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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NanoTechnology on October 28, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    He may have been overawed bowling to Vaughan, but he bowled him for a duck in the 2nd innings! I remember when he took 6 in an innings against Pakistan (amidst a familiar Akhtar demolition of our batting) and he was quickly being hyped as NZ's next big thing. Alas he soon joined Bond in the sick bay.

  • cricketcarl on October 28, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    yes, i remember the game where Butler made his debut, i think one Nathan Astle enjoyed an extra cup of coffee or two prior to his second dig, incredible innings.

  • on October 28, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Lol, the ball is still in orbit . . . love that !!

  • Flighted_kiwi on October 28, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Well he may not have felt he deserved the call-up for his debut test but 5 wickets and a catch - there have been a lot of less auspicious debuts than that.

  • on October 28, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    And the ball is still in the orbittttt

  • Ncnotorious on October 28, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    "bro, bowl there again and see what happens"...lmao sounds exactly like CG

  • NanoTechnology on October 28, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    He may have been overawed bowling to Vaughan, but he bowled him for a duck in the 2nd innings! I remember when he took 6 in an innings against Pakistan (amidst a familiar Akhtar demolition of our batting) and he was quickly being hyped as NZ's next big thing. Alas he soon joined Bond in the sick bay.

  • cricketcarl on October 28, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    yes, i remember the game where Butler made his debut, i think one Nathan Astle enjoyed an extra cup of coffee or two prior to his second dig, incredible innings.

  • on October 28, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Lol, the ball is still in orbit . . . love that !!

  • Flighted_kiwi on October 28, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Well he may not have felt he deserved the call-up for his debut test but 5 wickets and a catch - there have been a lot of less auspicious debuts than that.

  • on October 28, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    And the ball is still in the orbittttt

  • Ncnotorious on October 28, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    "bro, bowl there again and see what happens"...lmao sounds exactly like CG

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  • Ncnotorious on October 28, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    "bro, bowl there again and see what happens"...lmao sounds exactly like CG

  • on October 28, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    And the ball is still in the orbittttt

  • Flighted_kiwi on October 28, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Well he may not have felt he deserved the call-up for his debut test but 5 wickets and a catch - there have been a lot of less auspicious debuts than that.

  • on October 28, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Lol, the ball is still in orbit . . . love that !!

  • cricketcarl on October 28, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    yes, i remember the game where Butler made his debut, i think one Nathan Astle enjoyed an extra cup of coffee or two prior to his second dig, incredible innings.

  • NanoTechnology on October 28, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    He may have been overawed bowling to Vaughan, but he bowled him for a duck in the 2nd innings! I remember when he took 6 in an innings against Pakistan (amidst a familiar Akhtar demolition of our batting) and he was quickly being hyped as NZ's next big thing. Alas he soon joined Bond in the sick bay.