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'I enjoy the physical side of the game'

"I do love physical side of the game and the preparation involved" Getty Images

What is a must-do for someone who visits Ulverstone, your hometown?
Not much (laughs). To paint a picture for you, Ulverstone is a small, little town. Not really a lot there.

Do you like going back there?
It's nice, yeah. It's nice to go back and catch up with friends and family.

What do you miss most about your days as a bricklayer?
I don't think I miss it, that's for sure. It's pretty hard work, but it is something that put me in good stead. The hard work involved with that sort of job set me up pretty well and showed me the real world out there, and you know that you have got to work hard.

Was moving from Ulverstone to Hobart for cricket a difficult thing to do?
I was fortunate enough to have my cousin living down at Hobart at that time, so I moved in with him for a while and he showed me around and looked after me there. It was good to have his support.

Ninety-nine Test wickets is an interesting number. When you look back at your career, do you think about missing out on that one wicket?
Ah, not really. I am just quite grateful that I have been given the opportunity to represent my country, and probably I have been fortunate enough to be able to take 99 wickets more than most other people.

"The hard work involved with being a bricklayer set me up pretty well and showed me the real world out there"

How did you come to be a fast bowler?
I guess from a young age I was always able to swing the ball. But it wasn't until I was in my early 20s, when I actually started to generate a little bit more pace, that it made the swinging ball a little bit more effective for me. As your body matures, you bowl quicker and have an understanding of how to swing it later, how to swing it out of the hand and all these sort of things. I guess with experience you gain that knowledge.

Who were the swing bowlers you grew up admiring?
I always admired Glenn McGrath and how he went about his cricket - just his immaculate line and length, even though he wasn't really a swinger of the ball. I tried to take away from him that it's about being patient and in control and putting the ball in good areas for long periods of time.

If you could go back in time and get one of the best swing bowlers to coach you, who would you pick?
(Thinks for a while) I don't know. I have been quite fortunate along my journey that I have had some pretty good coaches who have helped me. I don't think I would change anything, to be honest.

Are you the superstitious kind?
Not at all (chuckles).

Who is the most superstitious of your mates?
I wouldn't say people are superstitious. They just have some habits, I reckon. I found Michael Hussey quite funny. He has to have his bats lined up exactly the right way and facing the right way, and it always used to be a bit of fun turning his bats around. Coming back five minutes later, he would have them turned back around again.

Brett Geeves, your former team-mate, said you once showed up for training after a full day on the bricks and ran six kilometres in 22 minutes. He reckons you were capable of pursuing an Olympic career.
I think he is making a little bit of that up (chuckles). I do enjoy the physical side of the game and the preparation involved. I guess it is something that I have always thrived on and really enjoyed.

He also said that the more you drank, the better you got at the game. Is that true?
Sounds like you are talking too much to Brett Geeves at the moment (laughs).

We all like a bit of fun, don't we? And a bit of downtime. That's what it is, really.

What other sports have you been good at?
I wouldn't say I am good at them, but I do like participating. I do enjoy a game of golf, and used to enjoy Aussie Rules [Football] back in the day. As a kid, just gave every sport a bit of a crack.

Do you still do sudokus when your team is batting?
Ah, you have talked way too much to Brett Geeves (laughs). Again, it's a bit of downtime and I enjoy that sort of stuff.

If a movie was made about you, which actor would you pick to play you?
I am not sure. Who would you pick?

I would pick you…
Exactly.

…But you would require a lot of training.
(laughs) Yeah, I will do the training and play it myself. Why not?

"I haven't copped a lot of sledges. I am just never out there long enough"

In the recent game against Hobart Hurricanes, you bowled two peaches and then bowled a full toss to Kumar Sangakkara, which was called "one of the worst hat-trick balls in the history of cricket".
Ah, it just didn't come out very well, did it? I mean that's the game. You can't always execute your skills exactly how you like. Maybe the moment, maybe I was trying a bit too hard on the ball. Obviously I was pretty thrilled to get off to a pretty good start and it ended up being a good game of cricket. [My mates] bring it up every now and then, but hey, that's just part of the banter and the fun you create within a team environment.

Who takes the piss with you the most?
We all have a few jokes along the way. No one in particular [takes the piss] more than the others, but we definitely give as much as we get, that's for sure.

What's the funniest piece of sledging you have copped?
I haven't copped a lot of sledges. I am just never out there long enough. Being a tailender, I don't actually get exposed to a lot of sledging. That's not part of my game, so I don't really have a lot of stories for you (laughs).

Are you one of those rare Australian cricketers who don't sledge?
Yeah, I don't see a lot of point in it. When I am batting, I am not out there long enough. In the field, I am down at fine leg for most of it. So, you miss that little build-up to it all, and I like it that way. I am happy to listen to everyone else's stories. I think I will leave [the sledging] to the smart people.

Which is the cleanest dressing room - Melbourne Stars, Canterbury, or Delhi Daredevils?
They are all clean at the start, until everyone gets in there and starts training and batting and fielding and throwing their gear everywhere. It's pretty hard to keep it a tidy dressing room.

Are you messy yourself?
No, I am not. I consider myself quite neat and that's why everything is in its little spot and ready to go.

What's the best part of playing in different T20 leagues around the world?
I think it's just a very good learning environment. To sit there and talk about the game with some of the greats and also different players from different countries on how they see and play the game, I think it's good for the game of cricket. And I think the game will just keep evolving because of this.

Who were the best captains you played under?
Just about all the captains I have played under have been quite good. They were all slightly different, which has been good. It's good to get different ideas on how they see the game, the role they want you to play, different fields and how they see different batters' strengths. But if I have to pick the best captain, I think Ricky Ponting was amazing. [He was a] fantastic leader on and off the field.

You are one of the most successful Tasmanian bowlers of all time. Is it something you are particularly proud of?
Tassie is quite a small state, so to have the career that I have had… I am obviously quite honoured and privileged to be given that opportunity. It's obviously nice knowing that you have given the game a little bit and hopefully created a bit more interest in the sport in Tassie.

"To sit there and talk about the game with some of the greats and also different players from different countries on how they see and play the game, I think it's good for the game of cricket"

Are you a good dancer?
Not at all. I have two left feet.

Who among your team-mates do your reckon is a good dancer?
There are a lot of people who think they can dance, but I am not sure they can. That's why we play cricket (laughs). I haven't seen enough of them [Australian team-mates] dance.

Why is Ben Hilfenhaus not on Twitter?
I am just not really into social media. I am on Instagram now. I find that's quite good, just sending photos and stuff up there. I am starting to [get the hang of it]. I am a bit of a novice too, but hopefully my Instagramming can improve.