equip international bowlers to be ready. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, so be it, I'll get on with life.

Tell me about your action. You had a weird side step. Did you ever consider changing it?

I took a big step. I wanted to change it but if I changed it, I would have been the worst bowler. Because I got to that level playing for South Africa in that way. All of a sudden if you changed it, it might take the effectiveness out of you. It wasn't the best action, everyone realised that. That's why I had to look for a fight. The moment I got to the crease, I had to be really aggressive towards where I want to bowl. If I had a fight with a batter, my momentum would push more to him. So I understood exactly how my action worked. Yes it wasn't the best. I spoke to Mark Boucher a lot, knowing he could see. He was the best guy to tell me the momentum is coming to him. The moment I knew my momentum was going to him, yes I knew my action wasn't great, but if it was strong at the crease - I had certain check points in my action and I really had to understand it to make it effective. Yes I could have changed but I would have lost my effectiveness of what I could do. I looked like I would swing the ball in, but I swung the ball out. It was completely different, it was probably strange. But I just sort of worked out what worked for me. Luckily enough, all the coaches that worked with me understood. We had an understanding that they had to let me just guard my own action and they'll guide me along the way.

How did you pick it up?

That's how I started bowling. I actually started as a batter at No.4 in school, bowled a little bit. Eventually I started bowling. In my area, there were not a lot of cricket coaches. I just always made it work for myself, made it more efficient for me. That's how I bowled since 14-15 years old. Somehow I made it work together.

You were vocal after missing India tour in 2008 when South Africa favoured Charl Langeveldt? How do you see that situation panning out for today's generation?

It's a complex issue, it'll always be a part of our country. And that's just one of those things. It was disappointing at that time. That things you cannot control. Yes you can feel upset. The biggest thing is you can comeback from the disappointment, to show people. That's my nature... just show people you should have selected me. As South Africans, you have to accept it'll be part of your country. Make sure your skills are best, you are fitter, you are stronger. If you don't get picked then you can always walk away with dignity. You can say you've got every chance to be picked.

Years later when your daughter (now 3) sees your clips on YouTube, what would you like to tell her?

If my daughter sees me on YouTube, she sees me shouting and screaming. At least she knows the real person behind what's going on, on the field. She will know who is the real Andre Nel and not what people saw on television.

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 02-12-2018

'A good slipper needs to train as hard as some of the best keepers'

Daryll Cullinan talks about the technique and temperament involved in becoming a world-class operator in the cordon

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 02-20-2018

The defining slogan, ‘born with a silver spoon in the mouth’ does befit Sri Lanka’s latest batting star, 23-year old Kusal Mendis whose natural flair has propelled the lad from Moratuwa from a bad patch back to his element. Blessed with a willow work from his childhood days when he swished a bat as a 7-year old at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, Mendis does certainly air about business with the bat when he says, “I do have a dream of achieving the targeted goal of becoming among the top ten batsmen in world cricket.”

Fresh from his batting exploits in Sri Lanka’s clean sweep of Bangladesh, Balapuwaduge Kusal Gimhan Mendis, hailing from Rawathawatte, Moratuwa, in an interview on Monday, disclosed salient details of his comeback during the Bangladesh tour; and an expectant future.

(Q). You were an instant hit opening the batting for Sri Lanka in that clean sweep of Bangladesh in all three formats. How would you describe your role as an opener?

(A). “Opening the batting was no problem for me. It did not make a big difference from moving up from No.3 because in fact I have been accustomed to opening. I did open against Zimbabwe, and I have done so even for my club.”

(Q). Your comments on rediscovering form?

(A). “I went back to the drawing board and really practiced hard from the first month after I lost my place. The club coaches helped me a lot during that period. My one resolve was to make a strong comeback and be there right along.”

(Q). From that point with Chandika Hathurusinghe coming as head coach, he pointedly asked the selectors that he wanted you in the squad. How did it go from there?

(A). “Yes, I must stress that I did a lot of homework at training. I am very thankful to the head coach, Chandika Hathurusinghe who raised my spirits mentally along with batting coach, Thilan Samaraweera when I was mentally down”.

(Q). Can you elaborate further?

(A). “Both Hathurusinghe and Samaraweera took a special interest in me by having long chats with me and strengthening my mind set when I am performing in the middle. That did sharpen my resolve tremendously”.

