Even at 28 and do­ing well I never thought of wear­ing the Baggy Green

The Cricket Paper - - VIEWS & FEATURE - Chris Rogers Former Aus­tralia, Der­byshire, Mid­dle­sex and Somerset bats­man

Iwas 18 at the time I came over to the UK to play club cricket, I’d done a year study­ing com­merce at univer­sity and didn’t par­tic­u­larly love it.

I didn’t re­ally have any idea of what I wanted to do in life, and Paul Terry, the former Test player for Eng­land, was play­ing in Mel­bourne.

He was my coach at the time and he got con­tacted by Brian Palmer from North Devon CC, so I trav­elled over with Dim­itri Mas­caren­has.

I got picked up at the air­port by our vice-cap­tain, our fast bowler – 44 and four stone over­weight. I didn’t re­ally know what I was let­ting my­self in for! But it was great. David Shep­herd was at the club and it’s just the most pic­turesque ground I’ve ever played at, right on the coast.

It wasn’t un­til I was 23 that I re­ally thought I was go­ing to play pro­fes­sion­ally when I got a con­tract at West­ern Aus­tralia.

But Aus­tralia were so good that I never re­ally thought I was go­ing to play for them, even when I was 26, 27, 28 and do­ing re­ally well. There was al­ways one per­son in front of me whether it was Phil Jaques, Si­mon Katich, Phil Hughes or Ed Cowan.

Then, all of a sud­den, when I was 29, the side started to break up and there were spots be­com­ing avail­able.

I made my de­but against In­dia and we had this meet­ing and I didn’t know what the hell was go­ing on! I was just sit­ting there think­ing:“Is this for real, am I ac­tu­ally play­ing?” I re­mem­ber two days be­fore, An­drew Sy­monds showed off his new tat­too of his Aus­tralia num­ber, but he’d got it wrong and had to get it fixed!

I had trou­ble with my baggy green, it was too tight so I had to stick it with a pair of scis­sors, so the one I’ve got now is my sec­ond!

It was tough ini­tially in the 2013 Ashes with the com­ments from past play­ers. I was start­ing to struggle and then had the good in­nings in Manch­ester; I got 84 and played re­ally well. That gave me con­fi­dence and I re­mem­ber go­ing to Durham and it looked like a green wicket but I played re­ally well to get a hun­dred and was pretty proud of that.

We were very ner­vous go­ing into the re­turn series, but peo­ple be­lieved and thought that Eng­land weren’t that far ahead of us and that we could get past them. I never thought we could beat them 5-0.

The mo­ment re­ally was when we got Jonathan Trott out in the first in­nings on the stroke of lunch. All of a sud­den you felt like “ac­tu­ally, what we’re do­ing is work­ing”. We felt the sledg­ing was a bit off, so we wanted to get some pay­back – we were quite in­spired I think.

Win­ning in South Africa was pretty spe­cial in 2014, be­cause they were the best at the time. I got a hun­dred in the sec­ond Test where we lost but apart from that I didn’t do a lot. But to win the last Test on the last ses­sion of the last day, and Ryan Har­ris be­ing the hero was an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence to be a part of. That’s my No.1 – that was amaz­ing.

The Eng­land series was good in 2015, al­though it was a sad time as well for me.

The first Test was a good way to start, got me off in the right foot, Lord’s was harder than any­where in the world to bat in the first in­nings but pos­si­bly the best place in the world to bat sec­ond time around. I like to bat there, it’s a skill in it­self and

that 170, was prob­a­bly the high­light of my ca­reer. Af­ter fin­ish­ing my ca­reer with Somerset, I’ll head back to Aus­tralia now, do bit of commentary back home, some me­dia, I’ll prob­a­bly try and get into coach­ing. We’ll wait and see.

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