July 1, 2015

'If you give up hope you should give up playing'

Australian seamer Clint McKay on his cricket and surfing ambitions, James Faulkner's fashion sense, and Rob Quiney's lack thereof

How Clint McKay would react to getting a drink out of David Hussey © Getty Images

Assess your Australia career.
I look back with a lot of fond memories. I think my record is very good. I got very lucky at certain times. I think I did quite well when I had the opportunities.

Are you still hoping for more?
Definitely, you always strive for more. If you give up hope you should give up playing. Even if it's a long shot, it's still something I'm striving for. Every day I'm trying to do the best I can to get back there. There's no better feeling than playing for your country.

You wear the number 27. Why?
It was the only number left and they just gave it to me! There was no choice when I turned up to my first tour, and I've just gone with it ever since.

Whose wicket do you treasure the most?
It'll have to be Sachin Tendulkar in my first game for Australia. He's one of the game's greats of all time.

Who is the best captain you have played under?
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke for Australia, Cameron White and Matthew Wade for Victoria, and Cossy [Mark Cosgrove] at Leicestershire are all pretty similar. I've been very fortunate they're all great skippers and they've made my life easier as a bowler.

Which team-mate would you least like in your pub quiz team?
Johnny Hastings comes across as nice and bright. He tells us he is a qualified school teacher but no one has ever seen the bit of paper.

"Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke for Australia, Cameron White and Matthew Wade for Victoria, and Mark Cosgrove at Leicestershire are all pretty similar. They've made my life easier as a bowler"

Who is the last at the bar to buy a round of drinks?
I've had quite a few of those over the years. Dave Hussey is definitely up there. Moving into the Leicester changing room, Angus Robson.

Who spends the most time in front of the mirror?
James Faulkner. When I play with him in the Big Bash and in the ODIs around the world, he's always getting his salad done and having a new haircut before every game.

Who has the worst dress sense?
Dave Hussey and Bobby Quiney. Bobby doesn't mind a Puma t-shirt for a circuit night out. He's got one which he's had for the last seven years, which has a six pack printed on the stomach.

Which ground is the best in the world to play at?
I'm very biased but I'm going with the MCG. As a Melbourne boy it doesn't get much better than that. It's a beautiful place to play.

Which crowd have given you the most stick?
Jeez, there's plenty of them. In India you always cop a lashing.

What is the most amusing thing someone has shouted at you?
It's not at me but it was at Dave Hussey. We were playing an ODI in Perth and it was 40 degrees. Someone kept yelling out asking if he was cold. We were all trying to work out what he was on about. Then it emerged he was saying Dave was living in the shadow of his brother.

What is the best ball you've ever bowled?
I bowled a nice one to Josh Cobb at Northants. It started on middle and leg stump and hit the top of off. They don't come around very often.

John Hastings: fast bowler or school teacher? © Getty Images

A catch goes up to win the World Cup final. Who do you want under it?
Not me!

Then who?
I'll go Cameron White. He has got very safe hands.

If you had to bowl an over at one stump, how many times would you hit?
I'd like to say six, being a professional cricketer. When the pressure's on, I'd hope I hit four.

What's the best thing about playing professional cricket for a living?
The best thing is travelling the world and meeting new people.

And the worst?
Missing out on family stuff back home. I missed my little brother's wedding due to cricket.

What is the funniest thing you have seen happen on a cricket field?
Big Shrecky [Charlie Shreck] is always entertaining. He tripped over three times in my first two games with Leicester, which made us all smile.

Give us a bright young player to look out for.
Angus Robson looks to have a great temperament and he's a fine young cricketer.

If you could be pro in another sport, what would it be?
I'd like to be a professional surfer. The only issue is I'm not very good at it.