1ON1: AARON FINCH

THE MAN RATED AS ONE OF THE BEST LIM­ITED-OVERS PLAY­ERS IN THE BUSI­NESS TALKS ABOUT HIS ROLE AS AN OPENER MEN­TOR­ING THE YOUNG BLOKES, AND HOW HE FEELS ABOUT THOSE WHO SAY T20 IS HURT­ING TEST CRICKET.

Inside Sport - - CONTENTS - –An­thony Brand

We've had a huge Aussie sum­mer of cricket so far, Finchy. It must be a busy time of the year for you?

“Ab­so­lutely, it is al­ways a busy time of the year with Shield games, ODI se­ries, the Big Bash and also the Tests. So it is a huge sum­mer of cricket and some­thing that I know all the boys are look­ing for­ward to. And I am no dif­fer­ent.”

Over the years you have es­tab­lished your­self as an ODI and T20 opener. Is it a role you are com­fort­able with?

“Yeah, I love open­ing the bat­ting in the white-ball form of the game. Ob­vi­ously the ball can swing and that presents an op­por­tu­nity to get out early, but it is still the best time to bat, I think. Open­ing the bat­ting nowa­days, you can get out there and take the game on and try and give it a bit of a tap, so that is the part of the game that I love. With the Big Bash, it is an ex­cit­ing time of the year.”

Speak­ing of Big Bash, have you been sur­prised by the ex­po­nen­tial growth of the com­pe­ti­tion?

“It has been extraordin­ary and I don’t think any­one would have pre­dicted how big it has ac­tu­ally got in the first five years. To get 83,000 last year to a do­mes­tic T20 game be­tween the Stars and the Rene­gades was un­be­liev­able. I never thought I would play in a do­mes­tic game where that many peo­ple turned out.

“You see the crowd num­bers right around the coun­try and you see the TV ratings that are go­ing through the roof. It is amaz­ing and the amount of new faces and peo­ple who are com­ing through the gates, women and chil­dren and young fam­i­lies, is won­der­ful.”

The Big Bash al­lows a lot of the greats of the past to play com­pet­i­tive cricket again. How spe­cial is that for you per­son­ally and for the younger play­ers?

“I think it is such an im­por­tant part of play­ers’ de­vel­op­ment to have guys like Mike Hussey and Brad Hogg to learn the game from. Hav­ing guys with so much ex­pe­ri­ence, who are so good at their craft, is won­der­ful and to have them in and around a lot of young tal­ent teach­ing them the game and bounc­ing ideas off is very ben­e­fi­cial. Show­ing guys the ropes in high-pres­sure cricket is extraordin­ary and I don’t think that can be un­der­es­ti­mated.”

As cap­tain of the Mel­bourne Rene­gades, do you thrive on men­tor­ing the young guys?

“I think any time you are a se­nior player or you have the tag of be­ing a leader, it is im­por­tant to make sure you are pass­ing on as much knowl­edge as you can and mak­ing sure that guys who mightn’t have had the amount of ex­po­sure that I’ve been lucky enough to have in my ca­reer, that you get them up to speed as quick as you can. You help them learn their game quicker than if they were left to do it them­selves. I see it as be­ing an im­por­tant role.”

Some see T20 and Big Bash as a blight on Test cricket. What do you make of that view?

“I see that T20 is still get­ting peo­ple in­volved in the game. No mat­ter what the for­mat, peo­ple are com­ing through the gates to watch and I think that’s im­por­tant. It’s num­ber-one to en­ter­tain the crowd and get new fans in­volved in the game. T20 is def­i­nitely do­ing that.

“I think peo­ple who might have tra­di­tion­ally been turned off by Test cricket, just purely be­cause of the length of time the games go for, are get­ting into T20. I think there was a stat that 70 per cent of women who are com­ing to Big Bash games are new to cricket. On the back of that you get their in­ter­est in Test cricket and one-day cricket and I think there is a huge flow on. Not just the fact they are sup­port­ing T20; they are sup­port­ing cricket.”

To­get83,000 last year to a T20 game ... I never thought I would play in a do­mes­tic game where that many peo­ple turned out.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.