Ian Bishop December 18, 2009

'You have to struggle to do well'

Ian Bishop recalls his first major lesson learnt, and four other cricketing firsts

First pair of boots
A pair of Gunn & Moores that I'd saved up for a while to purchase. I was in school at the time. They were big. I remember getting them and putting them on.

First batsman who made me feel helpless
This was even before I played for West Indies. Gordon Greenidge in a domestic match at the Queens Park Oval. It was Trinidad & Tobago against Barbados. He just wouldn't budge. We bowled and bowled, and he batted and batted. He got a big hundred and I remember saying to myself, "This cricket is tough business - is this what I want to do?"

First bowling inspiration
Michael Holding. Those four greats [Holding, Garner, Roberts and Croft] were all big inspirations, but it was Michael Holding who stood out for me. He left a lasting impression. I wanted to be like him. He was the best.

First costly dropped catch
None that I let go, but there was one when England came over in 1990. It was at Sabina Park. I got Allan Lamb to nick one, but Jeff Dujon dropped it. He dived to his right one-handed and could't hold on. Lamb got a hundred. England won the match.

First major cricket lesson
There's no room for mediocrity. You have to constantly pursue excellence. I realised that when I came up against some fantastic batsmen. You have to really struggle and if you're not going to put in your best, you better forget about it. You can't be mediocre if you want to do well. It's something I learned early and I've tried to do that in life after cricket - such as now, when I'm a commentator.

As told to Jamie Alter, a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo