By Alex Watson
What would you say are your main responsibilities as cricket captain?
For me, the priorities are ensuring that everyone is always on the same page, and shares a similar understanding of how the team is setup, and additionally I like to check that people are always switched on and that the team’s intensity is good. I would also like to stress importance of getting to training on time, something I regularly tell the boys, though some of them still don’t listen!
What do you enjoy most about being captain?
I would say I enjoy the responsibility of helping people, and I also enjoy being able to make the crucial decisions in the pressure moments; having that control aspect.
Having been a captain of the First XI before, what are some of the most challenging situations you’ve faced while leading the side?
To be honest, I would say that the most challenging times are quite simply when an opposition batsman is just battering your bowling attack. You’ve run out of options, you’re getting played off the park, and it can be extremely difficult knowing what you should do in these difficult times.
What has been your proudest cricketing moment during your time at Hampton?
Without a doubt I would say my proudest moment was representing the First XI against RGS Guildford in just my third year at Hampton. This is a chance few are able to have, playing with such a top-quality bunch of cricketers at such a young age and I really think I learned a lot from it.
What would be your message for an aspiring cricketer in the low years of the school?
First and foremost, just enjoy your time everywhere. I know it’s cliche, but it’s just so important to have fun whenever you’re playing so later on you can look back at your experiences with pride and happiness. Taking your opportunities is another very important thing to do if you want to maximise your potential and the enjoyment you experience playing Hampton Cricket. On a more competitive front, I would say you have to go into every game wanting to win. For me, having this mindset has been crucial as I really do think as it has turned certain games or performances in my favour when I am utterly motivated to win and do well.
Cricket is a very mentally challenging sport, especially if you are playing at a high level. How have you dealt with the mental aspect of things during your time at Hampton?
Cricket is a very psychologically tough game, and if you are in a bit of a rut or in bad shape the best thing to do is to talk to someone else. Personally, I would advise the likes of Mr Banerjee and Mr Parrish if you are feeling under a lot of pressure whilst playing, particularly in a batting perspective. Teammates are also very useful to talk to as they can provide you with lots of different insights.
Okay, finally, are you a batsman or a bowler? Can you tell us a bit about your best moment with the bat or ball?
So, I am a bowler. I would have to say that my best moment game on a tour to Mumbai, where I took three wickets in my opening spell against a team containing an Indian under-19 player. That was very special for me. Unfortunately, the Indian under-19 did go on to score a hundred, but you can’t do everything! He was a top class player.