Andrew Hall February 16, 2014

'Get a new helmet, I'm going to hit you again'

Andrew Hall on the cricketers he admired growing up, and the time he knocked Paul Harris over

First hero
There were two guys I really admired growing up: Clive Rice and Jimmy Cook. I used to watch a lot of cricket and I always used to be down at the Wanderers whenever I had a chance. When the rebel series started I went to watch a couple of times. Jimmy was especially big for me. I used to be a wicketkeeper when I was younger and I always watched him to see how he did things. The pair was a big influence.

First experience of international cricket
My debut came in 1999 against West Indies. It was absolutely incredible to play under Hansie Cronje. From the moment I first walked into the dressing room he was brilliant. He welcomed me into the team, spoke to me briefly and then we went out for a practice session. They are great memories.

First time I hurt a batsman
I didn't bowl very much as a youngster but there was one incident that sticks out in my mind. I hit Paul Harris, the South African spinner, once and we still have a laugh about it. I ran up and banged him on the side of the helmet and knocked him to the ground. What I said afterwards sticks in my mind too! I said, "Mate, get up and get a doctor on, and get a new helmet too, as I'm going to hit you again!"

First time I was in awe of someone in the dressing room
My first experience of being in awe of someone - or some people - came when I got into the first team of the Transvaal side. I came in and they had Jimmy Cook, who played for South Africa, still playing. Richard Snell and Steven Jack were in there too and they were real international players. I really looked up to them, especially as at the time I was only a youngster making my way in the game.

First time I played on TV
I was quite nervous when I first started playing games that were televised. There was a deal in South Africa, when I was playing for Transvaal, that most of our one-day games were played on Friday nights. They were floodlit and they liked to make a big thing of them. My third game in the competition was televised and I really worried about it beforehand. You're shaky but then you get over it. Once I went on the field all I was thinking was about playing for Transvaal and not the cameras.

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  • Ryan on February 17, 2014, 20:14 GMT

    The caption at the bottom of the photo mentions how nervous he gets before matches. Would that explain the big wet patch?

  • Daison on February 17, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    Well, his pace if said the batsman to get a new helmet to get hit again, he needs to bowl to the likes of AB Devilliers, MSD, Gayle etc. He would need a helmet while bowling to those...

  • ZCF on February 17, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    This guy would be the perfect antidote for the Proteas. He would be to them what Lehman is to Australia.

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    A very underrated cricketer and an under-used one too. He had the tenacity to gut it out against any team. Clearly, bowling was his core strength and he kept improving. Here are some of my most memorable moments of Andrew Hall:

    1) His two-over spell against Australia that tied, what once appeared to be an easy win for Australia, the indoor ODI match in 2000. He became the player of the match. 2) Facing spin bowling was considered his weakness. But he really dug it out in that Test in India in 2004. He scored a dogged 163 off 454 balls. 3) His match-winning partnership with the equally underrated Justin Kemp in an ODI against India in 2006. They rescued South Africa from 136-7 to 274-7 in 50 overs. He scored 56* and later picked up 3 wickets. 4) His best-bowling figures of 5-18 against England in the 2007 world cup.

    And, of course, there were many other memorable performances from him. There is no doubt that South Africa could have and should have got more out of him.

  • Android on February 17, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    I remember when Easterns, one of the smaller first class teams in South Africa played Western Province with all the international players in the 4 day final. Hall told the captain, Derek Crookes I think , to give him the ball on the last day as he would bowl them out...he then proceeded to knock the powerful WP team to pieces and Easterns won against all odds.

    Hall should have played more ODIs.A tough character who backs himself.

    I was a huge Transvaal fan and remember when Hall started. Lots of hype around this new boy.

    Where is Dean Laing, Jack and Snell. Laing also another allrounder who was destined for great things.

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    Great bloke. Remember his last over against Lancashire in the 2003 50 over game at Worcestershire. A really terrible photos of him here though. What's going on with his trousers?

  • Jeff on February 16, 2014, 22:57 GMT

    Would love to see the day a captain declares the innings closed because the entire team is 'out of helmets'......

  • Android on February 16, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    He probably meant to say that, as a young wicketkeeper, he watched Ray Jennings, not Jimmy Cook?

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    Good all rounder can not be termed as bit and pieces player.A real handy one of course

  • Altaf on February 16, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Very useful all-rounder. I remembered once in a match, he kept wicket as well in addition to batting & bowling.

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