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Quick Singles

'I've been called Shirley Temple, Leo Sayer, Coco the Clown'

Ryan Sidebottom on crowd sledging, being a headless chicken, the messiest team-mates, and more

Sexual Chocolate: one of several names Ryan Sidebottom has got used to over the years  •  Getty Images

Sexual Chocolate: one of several names Ryan Sidebottom has got used to over the years  •  Getty Images

There were six years between your first and second Test caps. Do you think you were discarded too soon, or that you played too early?
I think I played too early at first. Then I was brought back a little bit too late, but by that time England had an attack that was very strong and very consistent. To have four and a half years playing as an international cricketer - winning a World Cup (T20) and taking a Test hat-trick - makes me immensely proud.
Was the 2010 World T20 win the highlight?
Probably. It was very special. I think I proved myself wrong in many ways. I've always been a consistent performer but I've achieved more than I ever could dream of. I mean, I was in a team that won a World Cup. That's something that might not happen for another 50 years or so. It's forever etched into the history books. And I won England's Player of the Year award too. They are good memories.
Where is the ball you took your Test hat-trick with?
It's in a room at home with a load of my other bits. As a professional sportsman, you get to go to many places and meet many people. I've got pictures up in the room with Freddie [Andrew Flintoff] and KP [Kevin Pietersen] too. I've met Jude Law and Daniel Radcliffe and got pictures of them.
You retired from international cricket in 2010 but are still doing the business now. Do you regret the decision to call it a day then?
I don't. I went out on my terms. There comes a time when you're told you're not needed or not good enough but I wanted to go out at the right time. It was the right call.
Henry Blofeld repeatedly called you Peter Stringfellow in a Test in 2008. Have you ever had it out with him?
Did he? I didn't know that! I've been called Shirley Temple, Leo Sayer, Coco the Clown. I've had it all when I'm fielding on the boundary.
Who has the best hair in cricket?
Jack Brooks. I've never seen a man have so many combs. I am a bit jealous.
Where do you come on that list?
I'm second.
Which of your coaches had the shortest temper?
Mick Newell at Nottinghamshire used to kick the bin if we'd had a crap day. At the end of one season, after we'd won the title, we bought him a bin as a present.
What have been the best celebrations you have been involved in?
It has to be after the World T20 win. The game started at 2.30pm and it only takes three hours, so we were done pretty sharpish. I don't remember much, except Graeme Swann with a t-shirt round his head singing "We Are The Champions" by Queen.
One of your nicknames is Sexual Chocolate. Explain.
Craig White and Darren Gough came up with it. It's what a band in the film Coming to America were called - they all had dodgy perms - and it's just stuck. They thought they were very funny at the time.
Who has been the toughest batsman to bowl to?
Ricky Ponting was brilliant but it would have to be one of the Indians. To play against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman was a great honour for me.
Who is the worst team-mate you have roomed with in your career?
Liam Plunkett. You don't get a moment's rest. He'll be hiding round corners, keeping you on your toes, and you shouldn't fall asleep with him around.
Who has the worst habits?
I am between Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the Yorkshire dressing room and I've never seen anyone so scruffy and untidy. At the opposite end of the scale, Moin Ashraf is the vainest. He used a lot of cocoa butter.
Tell us about your footballing career.
It was my first love really. I had trials with Sheffield United and Huddersfield and always wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps and play for Manchester United. I played in defence but I only had a left foot and was a bit of a donkey. I'm decent in the Yorkshire warm-ups, though. A few of the lads think they are Lionel Messi - like Adam Lyth and Andrew Gale - but Aaron Finch was horrendous. He used to just hoof it and he thought he was good.
If you could be a professional at any other sport, what would it be?
I'm a huge rugby league fan. They are the ultimate athletes but I don't know if I'd be able to do that. I used to love playing football.
How would you describe yourself?
Dopey, laid-back, a headless chicken, and a good bloke.
You have your own cricket academy. What is the plan with that?
I love cricket and I want to put something back into the game. I want to get youngsters enjoying cricket and getting out and playing it. It's something to concentrate on when I've finished playing. Already I've had a few of the Yorkshire players come in and it's a way to inspire the next generation.