Andre Russell May 14, 2012

'I'd ask Gayle if he has an angry face'

Andre Russell on what puzzles him about his West Indies team-mate, what he's usually doing when he gets a call-up, his fashion statement, and hairstyle trends
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What did your mother think of your $450,000 IPL contract?
My mom teaches at a school - she teaches kindergarten kids. She didn't know really what to say to me on the phone. I know that she was proud and happy for her one and only son - that he has worked hard and achieved all of these things.

When did you hear about your IPL contract?
The Caribbean T20 was going on. I was sleeping. I get up in the morning and see a BBM [a message on the BlackBerry] from my agent, saying, "Congratulations, you go for a whopping 450", and I was like "What?" Then I remembered he had said that the auction was in the night, Caribbean time. So everything clicked in my head. I saw about 40 messages from my contacts saying congrats. It was fun. The auction was serious but it was the best BBM I ever got on my phone.

But you do 3am push-ups when the West Indies call?
That was when I got the call for the West Indian A team. I was in England and I got a call from Clyde Butts, the chairman of selectors. Again, I was sleeping, and he says, "Wake up, man, I've got good news for you. You have been selected in the West Indies A team." It was, like, a Friday, and the league team I played for didn't have a game on Saturday, but Clyde told me that he was going to allow me to join the team on Monday. After he got off the phone I couldn't go back to sleep. I was up all night doing push-ups, sit-ups, just doing the workout for the night. Just in case they called me at 5am, I'd be warmed up and ready!

Are you the fittest person in the Delhi Daredevils squad?
Well, my body is used to doing push-ups and sit-ups. Whenever I'm doing them, I don't feel it to be strenuous. I have to do a lot, about 10-20 push-ups before a shower. It's like a daily routine. So even if I rush into the shower and don't remember to do it, as soon as I come out of the shower, I do ten push-ups. It's a habit for me.

In terms of the gym, I'm not a big fan. I use my body weight to maintain my strength. Whenever I go in the gym I'm like this little weak kid. I can't bench-press much. Most guys would be doing 150-160-170 up. I'm like struggling with 140, I'm telling you. But to hit a ball out of the ground, that's very easy. To bowl a ball close to 90 [mph], I can do that.

You're Jamaican. How quick are you over 100 metres?
The last time I did one was in my school days. It was 10.45 [seconds], but that was very fast.

Is there anyone in the Daredevils side who can beat you over 100 metres?
I'm not sure - probably [David] Warner, because he's very quick.

"If I'm going to wear something fashionable, I'm going to be standing out. I just want to fit in, you know. I don't want to look too loud so that everyone's just looking at me and saying, 'Look at that guy dressing'"

If Chris Gayle said he would share one secret with you, what would you ask him?
Well, I would ask him when he gets angry. I would really ask him that. "When do you get angry and it shows in your face?" Because since I've been around Chris, I've heard it in his voice. Whenever he gets really angry, he kind of gets a tremble in his voice, and I just know that he's about to blow. But you can't see it on his face. It just goes to show you that God makes different types of people.

Even when he's angry, he's just sitting there, just looking around. Even if you call him or you are behind him, he's not going to give you a brisk look back. He is going to take his time and look back. That's how he is. That is why they call him Crampy. He is actually one of my heroes and he is showcasing it in the IPL as well. He has amazing strength and timing of the ball. It doesn't matter how strong you are, if you don't time the cricket ball, you are not going to get it where you want. Whenever Delhi play against him… Chris, you are my star man, but I would love to get you out very cheaply because I know the damage you can do.

What's the significance of the No. 12? It's in your Twitter handle, to start with…
The number that I always loved was 99. But when I got selected for the West Indies they just gave me a number, and when I got my jersey I see 12. So from that day I work with AR12 or Russell 12. I've even made a design, like a logo of it. In the future, in the next year or so I really want to take it to the next level where I come out with... not really a clothes line or something, but a trademark of Andre Russell, so AR12.

Do you consider yourself to be fashionable? Can anyone match you in style in the IPL?
I do, but there are many cricketers out there who just wear anything. The thing is, I'm from Jamaica and we like to wear flashy things and swagger. Being here, it doesn't give me the motivation to dress up and put on my fancy clothes, because everyone here is, like, t-shirt and jeans. If I'm going to wear something fashionable, I'm going to be standing out. I just want to fit in, you know. I don't want to look too loud so that everyone's looking at me and saying, 'Look at that guy dressing.'

