Snappy Q&As with the players

Dave Mohammed

'I'm the best entertainer in the world'

Dave Mohammed explains his various celebration routines, talks about what he bought with his Stanford money, and the other sport he's good at

Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi

November 17, 2009

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Dave Mohammed celebrates a wicket, Stanford Superstars v Trinidad&Tobago, Stanford 20/20, St John's, Antigua, October 25, 2008
Dave Mohammed indulges in perhaps the most staid celebration of his life Jewel Samad / © AFP
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What is the most outrageous thing you have done on a cricket field?
The first time was in the StanfordTwenty20 in Antigua, when I took off my shoes [after taking a wicket]. It was a great feeling for me. I knew my supporters would love to see it again as they seemed to enjoy it.

Why did you take off the shoes?
When a guy is not reading spin, he's got to stay in his crease. Why are you coming down the wicket? Otherwise I'm going to take off my shoe and make a phone call: "Somebody call you down the wicket?"

Did you plan that celebration?
I just sleep on it, imagine what I'm going to do when I get a wicket, and when I go there I know exactly what to do.

Didn't your mother tell you to keep those dirty shoes away from your ears?
No, no. If she is cooking, she sometimes burns the food watching me bowl. She will throw away pots and pots of food just to see me bowl, and how I'm going to celebrate. She always pushed me to enjoy my cricket.

So how many celebrations do you have. And which is your favourite?

The alligator roll. Then there is one where I sit on the pitch, tap my head, tap my chest, tap my feet. I call that "tic for tac" - you don't know what's happening so leave the ball alone.

Would you say you're the best entertainer in Caribbean cricket right now?
I believe I'm the best entertainer in the whole wide world. I grew up really, really tough, but it's not a rough time for me at the moment. And I like to enjoy it.

You're the 10th kid in your family?
Yes, I'm the last child in the family. I suddenly turned 30 this October 8! I grew up without a dad and it was really tough for our mum to send us to school and support us. But right now what we are doing as big man and big woman - we support she back. She got to take her rocking chair now and relax and enjoy watching me on the TV.

What's the biggest gift you have bought her?
My biggest gift for her is my love for her. You know, some parents nowadays let their kids go astray, but mum always protected us. So once you show your parents love, you will get all God's blessings.

How do you relax after-hours on tours?
I shoot some pool. I'm very good at it. Any time you want to challenge, just test me! I haven't seen a challenger so far, so I'll keep it up.

What is the first thing you bought for yourself with the Stanford million?
I bought my first house - must get a roof over the head, buddy. I bought a nice SUV jeep too.

"Chris Gayle really can't celebrate like I do. I got to bring him to my pace"

How did you get your nickname, Tadpole?
When I was smaller I liked to play in the water and catch fishes, and I loved to play with the little tadpoles. And people would keep saying "Hey, you like playing with the tadpoles", and that stuck with me.

Ellis "Puss" Achong. Have you heard this name?
Hmm… sounds familiar. What did he do?

He was the first chinaman bowler.
I never met him. In the Caribbean we never had a specialist spinner come and coach us. Only Terry Jenner came, around 1996, and worked with youngsters. He took it upon himself to help out and develop and make something out of us. He was a like a father to me.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever got?
The older heads always tell me: be strong, go strong, keep strong and nothing should pull you wrong to be what you could be until your last ball. What that means is, always keep going.

Did you ever get Brian Lara out in the nets?
The first time I bowled to him in Trinidad, he had no clue what I was bowling. I was too fast with the wrists - he took some time to read it. He always tells me I have far to go and don't give up.

What is one thing you can do that Chris Gayle can't?
He really can't celebrate like I do. I got to bring him to my pace.

Are you the best dancer in the team?
Each one of us is a good because we are soca boys. Everybody has a little shilling in their waist. If we have a cent, we got to have a five cent. If we have a five cent, we need 10 cent. If we do have 10 cents we must have a dollar. That's how the Caribbeans enjoy their music. If you rock your waist to the left side it is a cent, to the right side is five cent, to the back is 10 cent, and front is dollar, dollar, dollar.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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