Gordon Greenidge September 15, 2012

'I had the perfect start to my Test career'

Interview by Jack Wilson
Gordon Greenidge remembers the man who had a huge influence on his life, and also his very attacking batting partner

First cricket bat
When I was very young I had a massive bat made by Stuart Surridge. It had been soaked and soaked in linseed oil for years and it was very heavy. I wasn't the biggest as a young lad, and when I went out to bat I could hardly lift the bloody thing.

First idol
There have been lots of people that I've admired but there's only one person I'd call an idol. That man was John Arlott, and I'm proud to say that he was hugely influential in my life. He was a massive reason I signed for Hampshire and I had a huge amount of respect for him. He was a great man in and out of cricket. I'm lucky that my idol was also my friend.

First century
(Laughs) I've hit a few! I can honestly say I can't remember my first one. It probably came in a youth team cricket with that big Stuart Surridge bat. I've always enjoyed batting ever since I started playing.

First Test match
I was 23 at the time and we were playing against India in Bangalore. A lot was made of the fact that we wouldn't win because India had a quality spin attack and that the pitches would turn yards. It was almost as if the excuses were being made before we'd even played them. We won the game, which was nice, and I scored a second-innings century, which put the icing on the cake. It was the perfect start to my Test career.

First time I batted with Desmond Haynes
When he first came into the team he was a young man who liked to attack everything. He went out there and played his shots and looked like he wanted to hit every ball out the park. I remember on his West Indies debut he got to 50 very quickly and I was impressed when I saw him there. After that he learned to calm it down and he was a dream to bat with. We didn't do too badly together after all, did we?