Andrew Hall December 14, 2013

'All wicketkeepers say the same things'

Andrew Hall talks about being shot at, the world's best-looking sportswoman, and a cricket rule he'd change if he could

You played over 100 times for South Africa - but it could have been Australia, couldn't it?
It could have, yes. In 1998, when I was shot the first time, I was thinking about moving somewhere else. I had a look around and I spoke to friends in Australia and managed to get a contract from one of the state teams to come out and play. I wanted to do well and hopefully qualify for Australia, but a couple of months later I decided on staying in South Africa.

You were shot in the hand from point-blank range at an ATM. Does it affect you now?
When it happened, it did, but it was over within the space of a couple of seconds. After that I never had any issues with it. The next afternoon I came out of hospital and went back to the same area to use the ATM. A car pulled up and the door slammed and my legs turned to jelly, but no, nothing after that.

Do you ever sit back and reflect on what you could have won with South Africa?
It's a difficult one. I've always just felt proud having played for South Africa and for getting out there.

You've been promoted to Division One in the County Championship and won the Twenty20 Cup with Northamptonshire this year. How good has it been?
Magnificent. It's been such a great effort. At the start of the season you set out targets and they're always pretty similar in that you want to compete on all fronts. We've done exactly that and more. We went out and set goals for ourselves and trained hard. We looked at the intensity of our training - and not just how long we trained - and it's paid off.

If you could pick one highlight of your career, what would it be?
There are two that spring to mind. Beating Australia in the 438 game and my first Test century, 163 against India.

Tell us about the best ball you've ever bowled
You'd have to go back a long time. Desmond Haynes was playing for Western Province. The first ball I bowled him, he played a forward-defensive, nicked it, and it went in between first and second slip for four. I thought that was the chance. Then the next one pitched straight, nipped away, and knocked his off pole out. I'll never bowl one of those again in my life.

What's your favourite shot?
I'd have to say it's a toss-up between a cover drive and a pull shot.

Give us a name to look out for in the future
Olly Stone, at Northants, is an unbelievably talented cricketer. Ben Duckett is high class too. They're both involved with the England Under-19s.

"If a game is heading to a dead end at tea on the final day, it should be allowed to be called off"

Which of your team-mates - past or present - has the best banter?
Our skipper Alex Wakely is very good in the training room. We have good fun trying to rev up our big fast bowler Luke Evans in there!

Who's the messiest player you've shared a dressing room with?
Unfortunately, I'm sat right next to him in the changing room at Northants. I'm one of the neatest and I sit next to David Murphy, who is the worst by a long way.

On the pitch, who has the worst chat?
Another South African, Deon Kruis, came over to England to play for Yorkshire. He used to abuse you on the field and you'd cringe and laugh at him at the same time. All wicketkeepers have bad chat and they all say the same things. I've heard them all so many times in the last five seasons. It's quite amusing thinking of what they're going to say before they say it.

You're stuck on a desert island. Which one item would you take with you?
I'd take a leatherman. It's a multi-tool knife, there's loads I could do with that. I'd take my wife Lena too and, if she's coming, I'd take a blanket with me!

Who's the best-looking sportswoman in the world?
The Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.

What one rule in cricket would you change?
If I'm talking seriously it would have to be the referral system. I don't think it's a great system and it hasn't worked out especially well. Otherwise, if a game is heading to a dead end at tea on the final day, it should be allowed to be called off.

If you could bowl at any batsman in history, who would it be?
Everyone talks about him as the best batsman of all time, so it would have to be Don Bradman.