Chatfield shares his experience
Top cricketer tells his playing secrets to Dannevirke High School 1st XI players
He only ever bowled one bouncer and he only ever bowled one over around-the-wicket (to Alan Border) in test cricket.
These were two pieces of information volunteered by Ewen Chatfield when answering questions from the Dannevirke High School 1st XI players between innings during the clash with Dannevirke Old Boys on Sunday February 11.
High School players had been asked by Coach Bruce HooperSmith to prepare one question for Ewen.
He was asked how he coped with a batsman who was getting on top of the bowling and he replied that although he was renowned for putting the ball onthe-spot over after over he had to introduce variety — the slower ball, yorker, varying the angle of delivery from the crease and setting a field for a particular type of delivery.
“Pretty much like they do in Twenty20 cricket today,” he added.
Asked about Twenty20 cricket he says he really enjoys watching the game and even finds Onedayers a bit boring these days. He said it has saved cricket, fitting into the busy life of spectators by taking onlythree or four hours to play.
Ewen did not know how he would have coped in Twenty20 or whether he would have earned an IPL contract. He thinks the demands of playing professional cricket in leagues like IPL and Big Bash is a lot different from his amateur days.
Asked about his biggest obstacle in cricket he replied it was recovering from being hit on the head and knocked out in his first test for New Zealand (in the days before helmets) in 1974/75. The English physio saved his life as he had swallowed his tongue. It was 12 months of no cricket before he could return to the game.
Asked about the favourite countries he liked to tour he said he preferred England and Australia because conditions were the same as New Zealand but each of the others — India, West Indies and Sri Lanka had its attractions. He never wanted to tour Pakistan again after his first experience.
Concerning his batting he confessed to hitting only two sixes in representative cricket — against David O’Sullivan at the Basin Reserve and Stephen Bock at Lancaster Park but says one of the two highlights of his career was batting as last batsman with Jeremy Coney to put on the final 50 runs to beat Pakistan to take the series at Wellington 1984/85 finishing 21 not out.
His other proudest match was when he took 10 wickets to help New Zealand beat the West Indies in Trinidad.
As to who was the best test batsman, he said all teams had their stars, reeling off names like Gregg Chappel, Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Javed Miandad, Allan Lamb.
Asked why he has returned to cricket after a decade’s layoff he says he doesn’t like golf, bowls is too slow and the opportunities to play against old foes in age-grade cricket like the Over-60s is great fun.
His advice to young cricketers was “to always treat a practice as a match” picturing the field and batting balls between imaginary fielders and bowling to suit their placement. Practices should be fun and involve well-trialled drills which are quick and enjoyable, especially with fielding.
Having started playing cricket as a third former at Dannevirke High School, he felt his career should inspire the players of today who have more opportunities to progress into a career.
EWEN Chatfield talks to the Dannevirke High School 1st XI between innings on Sunday February 11.