Is that why your hairstyle is so subdued these days?
I don't see anyone with a hairstyle that is similar to mine. But I must say Kevin Pietersen - the way he cuts his hair or the way it grows on his head, it just looks kind of funny, but it's unique.

Do you have a hairstylist back home?
I normally cut my hair in one barber shop. So whenever I go there I don't have to tell the guy. I just sit in the chair and he knows what to do. The shop is called Style View and the barber, I call him Long Beard, but his name is Ricky.

Which crowd is noisier among the two Twenty20 leagues you've played in - Bangladesh or India?
Must be India. Just for Tendulkar and Sehwag, one of those guys, to walk out on the field or to appear on the screen, it's like the team wins. There is this loud shout. It's serious. The biggest crowd we would have played was in the World Cup in India, when we were going to play in Chennai. My god, there was big noise there! That game, when Tendulkar came to the crease, it was the first time I'm hearing so much noise. Everyone is screaming… they don't care if you are a baby in the crowd, everyone is screaming. I was on the rope and when Tendulkar got out, if you just clapped everyone could hear it. When he got out the crowd was so silent. They had their hands on their heads and they just wanted to go home.

Who's your best mate in cricket?
Nelon Pascal from Grenada. He's played for the West Indies as well, and we have a very good relationship. Outside the Caribbean, I've met a lot of nice guys behind the scenes.

Who's the biggest eater in the Daredevils squad?
To be honest, whenever we are in the changing room everyone just takes a little snack or a little thing, so it looks a bit like the biggest eater is me. Most of the times, I go back for seconds, and everyone is just sitting there and, like, they are full and stuffed up. I'm going, "Come on."

Who's the most talkative among them?
I think it's [Glenn] Maxwell. He talks about everything, Maxwell. I call him Stiffler because he's like that guy in the movie American Pie, where he does all the funny things. Whenever we are playing or at a hotel or at a team party, Maxwell just always does something hilarious to give us a laugh. Whenever he is dancing, everyone is looking at him because we know he's going to do something stupid or something for us to laugh at. He's really funny and I really like him.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 15, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    @Giovaughn Wilson. Sir can you name a cricketer who has never dropped a catch at a crucial time in a game. You can start with the test playing nations and then work your way down to the associate teams. Be patient-this may take you a while.

  • on May 15, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    @ Dashgar good like when he dropped Dravid @ Sabina park & made India win the series?

  • Vilander on May 15, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    WI cricket team own 'cool' in cricket. God bless Mr Russell. And does style view have enough seats ? Good stuff from Ugra.

  • johnathonjosephs on May 14, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    He is sooo right about the body weight exercises. Body weight exercises actually tone you to your body's limit whereas working out with weights will build muscle more than your body size is naturally capable. I know people who have six packs and can't do 10 crunches and I know people who can't do more than 20 pushups, but can bench 170+

  • on May 14, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Thats very nice from Russel. I wanna share one of incident here along with russel. He mentioned about the Sachin and Noisy crowd in chennai. I was happy that I am one of them in crowd. But what happen on that day was, I never seen cricket in Live (In Statdium). On that WC match between Ind Vs WI, I was sleeping like mud pig till 12. My roomie kicked me. Machi, Match pogalama!! (Shall we go for match). I raised sudden, coz that was the last World cup match for india in Chennai. Yeah, Lets start. in next hour. My bike was standing in Marina beach. tried for Tickets. But veins. never given the grip. Atlast tried in Black (3K Rs for 1K Rs worth ticket), Paid for sachin :). Sachin walks with bat. From here, things happens as Russel explained. Sachin walks back with a bat in his 3rd ball without even umpire signals. Now let see what happens back in the outside of the ground after Sachins dismissal. Tickets sale reversed. Selling 3K worth Rs ticket for 1K. Sachin, u owe me 3K :)

  • mrhamilton on May 14, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    just to add, |I would also give jermain taylor a second chance, but these long term seniors who refused to play for windies in the past such as gayle, taylor, samuels, sarwan etc etc must never ever be allowed to form a majority in the present and future windies team, as the present regime and the young talent they are backing need to be given a chance to flourish as they threaten to do so. Windies cricket has had false dawns before but i feel strongly this is different. The IPL has drawn windian youngsters back to cricket and players can now earn money and play forr their country so also lets give sarwan, gayle,taylor,samuels etc a chance to show what they can do but again only have say 2 of the 4 in the team to maintain the balance. Once shiv retires, if no youngster has emerged perhaps sarwan can be given a long run than to take the pressure off the youngsters

  • on May 14, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    i like his style.. he is an faster,sharper,brilliant & stylish cricketer.. with all this quality,his performance can be focused on tommorow soon.. all d best andrew..! a big fan from bangladesh!

