On 30 August 2015, Steve Parkinson answered the clubs SOS call as a stand in opener and hit 80 – his maiden Exiles fifty, helping the club to victory over WICC. The Exiles caught up with Steve to hear his thoughts:
Steve, many congratulations – the runs must have come as somewhat of a surprise?
The call up from the skipper at 9:30am that day was a surprise. The runs in the context of my 3 innings the previous season for the Exiles and 3 other one-off games in the previous 17 years was almost a miracle.
It was certainly difficult batting conditions – what were your thoughts in approaching your batting?
When I took guard for my first ball I was a complete bag of nerves. I’ve never been so nervous batting ever before. At that point my approach was simply not to get out looking silly. Once I settled in a bit, I just went with the old cliché of playing each ball on it’s merits and try not to pre-meditate.
WICC have one good bowler after the other so it was a case of picking up as many runs as possible without doing anything too adventurous, then just before 30 overs Simon and I decided we’d up the tempo with plenty of batting to come.
You’re known more to the Exiles as a bowler, but have had an injury-plagued season – how is the recovery going and did it restrict your batting?
The recovery is going annoyingly slowly. I’m going back to see the orthopedic specialist next month so hopefully I’ll have a better idea of what’s wrong and what it’s going to take to get it sorted out. It didn’t restrict my batting so much, it was more a case of not being able to run between the wickets as quickly as I normally can.
Have you scored many runs in your cricketing career to date – apparently your previous highest ever score was 28?
Yeah, I was always an opening bowler and no. 9, 10, 11 batsman until my final year of high school where the coach saw me in the nets and decided I was solid enough defensively to open the batting. That season I had a terrible habit of seeing off the opening bowlers then getting out to the change bowlers straight away by being too aggressive.
Any shots you particularly enjoyed?
There was a lofted straight drive where I initially thought I’d be caught by deepish mid on, but I was borrowing Terrence’s bat which I found had a nice sweet spot, so the ball kept on travelling past the fielder.
Any batsmen you’ve admired or tried to learn from?
No particular batsman. When I was growing up in the early-mid 90’s we were lucky enough to have the Australian World Series live on free to air tv. I learnt a lot from the channel 9 commentators (Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry, Tony Greig etc). They often talked about “advice for young players” in their commentary which I’d I’d listen to then work on in the backyard with my brother or take to the nets with my mates.
This innings must give you confidence in your batting going forward?
Yeah, a lot of confidence. If only to not be as nervous next time out.
What cricketing targets do you have going forward – would you rather try to establish yourself as a batter, a bowler or a genuine all-rounder?
My dodgy knee might mean I have no option other than become a batsman. I’ve been thinking about ways to re-model my bowling so that it doesn’t put too much stress on my knees but I’ll wait until pre-season nets next year to see what I’m capable of. As far as targets, the club record score while batting with denim shorts is still on my radar!
Steve, many thanks for your time and very well batted. Good luck with your future Exiles cricketing exploits.