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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Mike Hussey Q&A
Thrasy Petropoulos

Q. Despite your 809 runs in seven matches, Northamptonshire have lost six on the trot in the county championship under your captaincy. Does that put you in a difficult position in the dressing room?

Mike Hussey plays the ball through mid-wicket
Hussey has been a prolific scorer for Northants
A. There are mixed feelings, definitely.

I suppose on a personal note there isn't much more that I could have done, but after working so hard to get into the First Division it was bitterly disappointing to go down and generally we have not played anywhere near our potential.


Q. Some will have been surprised that after a Test player in Matthew Hayden, Northants went for someone most people in England would not have heard of before. How were you approached?

A. It all seems such a long time ago now. Matthew was not going to be available for the whole season so the chief executive at Northants, Steve Coverdale, called me up and asked me if I'd be interested in being their overseas player.

I said I'd be delighted to. He made it clear that it would only be for a year because they were hoping to get Matthew back.

Fortunately for me he played so well for Australia that he was needed the following year too.

He offered so much to the side, as player, captain and club member that I can't imagine they would not have wanted him back had he been available.


Hayden has been scoring heavily for Australia in the past 18 months
Matthew Hayden was Hussey's predecessor
Q. And how have you found the captaincy?

A. I'm still pretty inexperienced. I had only captained my club side in Perth, Wanneroo, and been Simon Katich's deputy for Western Australia

The important thing as a captain is to be able to make the distinction between yourself as a batsman and as a leader. So far I've haven't found the transition hard.


Q. You now have 21 first-class hundreds, of which eight have come in 22 games in England, including a best of 329 not out. Is it fair to assume, therefore, that runs are easier to come by in England than in Australia?

A. It is fair to say that to an extent, but you also have to take into consideration that I have played most of my cricket in Australia for Western Australia.

The WACA, in Perth, is typically one of the harder places to score runs whereas Wantage Road, in Northants, is a batting paradise.

Last season the pitches were too good at times, which we're addressing this year by making them more likely to end in results.


Q. Had you played in England before last season?

David Beckham scores from a free-kick
Hussey is a big fan on Manchester United
A. I once played a season in Scotland, of all places, in Paisley, near Glasgow. It was great fun. An eye-opener and a shock to the system weather-wise.

The standard wasn't brilliant and, to be honest, we barely made it onto the field because it rained so much. I had wanted to play as a professional in the Lancashire leagues but had left it too late.


Q. And what about your teaching degree. Have you been able to use that at all?

A. No. it's something that I haven't been able to take forward since playing cricket professionally.

I majored in chemistry and minored in maths, but I have no idea whether I'll take it forward.

I suppose I bring many aspects of my teacher training into captaining and coaching.


Q. And I hear that you're a Manchester United fan. Not another one?

A. Yeah, it hasn't been the best of years for me that way.

My dad was a big United fan and I caught it from him. With the number of Englishmen and Italians in Perth, European football has a big following.

See also:

07 Jul 02 | Cricket
17 Jun 02 | Worcestershire
10 Jun 02 | Warwickshire
31 May 02 | Counties
27 May 02 | Counties
20 May 02 | Cricket
25 Sep 01 | Northamptonshire
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