  • mrhamilton on May 14, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    @ rienzied. I think you r misguided about the last dozen years of Windian cricket. Gayle, Sarwan, Samuels,Taylor, are all figures of the past who had their time and chance. Some of them have good individual averages, but the windies almost always lost with them in the team & pride/work ethic hit an all timelow so how can u say sarwan or gayle for capatin! & Rampaul has only played well for 1 year! The WICB also has to share the blame for the malaise, & moving fwd under the sammy/gibson regime there is a need to give a last chance to a few of these seniors to complement the new bloods such as Bravo jnr,Barath, Roach,Kirk Edwards,Pollard,Powell,Bishoo,Narine & the mid termers like F Edwards & Rampaul. Sammy should be no 6 allrounder. Im v happy to see Gayle back as opener for the next 2-3 years. I do feel it should be Sarwan,Samuels and Nash fighting 4 a single berth in the term as u do need competition and windies must finally use all its resources. I see good things 4 windies

  • Dashgar on May 14, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    I think Sammy is a better batsman. Not sure why good performances against England should be seen as a negative. Last I checked they were the best team in the world. Sammy may not be as quick as Russell but he is much more accurate and does more with the ball. Sammy has made the team due to good performances with the ball and his batting is just starting to flourish too. I know fans of West Indies are looking for someone to blame for their poor performances but it is totally unfair to blame Sammy, he has done nothing but good for that team since becoming captain.

  • Alexk400 on May 14, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    He needs to grab his chance in few outings. Or he will be passed out. 450000 will be the last money he will ever see. Lots of young guys comes every year. There are always be some new kid in the block. He need to show case like pollard. Even bravo level to get in a team. He might get one more chance then ross taylor will be back as DD needs strong middle order.

  • on May 15, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    @Giovaughn Wilson. Sir can you name a cricketer who has never dropped a catch at a crucial time in a game. You can start with the test playing nations and then work your way down to the associate teams. Be patient-this may take you a while.

  • on May 15, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    @ Dashgar good like when he dropped Dravid @ Sabina park & made India win the series?

  • Vilander on May 15, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    WI cricket team own 'cool' in cricket. God bless Mr Russell. And does style view have enough seats ? Good stuff from Ugra.

  • johnathonjosephs on May 14, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    He is sooo right about the body weight exercises. Body weight exercises actually tone you to your body's limit whereas working out with weights will build muscle more than your body size is naturally capable. I know people who have six packs and can't do 10 crunches and I know people who can't do more than 20 pushups, but can bench 170+

  • on May 14, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Thats very nice from Russel. I wanna share one of incident here along with russel. He mentioned about the Sachin and Noisy crowd in chennai. I was happy that I am one of them in crowd. But what happen on that day was, I never seen cricket in Live (In Statdium). On that WC match between Ind Vs WI, I was sleeping like mud pig till 12. My roomie kicked me. Machi, Match pogalama!! (Shall we go for match). I raised sudden, coz that was the last World cup match for india in Chennai. Yeah, Lets start. in next hour. My bike was standing in Marina beach. tried for Tickets. But veins. never given the grip. Atlast tried in Black (3K Rs for 1K Rs worth ticket), Paid for sachin :). Sachin walks with bat. From here, things happens as Russel explained. Sachin walks back with a bat in his 3rd ball without even umpire signals. Now let see what happens back in the outside of the ground after Sachins dismissal. Tickets sale reversed. Selling 3K worth Rs ticket for 1K. Sachin, u owe me 3K :)

  • mrhamilton on May 14, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    just to add, |I would also give jermain taylor a second chance, but these long term seniors who refused to play for windies in the past such as gayle, taylor, samuels, sarwan etc etc must never ever be allowed to form a majority in the present and future windies team, as the present regime and the young talent they are backing need to be given a chance to flourish as they threaten to do so. Windies cricket has had false dawns before but i feel strongly this is different. The IPL has drawn windian youngsters back to cricket and players can now earn money and play forr their country so also lets give sarwan, gayle,taylor,samuels etc a chance to show what they can do but again only have say 2 of the 4 in the team to maintain the balance. Once shiv retires, if no youngster has emerged perhaps sarwan can be given a long run than to take the pressure off the youngsters

  • on May 14, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    i like his style.. he is an faster,sharper,brilliant & stylish cricketer.. with all this quality,his performance can be focused on tommorow soon.. all d best andrew..! a big fan from bangladesh!

