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Cricketers on their milestones

Ian Butler

'The ball's still in orbit'

When you bounce Chris Gayle twice, you pay the price

Interview by Jack Wilson

October 28, 2012

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A

Ian Butler was New Zealand's best bowler with 3 for 19, New Zealand v Scotland, ICC World Twenty20, The Oval, June 6, 2009
Ian Butler: "It's about persistence" © Getty Images
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

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

Posted by 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.

Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

And the ball is still in the orbittttt

Posted by 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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