May 15, 2017

'As a kid, I was giving throwdowns to Lara, Chanderpaul and Hooper'

Chris Jordan remembers his Barbados days, and rates the England players' football skills

Jordan: yorkers on order © AFP/Getty Images

What song has been running through your head lately?
I have been listening to this Jamaican artist named Jahmile. There is a song called "Things Take Time".

What do you miss most about Barbados?
My family, and the beaches.

Are you in touch with your celebrity schoolmate Rihanna?
Only when I see her, will say hello and catch up. Maybe a couple of years now [since we caught up] when I was in Barbados last time.

Who can claim to be closer friends with her - you or Carlos Brathwaite?
(Laughs) I don't know. You may have to ask Carlos that. I am not sure [if she follows cricket]. She's a very busy girl. I guess ESPNcricinfo can organise an interview with Rihanna and then it would be best to ask her.

Have you been a better singer than her at any point?
I highly, highly doubt it. She's a phenomenal singer, phenomenal performer and a real superstar.

There was a time when you used to give throwdowns to Brian Lara.
Those memories are some of my best. As a kid, I used to go to Kensington Oval to watch all the West Indies guys play, and that's what I wanted to be - a professional cricketer and play international cricket. On more than one occasion I was left behind and had to find my own way home because I was giving Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Carl Hooper throwdowns after the game. They used to allow the kids to come on the outfield and throw a few balls at them. It was a good moment for us.

Do you remember the first autograph you got?
I think it was Courtney Walsh. At the time, guys like Walsh and Curtly Ambrose were very encouraging to kids and stuff. Those were guys you looked up to and wanted to be like someday.

Where do you keep your England cap?
I actually keep all three of my caps - Test, T20I and ODI - in a special place in my home. I am thinking about building something to have some memories regarding those caps.

Who do you think has the best yorker going around the game today?
At the minute, I will have to say [Jasprit] Bumrah.

Chris Jordan (second from right) plays with "good footballer" Liam Plunkett (third from right) and the "no good" Jos Buttler (first from right) © AFP/Getty Images

You don't seem to have a bad yorker yourself. In an ECB video clip, you kept pitching the ball underneath a specially designed gate and nailed the yorker more regularly than James Anderson and Chris Woakes. How does it feel to outgun those two?
At that time you are not really thinking about it. But in practice and stuff, you have to find a way to be competitive and try to replicate game situations. Trying to nail more yorkers than the other person is a way of doing that because you put yourself under pressure and you are trying to execute that. But I don't want to think about it as being better than anyone or anything. We are all one team and striving to be better. The more guys that can be very good at death bowling, the better it is for English cricket.

What's your dream dismissal?
My dream dismissal is always a nick off to the keeper or first slip.

Who would you like to see behind the stumps when you induce an edge?
I'd definitely want to see Jacques Kallis at slip. As a keeper, maybe Matt Prior?

Who is the most naturally talented player you have come across?
I remember growing up there was a kid called Jonathan Carter - he plays for West Indies right now. In school cricket, even in 25-over matches, he used to take all ten wickets and score a hundred. Just a natural talent. He could bowl offspin, bowl seam, keep wicket and play spin and seam bowling really well.

Since you share the same surname, have people asked if you wanted to become like Michael Jordan?
Yeah, a lot of people have asked me that. Actually as a kid, that's one of the world stars you looked up to. I always had his jersey, obviously for my namesake and stuff. But if I get anywhere near his success and achievements as a sportsman and as a sporting character, I will be more than happy. He was a good example to kids, and someone you can aspire to be like.

Which other sports are you good at?
I'd like to say - maybe other people might beg to differ - football, hockey, basketball. I played all these sports as a kid, so I am quite natural at it.

Who's the best footballer in the England team?
I can't look past myself (laughs). I can play all over the field. Moeen Ali fancies himself, and to be fair to him, he does score a lot of goals. But he is a glory hunter. Jos Buttler thinks he is a decent footballer as well, but no good, no good. Liam Plunkett is a good footballer, for sure. Sam Billings fancies himself, but again he's just a show pony.

The football in the England team is actually of very high standard, very competitive, and we play every day. The guys really enjoy it.

Isn't that some good face fuzz? © Getty Images

And the most romantic guy?
[Joe] Rooty plays a little bit of guitar, and I'd say he is very romantic.

Has your name ever been punned in a news headline?
I think I was jumping to take a catch, or during one of my celebrations, I jumped up in the air. The headline [for the photograph] was "Air Jordan" or something, so it was quite cool.

