Snappy Q&As with the players

Nick Compton

'I feel like I'm approaching my peak now'

Nick Compton talks about stepping out of his grandfather's shadow and sharing an honour with a batsman he looks up to

Interview by Jack Wilson

February 22, 2014

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

Nick Compton drives behind square, Nottinghamshire v Somerset, County Championship, Division One, Trent Bridge, September 26, 2013
"I have to keep putting pressure on the selectors" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Nick Compton
Teams: England | Somerset

England are rebuilding and there are places up for grabs. What do you think your chances are of being a part of the future?
There are two sides to that. Firstly, it all depends on what the selectors, the captain and the coach are looking for. Secondly, I think my chances now are as good as anyone's. My achievements, records and runs speak for themselves. I've consistently been one of the top county performers in the last three years and all I can do is keep scoring runs and playing the way I do. I have to keep putting pressure on the selectors.

How would you assess your England career up to now?
I'm very pleased with it but I want more. I thought I made a solid start in India and showed I can make runs and bat for long periods. In New Zealand I scored hundreds but I was disappointed in the return tour over in England. At Headingley I wasn't in great form and I didn't play very well. I showed after that I have the ability to dust myself off and bounce back straight away with Somerset and I went on to have a really good season. All I can do is keep doing what I do because I know there's a lot more in me. I feel like I'm approaching my peak now.

In April 2013, you were named as one of the five Wisden cricketers of the year. How did that feel?
It was the single greatest accolade I've received in cricket. To be voted by Wisden alongside Hashim Amla, a cricketer I grew up and played lot of cricket with, who I look up to and who is arguably the best player in the world, was a real honour and a privilege.

And it's an award your grandfather Denis won, too.
Of course he won it all those years ago and I'm proud to have done the same. There's an illustrious list of names of cricketers who have won it.

Do you get bored of hearing yourself described as the grandson of Denis Compton, when you're a Test cricketer in your own right?
It used to happen all the time but not so much now. I've found my own form and my own game. People started to realise a few years ago I am my own man. I know I will always live in his shadow but it's a great shadow. He was a great sportsman with huge talent and I'm proud of what he achieved.

You have taken four wickets in county cricket. Can you name them?
Jacques Rudolph was one. Richard Montgomerie, from Sussex, was another. That was years ago! Man, this is tough, I can't think of the other two.

Which cricketer in the world would you pay to watch?
Kevin Pietersen.

Which of your team-mates would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with?
Peter Trego. He'd talk about himself the whole time. And if a scary monster came on to the island, he'd be first one hiding away up a tree.

Who is the toughest bowler to face in county cricket?
There are a few. Chris Woakes, Andre Adams - but I'll go with Graham Onions.

Who would win a Somerset 100-metre race?
I would win it. I'm definitely the best runner between the wickets in the team. Apparently the boys reckon I run a few people out but they are wrong.

And who would come last?
[Marcus] Trescothick, with those flipper feet, would come last.

If you had to do a party trick, what would you do?
I'd have to sing some karaoke, even though I have the worst voice in the history of mankind.

Which song?
Backstreet Boys, "I Want It That Way".

If you weren't a professional cricketer, what would you be?
I'd be a professional dancer in Las Vegas.

In your pre-match football warm-up, who is the one guy you don't want on your team?
I'm going for Peter Trego again. He doesn't pass the ball and always shoots from the halfway line.

What is the plan for when you've finished playing cricket?
I'd like to get into the media as a TV presenter, presenting sports shows or documentaries.

Where do you keep tomato ketchup - in the cupboard or in the fridge?
Good question. In the fridge, but it changes.

