Snappy Q&As with the players

Sam Robson

'I'm fun, friendly and easy-going'

England hopeful Sam Robson talks about being an Australian in England, being compared to Athers, and more

Interview by Jack Wilson

March 20, 2014

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Sam Robson fell just after tea, Middlesex v Surrey, County Championship, Division One, Lord's, 2nd day, May, 3, 2013
"I love playing at home but India has to be one of my favourite places" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Sam Robson
Teams: England | Middlesex

You have been tipped for an England call-up this summer. How do you feel when you hear that?
It's good when people say nice things about you but I haven't played much attention to the call-up talk. My focus is just to score runs for Middlesex and that's my sole aim. There may well be a number of guys ahead of me at the moment, so I don't get too bothered about it.

A few years ago you were a leggie who batted at No. 8. What happened?
I was always a batter in my own age group, but for a couple of years - when I was 15, 16 or 17 - my leggies took over when I playing with the men. It is a little bit of a myth that people have played on a little bit as in my own age group I've always been a batter.

Do you enjoy bowling?
I love it in the nets. I'm always keen to bowl a few dodgy leggies but I don't get called upon too often in games. I bowl too many fullies and rank half-trackers.

When the big decision came, you chose England - not Australia. Tell us why.
I'm in my seventh year in England and I love playing cricket here. I got an opportunity and it's where I have played all of my professional cricket. I live here, this is where I'm settled, and this is where I enjoy being. It all happened pretty quickly. I came over to England to play as much cricket as I can and that's still my thing. I didn't really think too much about it, because I love living in London.

What is the best thing about London?
That I can jump on a tube from where I live and within ten minutes I can be in one of the best cities in the world.

In seven games for the England sides over the winter, you scored five centuries. Did that return exceed even your own ambitions?
Yes and no. I try to go out and play, and as a batsman you just have to be confident and do the right things in training. It's just about watching the ball and doing your best and thankfully things went well. I don't set big goals. Look, it was pleasing, but I haven't given it too much thought.

You have been likened to Michael Atherton. Discuss.
I don't really think too much about that. If I could do anything like he ever did, it'd be outstanding. But I just try and play my way and score as many runs as I can for Middlesex.

A fair share of your time at the crease has been spent with Chris Rogers. What have you learned from him?
To be well-organised, determined and hungry to do well every time you come to the middle.

You have lived in London and Sydney. Where is better for a night out?
London, definitely.

How old were you when you struck your first century?
I was 13 and it was for the local club side back in Australia. I think it was a 30- or 40-over match.

What is the single best thing about the Lord's food?
The steak and chips with a beer after a win, early on the third or fourth day.

Which of your team-mates fills his plate the highest?
Tim Murtagh. He tries to eat as much as he can, whenever he can.

If Middlesex did an IQ test, who would come out on top?
James Harris.

And who would be at the bottom?
Ollie Rayner.

Describe yourself in three words.
Fun, friendly and easy-going.

Which of your team-mates has the worst taste in music?
Gareth Berg. He listens to grunge.

Who spends the most time in front of the mirror?
Steven Finn.

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Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

Salazaar555 - Have you read what you have just written? Atherton wasn't very good because he got out to Donald and McGrath a lot??? Possibly the (unwittingly) funniest comment of all time!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 22:50 GMT)

These rules on limiting players to where they are born are legally unenforceable, players would sue due to restriction of their trade.

You have to let players represent which ever nation they feel attached to and accept that there will be some level of mercenary conduct. After all not all international contracts are equal, Chris Gayle will earn a fraction of what Shane Watson will from international cricket.

Posted by salazar555 on (March 21, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

I hope he's better the Atherton! Atherton was actually a poor opener playing in a time when England were at their worst. I lost count of the times Donald and McGrath got rid of him for next to nothing

England need something because they absolutely stink at the moment.

Posted by Matt.au on (March 21, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

@Jimmy Breen You said "Should he be forced to pay a development fee for being a turncoat? Maybe :)"

That is an interesting question. Perhaps it should be "Should England be forced to pay a transfer fee?"

I think the player needn't pay but a 'poaching country' should pay - lets call it a transfer fee. If it was set @ US20,000 that is afternoon tea money for a body like the ECB.

Keeping the transfer fee reasonably low means the ECB wouldn't baulk at it.

If the junior clubs of transferred players were to recieve the transfer money, and they should, it would mean the world to them. Peanuts for the ECB, club changing for the junior club.

Posted by shillingsworth on (March 21, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

@Jimmy Breen - Even if your idea is legally unenforceable, which I would guess it isn't, it doesn't necessarily solve the problem - any country's board could easily pay the fee on the player's behalf. To me, the solution lies in re-writing the ICC regulations so that any player who represents a country at u19 level is ineligible to represent any other country.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 23:17 GMT)

@Ben Bradley - How about you look at it this way: The Australian system has put quite a bit of time and money into growing the talent of local juniors and players of every sport (just as any other country has). Some have estimated that players consume over $10,000 of funding in their developmental years coming through the ranks. The only reward at the end of the day is improving the quality of Australian players when they reach the international level. So should Sam be forced to play for Australia if he doesn't want to? No. Should he be forced to pay a development fee for being a turncoat? Maybe :)

Posted by UndertheGrill on (March 20, 2014, 23:02 GMT)

I hope England pick him regardless of any actual ability, as it'd be worth it just to read all the apoplectic reaction on the message boards from everyone who still seems to think that migration is a dirty word.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 22:32 GMT)

The great Alan Mullaly and Darren Pattinson would be proud.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

If you score your first century for a Sydney club side at 13 maybe you shouldn't be playing for England?

Posted by skilebow on (March 20, 2014, 20:52 GMT)

As someone born with parents of different nationalities I get annoyed by this. It is completely possible to feel as though u come from both. Get over it

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