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'That lunatic little fast bowler with the crazy look'
Danny Morrison talks madness, Kiwis and Aussies, and the six he hit with Sidhu's bat (00:00)
Producer: Ranjit Shinde
November 26, 2011
'That lunatic little fast bowler with the crazy look'November 26, 2011
Harsha Bhogle: On Short Stuff today, a person who dished out a little bit and who always has a lot of fun.
Danny Morrison, I have got a few questions for you.
Danny Morrison: Oh, Harsha… (laughs)
HB: And I'm rubbing my hands with glee, because this is going to be great fun… (laughs)
DM: Apprehension… What have you got for me?
HB: Here we go, question number one: Do you laugh when you see yourself on television?
DM: (laughs) Yes, you do, you have to. If you can't laugh at yourself then you are in a lot of trouble.
HB: Your most famous gaffe on air? Something you really wish you hadn't said or hadn't done?
DM: Hadn't said…
HB: All those things you said to Aussie cricketers…
DM: Oh no, couldn't say that. Can't repeat that on television. Not too bad really... Couple of those you threw in because audiences might not notice it… because of the 12th Man, Billy Birmingham, who took the mickey out of the Channel 9 commentary team. So I used some of his Billy-isms, if you like, even on air. Got told off by the producer.
HB: Danny Morrison the cricketer or Danny Morrison the media person - more satisfying?
DM: Hard one to split, really. You're sort of living the dream of playing cricket at the highest level, which a lot of people thought I'd never be able to do. And then media, rubbing shoulders with your heroes…
HB: You are becoming a very good media person because you're not answering my questions.
DM: Yeah, just the spin-doctoring around. (laughs)
HB: The most satisfying?
DM: Probably playing.
HB: I should think so. You took a long time to say what you actually wanted to say. (laughs)
DM: Yeah, because you twisted… double-minded… (laughs)
HB: What is the one thing that Kiwis don't like about Aussies?
DM: I just think probably their brashness and their arrogance.
HB: When on tour, where do the Kiwis like to play? What is the best place you played in?
DM: I think there is such a love-hate relationship that we loved playing in Australia. The grounds are massive. The scale of their economy… playing at the MCG, the Sydney Cricket Ground, and then the seafood. So we are similar cultures but they are on a grander scale. We couldn't let them have all the sunshine, the beaches, the seafood and the weather, so a lot of us have moved there and invaded it.
HB: So you are less brash and they are more brash?
DM: I tell you what, here is an analogy for you. I reckon Indians are bit like New Zealanders and the Aussies are like Pakistanis, who, as we joked about them on the air, are "Pack-a-nasties" because they got into your face. So the Pakistanis and Aussies are in your face, they are aggressive. And we tend to be a little more standoffish. Sure, we can be aggressive, absolutely, when provoked. I think we are more the provoked, whereas the Aussies and Pakistanis initiate more.
HB: So I am not provoking you enough then?
DM: No, no, you are just a very nice man. (laughs)
HB: Ah, good. He said it on tape. (laughs)
Lots of semi-finals in the World Cup - which one should New Zealand have won?
DM: Chokers, the choking tag… You've probably got to say the 1992 one, because we got 262 on the board. We batted, all the runs on the board, and then, you know…
HB: Do you remember the 1992 World Cup for the dream run or the way it finished?
DM: I think for the dream run. Because we had just lost against England [in Tests and ODIs]. England had beaten New Zealand in the Test series - we had never lost in the 1980s, and we lost now - and so now you look at that, and you say to yourself, that run of seven on the trot to get to the semi-final was a huge goal, a massive goal.
HB: How many Test sixes did you hit?
DM: Test sixes… only one, off my mate [Venkatapathy] Raju. And I did that in India, here in 1995. Got lucky and just chipped him over the top.
HB: Who was surprised more - the bowler or the batsman?
DM: Oh, look, I think borrowed [Navjot] Sidhu's bat. We swapped bats and stuck different stickers on.
DM: Yeah, Sidhu gave us bats and I had to give him shoes. They were lovely, beautiful, bowed bats. And of course, they [have got] pretty big and fat since then, but back then the whole banana bat... we swapped and I just hit a six.
HB: And where did you hit him for a six?
DM: I think it was just back over his head or something, probably a leading edge or something. (laughs)
HB: The best duck you have scored?
DM: I will tell you the best duck I have scored - getting out or not out?
DM: There are so many of them. (laughs)
HB: I love your involvement with the duck. Out or not out, it is still a duck!
DM: Duck, a not-out?
HB: Just the best duck. Where did you play the best innings for no runs?
DM: Yeah, Cape Town. Chris Pringle, playing out of fear and squealing as the bowler got into his delivery stride, would top-edge it and it would go over the keeper. Then he would flash it here and flick it to go down to third man. He got 30, and I actually batted ahead of him.
What do you think? "What? You batting ahead of Chris Pringle, who slogged it a bit?!" He wasn't the worst slogger. I think I batted No. 10 and he was 11 in this Test match, Cape Town 1995. He got 30 and got out and I was 0 not out. I think I faced about 30 deliveries. I was just happy to see Pringo freaking out at the other end.
HB: Who is the better batsman - you or Chris Martin?
DM: It's a tough one, isn't it? Well, we'll flip a coin... Bad luck, Chris Martin, you've lost. It's me.
HB: Who is the better bowler?
DM: You can't ask that, no. (laughs)
HB: (laughs) Why?
DM: He has taken more wickets. You look at his strike rate…
I think we are very different. He is tall and angular and bowled mainly back into the right-handers. I am shorter, squatter, and swung it away. So quite opposite really, when you look at it - tall, short, swung in and swung out.
HB: DK Morrison, you have sat on the fence again. Very unlike you.
DM: Well, I bowled quicker than he did, and I was probably more aggressive in terms of trying to hit people, because we love hitting people. (laughs)
HB: What's the funniest thing people have said about you?
DM: Steve Waugh said, "That lunatic little fast bowler who would run through, wouldn't snarl at you, he would just give you that crazy look, give you a wink, click his heels and walk back to his bowling mark." (laughs)
HB:>b He didn't know your background in pantomime.
Your forthcoming book, I am told, is called I'm Utterly Insane. What's it with titles? Mad As I Want to Be, I'm Utterly Insane, but you are not.
DM:>b No, it's just a tongue-and-cheek thing…
HB: B > So there is no book?
DM: No, we leave that to the wife.
HB: What a tragedy.
DM: Well, the wife does all the books now.
HB: Sure, but she doesn't write a book that's called I'm Utterly Insane.
DM: Well, Mad As I Want to Be… I came up with that title because Dennis Rodman, the basketball player from the Chicago Bulls, did Bad As I Want to Be, so we just simply… I couldn't use Confessions of Quickie because Mike Whitney had used [a similar title], and different other titles like From the Fast Lane or Danny Morrison: My Story…
HB: So Mad As I Want to Be.
DM: So Mad As I Want to Be, because we are paagal [mad, in Hindi]. We are mad, we are fun. You've got to have fun. The context was a mad sense of humour, and that could be: was he mad about being sacked and finishing his career? One of the journalists went, "Mad? I think it's Sad As I Want to Be", because obviously I was. I was frustrated and mad. So it was quite apt at that time.
HB: So there you are, never a dull moment with Danny Morrison.
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