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Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

Look, I am a South African and therefor biased. Denis Compton was a great friend of SA but it did not prevent him from putting Springbok teams to the sword more than once! Nick was treated very harshly by the Eng selectors. There can be very little doubt that he would have stood up to the Australians and one M. Johnson better than Carberry. The latter merely flatters to deceive. Of internation standard only as a limited over player. Compton would have received more recognition in SA had he stayed here. But Eng was his choice and we respect him for that.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 24, 2014, 1:59 GMT)

Being a Saffa, which is essentially what Compton is, is becoming as popular as a pork chop in Palestine in the England dressing room. If Eng want to keep picking Saffas, as they have been for years, they really just need to adjust the "team ethos" a tad, and "embrace diversity."

Take a Saffa kid, send him to Harrow, and you will end up with someone with firm opinions, who is unafraid to voice them.

I think Lillian Thompson is right: make him the skipper! Cook is no good anyway, he has neither the heart nor the smarts for the job. He has failed. If Eng continue moulding their dressing room around him they are in for a run at the bottom of the rankings. Seriously. Graeme Smith has already retired 3 Eng skippers - Cook will not last the next mauling Eng will suffer at SA's hands, if captained by the chef. Smith will have him well roasted if he leads the Eng team to SA in 2015! He'll never recover, & nor will the team.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 23, 2014, 22:48 GMT)

@Inca_Hoots on (February 22, 2014, 22:46 GMT), it's a bit silly to compare Compton to Carberry in that fashion. Carberry's first run in the team consisted of one Test, so Compton had a better run than Carberry. Carberry's second run has been a single series in which he was one of the better-performed batsmen but he's still had fewer games than Compton did. Exactly what game-by-game stress are you referring to regarding Compton? He was selected, he played for a while and then he was dropped. Conjecture about his dropping before it happened was by the media and fans, which is nothing to do with the selectors. As for Root, he's a different kettle of fish. He's much younger than both Compton and Carberry for a start, plus he really showed something when batting in the middle order. The selectors thought that could translate to up the order but, for now at least, they were wrong. Let's not forget that Root actually was dropped during the Ashes and his average is 5 better than Compton's.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

Is that because one of them is South African and the other is Australian ?

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 23, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

@ygkd: Yes, I see a McDermott in the U19 Squad and a Healy in the women's team. Is that what you're referring to? :) What you claim is usually an issue in Indian life, particularly politics and cinema. Fortunately, not so much in cricket.

Regards Compton, missing the Ashes tour may have been the best possible scenario for him. Like they say, sometimes you look better by not playing. Certainly, his stocks will have risen.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (February 23, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

I am not sure if Compton was as intense and obstructive as has been claimed but if he does get another run, he should try to enjoy himself more!

Posted by   on (February 23, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

inca_hoots. Carberry has only had 1 tour, hardly an extended run. I like Compton but I think he is now behind Moeen Ali, James Taylor and Sam Robson, a very heavy season for Somerset could see him move back up but I don't think it will be this year. I would like to see Moeen opening and Taylor and Onions included as well.

Posted by ygkd on (February 23, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

Yes, Compton was treated harshly. Doesn't happen Down Under - we are far better at treating the young sons and grandsons of former players to an endless red carpet called AIS, U19s and U23s. Different sides of the same coin really - players need to be looked at equally, no matter who they're related to, or not, as the case may be.

Posted by Inca_Hoots on (February 22, 2014, 22:46 GMT)

Look at the extended runs that Carberry and Root have had compared to the game-by-game stress that Compton has lived by. You need to ask if a place in the current England team is based on ability and character rather than "fitting in" with Alastair Cook's team ethos. I'm not insinuating that Compton is like KP, but maybe he just didn't fit the mould, and maybe he's not even aware what the mould is supposed to look like! Like KP Compton will never play for England again, and that's a mighty loss to the game. A very ironic situation given the character of his grandfather! I agree with StJohn... With the sacking of KP, my support for England has waned. For the first time ever, part of me wants to see them hammered by India this summer. I know I'm not alone.......

Posted by   on (February 22, 2014, 22:30 GMT)

Nice interview. nick seems like a top chap and i felt should have never left the team. so long as he is playing for Somerset though we are the winners. best of luck to you though nick you deserve another shot.

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