Paul Harris June 10, 2010

'It's amazing how many new friends you have before a Test'

The South African spinner on his favourite opponents, celebratory drinks, fielding in front of Bay 13, and what hotel rooms need to improve them

Who's the nicest man in cricket?
Shaun Pollock and Jonty Rhodes.

What's your biggest personal rivalry in cricket?
Sachin Tendulkar. In my mind, he is the complete player. We have had a few tussles in the past.

If you weren't a cricketer, what would you be?
I think I would be in advertising... or have my own TV show about sport.

Toughest opponent?
Toss-up between Sachin and Ricky Ponting.

What do hotel rooms need to make them more enjoyable?
They should all come standard with a Playstation 3, a Wii and an Xbox 360 with at least 100 games to choose from.

Do you like to do the tourist thing when on tour?
I love touring. These days you don't get much time to be a tourist, but I enjoy London and Sydney.

Which ground has the most hostile crowds?
The MCG's Bay 13. It's a great experience fielding at fine leg there.

And the most amusing crowds?
Headingley - the Western Terrace kept me entertained for a while.

Which tour do you most look forward to?
It used to be Australia, but now I'm looking forward to West Indies.

What drink is the best one to celebrate victory with?
I'm not too fussy, but if I had a choice, then Jack Daniel's.

How would you have got Bradman out?
I would have to study footage. Judging by his stats, I might have had a hard time.

How often do your friends ask you for free tickets to matches?
Every Test. It's amazing how many new friends you have before a Test. I save my tickets for the real ones.

How do you normally celebrate a Test win?
Normally we have a fines meeting where [Mark] Boucher is the chairman. Then find some place willing to host the team for a few drinks.

Does your family like cricket?
My mum is the biggest fan of the game. My wife was fairly clueless when she met me but now she understands it.

Team you most enjoy beating?
Australia would be first and England a close second.

Any sports you aren't very good at?
Hockey. I played for about a month and got bored.

How do you relax away from cricket?
With my wife and friends. I enjoy the sea and the bush.

What's the best sledge you've heard?
A few good ones recently but not sure I can repeat them in a "family" magazine. Best left on the field.

This article first appeared in The Wisden Cricketer magazine

Robert Houwing is chief writer for Sport24.co.za in South Africa

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