(Q). You spoke much in a previous interview as to your childhood coach Jayalath Aponso when you swished a bat as a 7-year old. Did you go back to him for advice during that bad patch?

(A). “Yes, I did. In fact, I always make it a point to be in touch with my first coach from whom I learned the basics when my father put me in his charge at the Jayalath Aponso Cricket Academy as a kid. My dad it was who started me on a cricket career and went to extremes to ensure that I got a sound basic training at that age.”

(Q). Was it overconfidence that caused you to lose your wicket from the high you started your career? Your nonchalant batting is such that in that epic test century against Australia you reached the magical three figure mark by hooking a delivery from off to leg for six. Did your aggressiveness lead to a tendency that bowlers worked on?

(A). “No, I wouldn’t say that my overconfidence in shot making led to that form slump. I just play my normal game. It so happened that I began to wane.”

(Q). World experts have been commenting on the dexterity of your stroke making and that there is a science in your batting at such a young age. They are putting you in the bracket of top batsmen like India’s Virat Kohli. Your comments?

(A). “I do have a dream. My immediate target is to get up there among the top ten batsmen in international cricket.”

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 03-26-2018

'I want to break Brian Lara's 400'
Remember the name: Shai Hope, who loves Lara and digs the webby skills of Peter Parker

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 03-30-2018

Pat Cummins, 25 this year, talks about the 1990s, the cricket record he'd like to own, and his all-time favourite cricketer

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 03-30-2018

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella arrived to the major league following a glorious school cricket career. To start out with, the left-handed batsman captained Trinity College to an unbeaten season, winning the two-day, one-day and T20 tournament. In the process, he went down in the history book of Trinity as their most successful captain. Hailing from the same school as Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara, Dickwella was introduced relatively early to the international circuit. However, a bad run of form saw the cricketer get axed from the national squad for the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series featuring India and Bangladesh recently. Dickwella during a recent one-day game for his domestic team Nondescripts Cricket Club took some time out to share his thoughts with Dhaka Tribune in an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts:

Disappointed not to be a part of the Nidahas series?

Definitely. I did not score much runs in the last few series. So I am playing the domestic league now, hoping to get some big scores and get back in the team.

Did you speak to head coach Chandika Hathurusingha regarding your batting?

I know what I have to do but there is a bad patch for every player and I am going through that now. I am trying to overcome those mistakes and improve my game.

Do you think you need to change the way you play?

I really don’t want to change my way of batting, and game plan. I want to continue with what I have been doing since young age. That has helped me to become a national cricketer, represent my country and survive in the team for two years. I think I have to improve my strategies and the way I should handle the situations. That should improve my game.

You are an attacking batsman by nature. How do you set your mind for the longer version?

I have to adapt to the situations in the different formats of the game. In Test matches I have to play in the middle-order and contribute while in the short format I have to bat at the top-order. There my job is to get quick runs and, get the team momentum. So the situations are different. As a professional cricketer, I have to adapt to the situation and I have to change accordingly.

Amazingly, you started your innings against Bangladesh in the T20 practice match recently with a scoop shot…

Scoop shot is premeditated but others are not. As I said it is my normal game-plan. I would like to continue that way and capitalise on my starts and skills.

Don’t practice scoops and other shots in the nets as it is not allowed. Last series in Bangladesh in April I broke my finger trying to play the scoop so the management has banned me from playing the scoop shot in the nets. So I only play it in the match.

You hail from the same college as Sangakkara…

He helped me a lot since I was young and when I was playing for Trinity, he used to help me and the team. My debut was with him (against South Africa) so he helped me a lot though the period of like six months. I was playing with him in the ODIs and Tests. I think I have been able to learn what I wanted from him, and Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews as well.

What was it like playing alongside Sangakkara, the same guy you idolised while playing school cricket?

It is a great privilege to have played with him. It was a great honour to represent the country with a legend. Our country has a few legends and Sangakkara is one of them. I have played series’ with him against Pakistan, South Africa and Australia, so it was an amazing experience for me. Back when I was a kid, I used to watch on TV how they played.

Did you idolise Sangakkara or was it someone else?

(Sangakkara) was my role model. I like Adam Gilchrist and Brendon McCullum as well. But Sangakkara was a consistent player for which I liked him.

