June 3, 2017

'The first name in a T20 world XI has got to be de Villiers'

Tim Bresnan talks career highlights, party tricks, and prankster team-mates

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How would you describe your England career?
In a word, brilliant. I'm disappointed it was cut short, but having said that, I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm fortunate to have played in an era when the side were very successful. I won the T20 World Cup, we were No. 1 in the world in Test cricket, and at one point we were the top-ranked 50-over side too, despite not winning a World Cup. To have played a part in that makes me immensely proud.

You are one of the rare sportsmen in England to have won a World Cup. Where is your medal?
Erm… (laughs) I haven't a clue! It's one of those material things, anyway, isn't it? The fact I've done it will stay with me for life. It's not like it's a gold medal, is it? It's just a bit of tin round a thing of ribbon! It'll be somewhere in my house, I'm sure.

How were the celebrations after that?
Massive. It was a free bar at Harbour Lights in Barbados after the game. Well, I say it was free, I'm not sure if it was. Put it this way, no one ever had to buy a drink while we were there.

Was that your career high - the T20 World Cup?
It's between two. That, or the Ashes win in Australia in 2011. That was special too.

Which batsman in world cricket is hardest to bowl to?
There's been a few over time. The hardest ones to bowl to are those who could deposit you in the stands whenever they want. I'd have to go with AB de Villiers or Brendon McCullum. They're so aggressive and they've got all the shots. You're running in and thinking, "Where am I going to bowl?" They're guys who put pressure on you as a bowler.

Who is the best captain you have played under?
Andrew Strauss or Andrew Gale. Strauss was quite calm, collected and methodical, and never got flustered. Galey was similar in that regard, but both have had the luxury of captaining teams with strong bowling attacks, which makes life easier. If you have experienced bowlers, who know how they want their own field, then that helps.

What is the best ball you have ever bowled?
The best ones normally don't take wickets, but it's between two. I bowled Tamim Iqbal in 2010 with one from round the wicket that straightened and clipped his off stump. That was nice. Then there was one to Rahul Dravid in 2011, at Edgbaston, when I came wide of the crease, pitched it on middle and it hit the top of off. Given how difficult it is to get Rahul Dravid out, that was special.

You are named selector for a T20 world XI. Who would be first on the team sheet?
I'm going for AB de Villiers. He can go in in any situation and can score at a big strike rate, 360 degrees of the wicket. He could keep too, so it'd balance the side out.

What is best thing about playing cricket for a living?
When you win big series, Championships or World Cups.

And the worst?
Being stuck in hotels while touring the subcontinent. I loved travelling around, but it's the fact you're confined to your hotel room because of security. It'd be practice, hotel, game, hotel, practice, hotel and it'd go on like that. That was tough.

Which team-mate has the worst dance moves?
Jack Brooks has got no rhythm. You'd see everyone dancing to a song and it's as if he's dancing to a completely different one.

Which team-mate - past or present - is the biggest practical joker?
Anthony McGrath. He was by the far the biggest. The thing is, with him, he'd always plead his innocence. He'd manage to give you ten reasons why it wasn't him and he'd play the victim.

What was his best prank?
Well, once at Yorkshire we had the Yorkshire Snipper. Someone would go round cutting holes in people's socks. I think it was more than one person in the end but he was definitely one - even if he didn't admit it. Sometimes he'd choose his moments well and then others were a bit close to the mark. We'd come off having lost a real nipper of a game we should have won and the coach would be giving us a racket. Then he'd go to pull his socks on and they'd end up to his knees.

If I gave you six balls to aim at one stump, how many times would you hit?
Bowling? I'll go with two out of six.

If you could be a pro at any other sport, what would it be?
I'd like to be a golfer.

What is the funniest thing you have seen happen on a cricket field?
Some of Swanny's fielding exploits have to be up there. He'd chase a ball to the boundary and end up tripping over his own feet. Then there was Alex Lees in a game against Lancashire. He took a catch over his shoulder, while running towards the changing room. He caught the ball close to the rope, threw it backwards and kept on jogging up the stairs to get changed to open the batting.

What's your party trick?
It has to be the disappearing act. I do that anyway. I just leave without saying goodbye to anyone - it takes too long!

Name one thing cricket fans won't know about you.
I'm a qualified master scuba diver.

Give us the name of one young cricketer to look out for.
We've got quite a few coming through at Yorkshire as it is already. I'd have to say Matty Waite, who has got a lot of potential. He's shown he can perform at the level we are at and he could challenge for further honours.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Leon on June 6, 2017, 22:44 GMT

    @GLADIATOR1976 - Here here! Totally agree. Cannot believe people who feel the need to argue with someones own opinion. Especially when that person is FAR more qualified to have that opinion than an armchair expert. Unlikely that SIDDIQIMALI has played against either ABD or CG to have their uninformed opinion.

  • Clifford on June 6, 2017, 19:08 GMT

    Old Bres scored a lot of runs last season for Yarkshire, maybe there's a second career as an all-rounder?

  • Master on June 6, 2017, 18:28 GMT

    The point here is that Tim Bresnan has nominated a guy who is not very good at T20. This is objective its based on facts and you dont need to have won the Ashes to know this. Just type AB DeVilliers into google and have a look at the numbers yourself! Bresnan is a better cricketer than all of us but with this quote he shows he doesnt understand the game any better. `its ironic because Bresnan himself is a very average white ball cricketer and a fine red ball all rounder but from the comments its obvious its not only Bresnan and the selectors who pay no attention to performances in the different codes. Cricket in many ways is still very amateur. Bresnan should have played 60 tests and zero ODIs, and AB will be remembered only as a brilliant 50 over batsman. No one will talk about his reluctant keeping or flaky T20 record.

  • Richard on June 6, 2017, 7:22 GMT

    If a child was discovered going round cutting people's socks, he get a good hiding - quite rightly !!!!!!!!!

  • Robert on June 5, 2017, 21:41 GMT

    Dear me, the nonsense coming out aimed at Bresnan's choice! Look, this is the choice of an ex-international cricketer who has played with and against the best, and he made it for good reasons - the ability of AB to change games and the extra depth he gives the squad as also a possible wicket-keeper. You may have your own particular heroes, but you've never been in the position to know a player's worth on the day that Bresnan has been in. Honestly, such one-eyed presumption!

  • Ali on June 5, 2017, 20:13 GMT

    I figured Dwyane Bravo would be 1st pick...

    His averages with the bat are at the top of the middle order batsmen (please make no comparisons to top order batsmen who bat 1-2-3-4)

    and His bowling, is good enough for him to make the team as just a pure bowler ...

    not to mention his ability in the field, which is a very important and seldomly considered part of 20/20 cricket

  • grant on June 5, 2017, 15:53 GMT

    He said AB. Thats his choice. They did not ask you for a player because you are a nobody in the cricket world. Its his choice. Move on.

  • Sanjay on June 5, 2017, 14:25 GMT

    The sock trick is hilarious, I can visualise it.

  • Tim on June 5, 2017, 12:46 GMT

    Really?! The only comments you can come up with is arguing whether his choice of ABD is right or wrong!!?!??!?!

    I've always had a lot of time for Tim Bresnan and felt his England career was finished way too early.

  • Shane on June 5, 2017, 9:04 GMT

    Yep, AB is a pretty obvious pick.

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