Ian Butler October 28, 2012

'The ball's still in orbit'

Interview by Jack Wilson
When you bounce Chris Gayle twice, you pay the price

First pair of bowling boots
I remember I had mine when I was still at school - they were a pair of Pumas and they fitted like a glove. I can't remember what exactly they were called but from then on I kept getting Pumas. They must have got a good ten years out of me.

First time I sledged a batsman
I was 14 and I had plenty to say for myself at that age. I was bowling quick and I liked to give batsmen a bit of verbals too - but I soon learnt my lesson when I played Test cricket. We were playing West Indies in 2002 and I was bowling the quickest I'd ever done. I sent down a bouncer to Chris Gayle and it beat him for pace. I bowled another one and he got halfway through a hook shot before ducking out of it. I told him what I thought and he turned round, smiled and said: "Bro, bowl there again and see what happens." So I did - he was expecting it, and the ball's still in orbit now. He went on to make a double-hundred.

First hat-trick
I was playing junior cricket in Maramarua in New Zealand. I beat all three batsmen for pace. I must have been 16 or 17 at the time.

First international call-up
I wasn't even a regular fixture in the Northern Districts side at the time. Shane Bond got injured and they wanted someone with out-and-out pace to come in and replace him. I was bowling sharp but I knew in my heart of hearts I was nowhere near good enough. It was overawing to suddenly be opening the bowling against Michael Vaughan in a Test match, despite knowing I probably shouldn't have been there. All I could do was give it my best shot.

First bit of advice I'd give a young cricketer
I would tell them just never to give up. I was a late developer myself and I didn't make any district sides or anything like that until I was in my teens. I wasn't someone with loads of natural talent but I just kept putting in the work and eventually I got my rewards. It's about persistence.

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