  • mrhamilton on May 14, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    @ rienzied. I think you r misguided about the last dozen years of Windian cricket. Gayle, Sarwan, Samuels,Taylor, are all figures of the past who had their time and chance. Some of them have good individual averages, but the windies almost always lost with them in the team & pride/work ethic hit an all timelow so how can u say sarwan or gayle for capatin! & Rampaul has only played well for 1 year! The WICB also has to share the blame for the malaise, & moving fwd under the sammy/gibson regime there is a need to give a last chance to a few of these seniors to complement the new bloods such as Bravo jnr,Barath, Roach,Kirk Edwards,Pollard,Powell,Bishoo,Narine & the mid termers like F Edwards & Rampaul. Sammy should be no 6 allrounder. Im v happy to see Gayle back as opener for the next 2-3 years. I do feel it should be Sarwan,Samuels and Nash fighting 4 a single berth in the term as u do need competition and windies must finally use all its resources. I see good things 4 windies

  • Dashgar on May 14, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    I think Sammy is a better batsman. Not sure why good performances against England should be seen as a negative. Last I checked they were the best team in the world. Sammy may not be as quick as Russell but he is much more accurate and does more with the ball. Sammy has made the team due to good performances with the ball and his batting is just starting to flourish too. I know fans of West Indies are looking for someone to blame for their poor performances but it is totally unfair to blame Sammy, he has done nothing but good for that team since becoming captain.

  • Alexk400 on May 14, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    He needs to grab his chance in few outings. Or he will be passed out. 450000 will be the last money he will ever see. Lots of young guys comes every year. There are always be some new kid in the block. He need to show case like pollard. Even bravo level to get in a team. He might get one more chance then ross taylor will be back as DD needs strong middle order.

  • on May 14, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    One of the reasons I like WI cricket. They enjoy the sport, they live for the moment, they celebrate every moment!

  • on May 14, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    Very nice interview and some quality questions there Ugra. Russell with all those fancy hairdos and stuffs i thought he was like an attitude guy but he pretty much seems to be a nice character, that too when he says good things about fellow cricketers and his barber. Good guy to watch out. and guess what, im just gonna follow him on twitter now!

  • on May 14, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    A great athlete & a promising all rounder. Could be a permanent fixture in the WI team sooner rather than later.

  • Romenevans on May 14, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Russel is the Next Wattoo...Mark it right now, and you'll come back after T20 WC and say "KavinDeven" said it first on cricinfo.

  • on May 14, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @ Dashgar In what way is Sammy a better cricketer than Russell? He is not a better batsman or Fielder & where as Sammy might have a better bowling average thanks to his matches vs Bangladesh & England which of the two would make a better bowler in the long run? If Russel & Sammy were from St Lucia or better yet If Sammy was from Jamaica do you think Hunte Hillaire & co would influence the selectors to pick Sammy over him?

  • Mayan820 on May 14, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    Oh my goodness . . . What is not to like about these West Indians? They are simply fantastic people and fantasticly talented cricket players who, unfortunately, most of the time play way below their potential . . . so unlike Australia who, one feels, plays above their potential. After the Proteas the West Indians are my second team and India is third, in all 3 formats of the game.

  • on May 14, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Russel is a very good all rounder then y he was not be a part of delhi top 11 squad.is sehwag showing any partiality on him or something.

  • on May 14, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Russell was a good sprinter in high school. Jamaican High school record is 10.21 and Junior record is 10.11 both by Yohan Blake the current world champ.

  • Dashgar on May 14, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    @rienzied, I know it's really fashionable to bag out Sammy these days but he's a better player than Russell. A lot of the players you've mentioned are available for Windies but they've been dropped because of bad performances. There's good reason Dwayne Bravo, Sarwan, Nash, Russell, Baugh, Benn, Bishoo and Taylor aren't in the team. I think Gayle, Narine and Pollard should be there but their team is getting close to their best. Russell's time will come but he's still behind Sammy, Dwayne and Pollard when it comes to Windies allrounders.

