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In his spare time Rajasthan's hard-hitting South African import mixes drinks, coos over his three-year-old, and struggles with Sudoku
Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi
April 25, 2009
What's your team's theme song?
I don't actually know what it is, to be absolutely honest. ["Halla Bol", for the uninitiated]
What does US $650,000 [the price he was bought by for Rajasthan Royals] mean to you?
It means a lot of money. It will definitely help the family. Me and my wife run a wedding venue in East London, and this injection of cash will help us set up things the way we have always wanted to.
Is it true that you were ready to pack your bags and open a bar in Cape Town?
Very much so. I was told by the Cape Cobras, "Thanks very much, your services are no longer required." Fortunately I got picked up by Middlesex and had a pretty good Twenty20 season with them, and things have gone well for me from there.
Tell us something we don't know about you.
If am not playing cricket I'm a barman at the wedding venue. That's my second career, mixing drinks. Pour a beer or two and away we go.
Which means you can spike drinks when you meet the opposition?
No, no. I like a fair contest. I like to test my skills against them in a sober state.
Why is your nickname The Blacksmith?
Probably it's got to do with the way I bat. There's nothing pretty about my batting, but it is fairly effective.
What would you tell a first-time visitor to South Africa not to do?
Normally it is the other way around: what should they do. Probably be wary about things and people around you because there are some dubious characters who are on the lookout for tourists.
So what should visitors do then?
Come and enjoy the lifestyle - there are many famous national parks and zoos one could visit, to begin with.
What's the most common phrase South Africans use?
What is your best cricket moment?
Winning the Twenty20 championships with the Lions and Middlesex.
Which cricketer would you like to be, if you were given a chance?
Very good question. Someone like Ian Botham because he was good with both bat and ball. He could hit it far, was a good seam bowler, and a good all-round cricketer.
Tell us about your son.
He is the apple of my eye. His name is Chad and he turned three on the opening day of the IPL. He called up the morning before to say, "Daddy, I miss you. When are you coming home?"
Are you good at driving when you play golf?
I can hit it a fair distance - whether it goes straight is another story.
What's the biggest six you've hit?
In the Twenty20 semi-final against Durham, when I pulled a Steve Harmison bouncer.
There is a popular joke about you on the internet…
[Interrupts] Before you do that, I can tell you it was played by David Nash in England and Nick Compton wrote about it on his blog. We were at the indoor centre at Lord's, practising for the Pro40 Championship game and my phone rang. [Nash, pretending to be a UK sport doping control representative said Henderson had failed a drugs test and a "b" sample was needed.] Afterwards I found out it was Nash. All the guys had a good laugh. He has played such jokes on other guys, too, over the years. It's part of being in a team and I enjoy the company of the boys.
People have described you as a friendly giant. Is that about right?
I'm a pretty cheerful chap, so that's perhaps as close as it gets.
Has Shane Warne coined a nickname for you yet?
That will surely come down the line.
What's been the funniest sledge directed at you?
Once I blocked one or two balls and the keeper said, "Are you sick or something? You don't play like this normally." And then I went after the bowling instantly.
If you're stuck at an airport what would you do: attempt a crossword, solve a Sudoku or take a nap?
I actually have a Sudoku book right next to me. There's 500-plus puzzles in it. I have probably done about 20. I've got a long way to go.
Describe yourself in three words
Relaxed, funny non-warrior would be a pretty good description of me.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at CricinfoFeeds: Nagraj Gollapudi
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