Snappy Q&As with the players

Rob Key

'If I wasn't a cricketer I would trade in the derivatives market'

Rob Key on his 221 at Lord's, the best thing about Canterbury, and advice he'd give his 18-year-old self

Interview by Jack Wilson

May 2, 2014

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A

Rob Key acknowledges his century, Kent v Lancashire, County Championship, Division Two, Canterbury, 2nd day, September 25, 2013
"Hold the chicken, please" © PA Photos
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Talk us through that 221 against West Indies. What can you remember from that knock?
It was a good day, I enjoyed that. It was one of the better days on a cricket field I had.

Is it true that you snuck out for a cigarette when you were unbeaten at lunch?
(Laughs) No, never. I had to see the Queen!

Describe your England career in one word.
Short.

There's a five-a-side football competition featuring all 18 counties. Who do you pick in your Kent team?
Can I have myself five times?

No.
Okay, I'll have me, Sam Northeast, Ben Harmison, Adam Ball and Sam Billings then.

Who wouldn't be near it?
Mark Davies.

And who's captain?
Myself.

What's the worst thing about captaincy?
Having to go to long media days.

You wear No. 4. Why?
It was the squad number I was given. If I'd thought more about it, I would have had 23 like Michael Jordan and Shane Warne.

What is the best thing about playing cricket at Canterbury?
There's a Sainsbury's at the ground.

If you could go back and give an 18-year-old Rob Key some advice, what would it be?
Don't eat biscuits.

There's some downtime in the Sky commentary box. Who do you least want to be around?
No one, they're all good value. I enjoy Charles Colville and Ian Ward's company the most.

What would you call a book about your life?
I've no idea. It's not finished yet!

Describe yourself in three words.
Very, very realistic.

What would you be if you weren't a pro cricketer?
Trade in the derivatives market.

Who is the most naturally gifted cricketer you've played with?
Matthew Walker.

You have three first-class wickets. Who are they?
Peter Trego, who should have played for England, Ben Phillips, who should have played for England, and David Willey, who is going to play for England.

What do you order at Nandos?
It's quite expensive now. I've spent ages trying to get the black card. For years I had chicken with no chips but now I'd probably have chips and less chicken.

If you needed one batsman to keep out six balls to save a game, who would you have?
Adam Riley.

Rob Key was speaking at a NatWest T20 Blast event. Tickets can be purchased from www.ecb.co.uk/natwestt20blast

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Barsac on (May 2, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

Far too much of a wit and an individual to be part of the England set up. Very unlucky to have missed the Ashes series in '05. if England had shown as much faith in Key as they did in Bell he would have played plenty more tests than he did.

Posted by   on (May 2, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

problem with Key was he never moved his feet so he needed the early chance he gave to go down. Chris Gayle dropped a sitter(ish) at slip early in his 221 but the big teams took those chances and thats why he didn't get a long career

Posted by george204 on (May 2, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

Yes, Rob's test career was short, and England is poorer for it. He shouldn't have been discarded after the 04/5 South Africa series, and was probably more ready for an Ashes series than Bell proved to be (though Bell obviously came good a year or so later).

Posted by steve48 on (May 2, 2014, 8:51 GMT)

Loved this, Key is by all accounts a great guy, and perhaps the original victim of the ' one size fits all' fitness and seriousness policy. Would have loved him to have captained England, sort of guy I would want to play for. Remember someone's autobiography, Hussain's or Vaughan's I think, where he was batting with them, and they asked if he had faced a particular bowler before, to which he said yes. On asked his opinion of said bowler, he replied " don't really know, he bowled me first ball!" This was in a test match! Legend.

Posted by   on (May 2, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

This guy is hilarious. What a top lad. The pride of Kent !

Posted by Nutcutlet on (May 2, 2014, 6:56 GMT)

If Rob were Chinese, he'd avoid #4 at all costs; it's just the worst number choice! He'd choose #8, or better, #88. And #888 would be splendidly auspicious! (For those who don't know what lies behind this numbers thing in Chinese cuture, you know where to find out.) Fun interview, great guy from what I've seen of him in chat.

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