  • ejsiddiqui on May 14, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    100m in 10.45s, could be a record at high school level seems like Usain Bolt type of run. Now, I am waiting to hear Maxwell. He must be a great character.

  • rienzied on May 14, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    BTW, I did see Gayle loose his cool, with Michael clarke in KL, Malaysia, when India, Windies and Australia, played together in a triangular. Gayle was so incensed , he actually had to be held back. It is really very sad to see though the fact WICB cannot attract their class players. Imagine a Windies side looking like this. Gayle, Kirk Edwards, Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Deonariane , Dwayne Bravo, Deon Nash, Andre Russell, Pollard, Baugh, Sunil N, Ramdhin, Suleiman Benn, Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Roach, Rampaul .. yet we only see 7 of these players in the test side. If the team can be assembled and are firing, I would love to see them taking on the top teams again. And captaincy I would go for Sarwan , Gayle or even Deonariane...

  • rienzied on May 14, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    He has such talent, and he deserves the number 8 spot in the side far more than Sammy. Please WICB , get rid of Sammy and Gibson!

  • on May 14, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Very humble youth. Great interview Andre!

  • on May 14, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    i guarantee that if this guy does a 10.45s 100m then David Warner wont be within a bull's roar of him. if ANY cricketer can do an 11 second 100m it would be extremely rare, let alone a sub 10.5. oh, but i also gotta say, a 10.45 in high school would put this guy near the all time world record...

  • on May 14, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    Really nice interview, just stay your level-headed, humble self Andre you can't be kept out forever; talent too obvious. I remember Carlos Brathwaite on debut batting ahead of you in Bangla that after you had already scored a four day century against them and an odi 92 not out against India. We saw what happened when he was given the last over even though you bowled reasonably well.

  • johnathonjosephs on May 14, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Wow, Maxwell is like Stiffler. Must be a great character

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  • johnathonjosephs on May 14, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Wow, Maxwell is like Stiffler. Must be a great character

  • on May 14, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    Really nice interview, just stay your level-headed, humble self Andre you can't be kept out forever; talent too obvious. I remember Carlos Brathwaite on debut batting ahead of you in Bangla that after you had already scored a four day century against them and an odi 92 not out against India. We saw what happened when he was given the last over even though you bowled reasonably well.

  • on May 14, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    i guarantee that if this guy does a 10.45s 100m then David Warner wont be within a bull's roar of him. if ANY cricketer can do an 11 second 100m it would be extremely rare, let alone a sub 10.5. oh, but i also gotta say, a 10.45 in high school would put this guy near the all time world record...

  • on May 14, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Very humble youth. Great interview Andre!

  • rienzied on May 14, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    He has such talent, and he deserves the number 8 spot in the side far more than Sammy. Please WICB , get rid of Sammy and Gibson!

  • rienzied on May 14, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    BTW, I did see Gayle loose his cool, with Michael clarke in KL, Malaysia, when India, Windies and Australia, played together in a triangular. Gayle was so incensed , he actually had to be held back. It is really very sad to see though the fact WICB cannot attract their class players. Imagine a Windies side looking like this. Gayle, Kirk Edwards, Sarwan, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Deonariane , Dwayne Bravo, Deon Nash, Andre Russell, Pollard, Baugh, Sunil N, Ramdhin, Suleiman Benn, Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Roach, Rampaul .. yet we only see 7 of these players in the test side. If the team can be assembled and are firing, I would love to see them taking on the top teams again. And captaincy I would go for Sarwan , Gayle or even Deonariane...

  • ejsiddiqui on May 14, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    100m in 10.45s, could be a record at high school level seems like Usain Bolt type of run. Now, I am waiting to hear Maxwell. He must be a great character.

  • Dashgar on May 14, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    @rienzied, I know it's really fashionable to bag out Sammy these days but he's a better player than Russell. A lot of the players you've mentioned are available for Windies but they've been dropped because of bad performances. There's good reason Dwayne Bravo, Sarwan, Nash, Russell, Baugh, Benn, Bishoo and Taylor aren't in the team. I think Gayle, Narine and Pollard should be there but their team is getting close to their best. Russell's time will come but he's still behind Sammy, Dwayne and Pollard when it comes to Windies allrounders.

  • on May 14, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Russell was a good sprinter in high school. Jamaican High school record is 10.21 and Junior record is 10.11 both by Yohan Blake the current world champ.

  • on May 14, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Russel is a very good all rounder then y he was not be a part of delhi top 11 squad.is sehwag showing any partiality on him or something.