August 7, 2013

'Everyone tells me it's the biggest six ever'

Interview by Jack Wilson
Aiden Blizzard can claim the title of monster six-hitter and has Youtube to back him up

You're credited with hitting the biggest six ever, which ended up flying out of the WACA. Reckon there's been a bigger one?
Apparently not! Everyone tells me it's the biggest six ever - that's what it says on Youtube. It was pretty huge but I reckon some of Chris Gayle's ones may have gone further.

Did you know it was a biggie as soon as it left the bat?
It was one of those ones that if you do it in the nets, no one knows how far the ball would have gone. I was lucky enough to hit it well in a big final. It was one of those things that just happened.

It's got a fair few views on Youtube. Do you go on there and watch it?
A few years ago, yes. The phone tended to get passed around between guys in the dressing room, but not now. I'm still living off it a bit.

Wikipedia reckons there was a 150-metre one you hit off Nathan Bracken too.
That's 150% a myth. Maybe in ten years time the ball will be going that far, but I haven't done that.

You've shared a dressing room with Kieron Pollard. Ever had a hit-off to see who can hit it further?
Plenty of times. We played together for the Adelaide Strikers and at Mumbai Indians. We've always had a bit of a joke about it and he's taken my left-arm orthodox apart in the nets a few times - but I've got him out!

That's a big beast of a bat he's got, isn't it?
It isn't too heavy, but he has, like, five or six grips on it. Maybe that's the secret, because they definitely stay hit.

What do you look for in a good bat?
It has to have a good balance with the middle being a lot lower. Gray-Nicolls have started doing ones with big, thick edges, which I like.

What's it like to walk out and open the batting with Sachin Tendulkar?
It's something you can't describe - it's a phenomenal experience. The crowd are roaring and it goes right through your body. It's a surreal thing when the guy walking down at the other end and tapping the pitch is Sachin.

Is he a big talker between overs?
I get nervous if the other batsman talks a lot, but the crowd blocks it out. He's an absolute student of the game. He remembers every ball he faces and he dissects everything that goes on out in the middle.

Do you suffer nerves?
A bit. I get a little anxious to get out there and get going, and the blood starts flowing pretty quickly. Once I hit a few boundaries, I settle down.

How good does it feel to play in front of those Indian crowds?
You get big crowds at home in Australia but it's a bit different there. The grounds are open and quite large, but in India the stands are almost vertical and it's like the crowd are on top of you. It's quite phenomenal. It can be hard to hear and hard to concentrate when it's 38 degrees and there's a bowler of Dale Steyn's calibre running in at you.

Who's the biggest joker in the Mumbai Indians dressing room?
Harbhajan Singh - he's always one step ahead of you.

Anyone else?
Rohit Sharma is a bit of a silent assassin. He's the kind of guy who will tap someone on a shoulder, tell them to do something, then sit in the background laughing when they do. But Bhajji's the main one.

You've played in Australia, India, Bangladesh, England. Where's the best?
I love playing at home and being closer to my family but India has to be one of my favourite places. The passion the locals have for their cricket is amazing.

How do you wind down away from cricket?
I'm studying to be a life coach. It's a bit left-field but something I enjoy. I also have two dogs, and my fiancée and I spend time walking them down the beach.

What's the worst chirp someone has given to you?
Paul Collingwood said something about it being cold and that a blizzard had come, because of my surname. I had a bit of a chuckle at him. It was in a warm-up game for the 2010-11 Ashes at the Adelaide Oval for South Australia.

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