What's your favourite quote?
"You can achieve anything you put your mind to". We are all human beings, we all have aspirations and we are all striving to do better things. Nothing is beyond you, even if the mountain seems so big to climb. Anything you seriously, seriously put your mind to, you can achieve. That's what I believe.

Are you superstitious?
A little bit. I was a lot more when I was younger, for sure. When I started to play a higher level of cricket, a lot of superstitions went through the window. Something as simple as me putting on my socks - I have to put my left sock on before my right, left shoe on before my right - that's as far as they go at the minute.

What's the best part about playing T20 franchise cricket around the world?
You get to experience different cultures and you meet different people from different walks of life. One of the great things about it is, you end up having life friends. Meeting some great human beings and really have some lifetime memories, if you like. I think it's a brilliant thing and that should continue for a long time. Even if you don't end up playing international cricket, franchise cricket and playing in different leagues is a way of experiencing that and fulfilling a different type of dream.

Which is the messiest dressing room from among the different franchise leagues you have been part of?
May have been the [Adelaide] Strikers. But that's the thing: in most dressing rooms, most people's gear is all over the place. Most cricketers will tell you that one of the worst things about cricket is when you have to pack your gear and move on to the next destination. But as messy as it might look for someone from the outside, your own area is not that messy to you because you know exactly where everything is.

Who is the best dancer among your team-mates in county cricket?
I made my debut with Bhajji [Harbhajan Singh] in 2007. He used to like his dancing a little bit. In terms of the Sussex dressing room, I'd say Ajmal Shehzad. Thinks he's got all the moves.

Who do you not want to be sitting next to on a long flight?
I'd probably want to sit next to Moeen Ali, because he's almost guaranteed to have a snooze at some point, so I don't have to do that much talking and I can have a snooze as well. Who I don't want to be sitting next to? That's a tough one. Maybe Adil Rashid. No Mr Nice Lad. He'll hate me for saying that.

Who has the best beard - Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid or Ben Stokes?
Mo has a strong beard.

How do you rate yours?
Is this a beard? (laughs)

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on May 18, 2017, 15:28 GMT

    Interesting about Jonathan Carter (who has never played a test). But yes, the question about England is missing. Maybe he did not want to talk about it. It seems to me it just happened without a plan - he got an opportunity to further his career in England so he took it, and then you have to declare for England to play for a county, and then you get picked for England. If you decline because you are loyal to your birthplace, you lose you job because you are no longer qualified to play for your county.

  • Adam on May 17, 2017, 15:37 GMT

    I saw a clip of the England cricket team playing football on TV not too long ago and Moeen Ali scored a cracker !

  • IFTIKHAR on May 17, 2017, 12:48 GMT would have been well to know why Chris opted to play for England instead of West Indies, but then this chap is so honest it does not matter whom he pkays for! Good luck Chris!

  • Pranay on May 17, 2017, 6:14 GMT

    His description of Jonathan Carter reminded me of Pradeep Mathew, what a legend!

  • Izmi on May 17, 2017, 2:42 GMT

    The interviewer has failed to ask one important question from Chris Jordan why he abandoned his country of birth the West Indies to play for England? Is it the money' lifestyle or was he bribed? However Jordan hasn't been much of a success for England and should have been a regular member of the West Indies cricket team.

  • DHEERA4116508 on May 17, 2017, 2:33 GMT

    great interview and great personality. i had no idea he was with rihana and Jonathan carter when he was young and also he was born and raised in West Indies.

  • Tracey on May 16, 2017, 22:37 GMT

    A very simple guy. Chris you are blessed not to be playing for the West Indies (it may hurt but you are in a better place).

  • Alex on May 16, 2017, 19:26 GMT

    I like Chris Jordan. The thing that strikes me about this interview is, apart from the England anecdotes, the happy mermories of the Caribbean. He plays a bit for England, but he'd walk into the West Indies side in all three formats, and he'd stay there too, if he wanted. Whether he'd be the cricketer he is now I don't know, and maybe he has a future with England. But it's a bit of a shame in one respect, certainly from the WI perspective anyway. Great talent.

  • Mohsin Zunzunia on May 16, 2017, 12:56 GMT

    Great interview. The choice of Prior behind the stumps will raise an eyebrow or two, but the kind of keepers who have succeeded him definitely make Prior look like a Gilchrist!

  • vinbow0191884 on May 16, 2017, 12:07 GMT

    a very good cricketer and a super guy . but then gain he is barbadian. im saying if he wasnt foreign he would still be playing all formats for england. just saying, and again . i know fa sure if he had choose to play for west indies he still wont be playing either. a much better alrounder than holder or carlos and thats gospel. and really what happen to all that talent that carter had. im guessing bad attitude. well not guessing . very poor from too early.

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