Where do you want to see yourself after five years?

I just want to play for the national team and win more matches for Sri Lanka. That’s my only plan at the moment – to score runs, keep wickets and be a safe wicket-keeper in all three formats.

Do you watch videos of the opposition wicket-keepers and batsmen?

I like watching videos of famous batsmen but honestly I cannot play like them. So I only play to my potential and strength. I cannot follow them and play their shots. I cannot play shots that Sanath Jayasuriya played. I have to improve on my strength.

In wicket-keeping I do follow MS Dhoni and a few others. I can improve my wicket-keeping watching them but not my batting.

What do you like about Dhoni?

Dhoni is the quickest in the world. He has the quickest hands behind the stumps and reflexes.

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Real Sanga - 03-31-2018

Not allowed to play scoops in the practice. Lol

Btw they also banned mendis from playing sweeps at the practices it seems.

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Randy - 03-31-2018

(03-31-2018, 01:41 PM)Real Sanga Wrote:  Btw they also banned mendis from playing sweeps at the practices it seems.

Yea Ive realized it too. I thought it was in that particular game Vs Bangla.

Thats in a way stupid too. That's his breakthru shot. But sometimes he does it excessively even for the balls pitching way outside off

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 04-03-2018

'Bringing joy to the nation is the best thing about playing cricket.'

Twenty-five-year-old Najibullah Zadran on the record he'd like to break, and the best and worst dancers in the team

RE: Player Interviews Thread - Bada - 04-05-2018

If you have been following schools cricket or youth ODI cricket during the past few months, Hasitha Boyagoda is probably a name you have come across quite often.

The leader of the Trinity College outfit, Boyagoda was born at Aniwatta, Bahirawakanda as the eldest of three kids. His father is attached to the Mawanwella Hospital as a consultant physician while his mother is based at Peradeniya Hospital as a paediatrician.

With both of his parents being doctors, it is no surprise that Boyagoda is an impressive kid when it comes to academics as well as he passed the GCE O’Level examination with flying colours, obtaining 9 A’s, and followed it up with 4 A’s in the commerce stream at the GCE A’ Level examination.

He was controversially left out for a couple of games during the recently concluded ICC U19 Cricket World Cup but showed his class with centuries in the quarter-final (191 vs Kenya which is still the all-time highest individual score in a youth ODI) and final encounters of the Plate Championship.

Boyagoda is poised to become a household name in cricketing circles and the young star sat down with to tell us about his story.

How did you get into the sport?

I started playing cricket at the age of 7 when I went to a cricket academy at the Police Grounds in Kandy under the guidance of Mr. Harold Ranasinghe. I then started playing cricket for school the following year for the junior school cricket team.

Your thoughts on your performances in the recently concluded Youth World Cup in NZ?

We didn’t play well as a team during the group stages and we couldn’t make it through to the next phase. From there on we at least wanted to win the Plate Championship before returning to the island, which we managed to accomplish. I was dropped for a couple of games after a failure in the first match and I was determined to come back in the Plate quarter-final with a big score but I didn’t expect it to be a record-breaking feat like it was.

Memories from school cricket?

It has to be the big match and the big match one-day encounters played during the past couple of years. Those were very special games for me as I won the man of the match award in all of them.

What is your most preferred format?

I believe I’m more suited for one-day cricket. That has definitely been my preferred format growing up and I’ve impressed the most so far in that format as well.

What plans from here and which club will you end up in?

I have been called in by quite a few clubs but I haven’t decided on which club I will play for as yet. I will pursue higher education as well so I haven’t made up my mind on where to go from here.

Any other interests other than cricket?

I guess I don’t have to go too far for that, it’s always been academics. I want to make sure I get the right balance in both aspects and move forward in life.

Finally, people that you would like to thank?

I owe a lot to my parents and my school so I would like to thank them first. Plenty of coaches have been very helpful to me right throughout, including my first coach Mr. Harold Ranasinghe. Then it was Mr. Lasith Randunu, my junior age group category coach.

Sampath Perera was probably the most influential coach in my career and I must thank him as he gives me very useful advice along with my present coaches at college Mr. Kavinda Jayasuriya and Rushan Jaleel. I would also like to thank my coaches at the Under 19 Sri Lanka level as well.