On 7 August 2016, in his 97th Exiles match and 39th innings, Phil Ling finally scored his hundredth run for the Exiles. The Exiles website caught up with Phil to congratulate him on this momentous achievement:
Phil very well batted, you must be delighted with this landmark?
It was certainly one of my main aims when I started my Exiles career
Where does it rank in your lifetime of achievements?
Right up there, especially as I join a band of only 8 other players to have scored more than 100 runs for the club and taken more than 100 wickets
You actually scored 5 runs in this innings, what do you think caused this sudden up-turn in run-scoring volume?
Being allowed to bat
What’s been your favourite innings over the years?
Probably WICC at Nursery Road last year, they don’t have rubbish bowlers and managed to get a good bat. In fact I’ve scored more runs against WICC than any other club, although this may be because they’ve become so good I normally get an innings.
Although you’ve obviously dominated most bowlers, are there any you’ve felt might occasionally trouble you?
I hate depth charge like all true Exiles batsmen. In the nets I’ve found Phil Chamberlain a difficult person to bat against, he bowls a great length swings it away, and has one that comes back.
A lot of Exiles batsmen have recently been involved in run-outs with you – do you put this down to their non-understanding of the intelligence required to bat at your level?
What are you trying to say about Terence?!
What is your favourite shot?
Growing up it was the cut shot, but I think at present it’s the leave.
Do you now consider yourself established amongst the elite of Exiles batting with the likes of Jon Taylor?
I never got to play with Jon Taylor, even though he introduced me to the club. I think our batting and bowling are inversely proportional to each other. Although our throwing abilities are apparently very similar.
With the likes of Hales, Balance and Vince currently struggling, I bet England would love to be able to call on a player with your repertoire of shots. Would you be available if the call came?
Alastair Cook only has 4 shots (cut, nudge drive, clip off legs and swivel pull), hasn’t done him any harm!
Bradman, Sobers, Lara, Tendulkar, Ling. Has a nice ring to it. Do you think the others consider themselves worthy of being on such a list?
I’m always happy to endorse any cricket computer game.
The Phil Ling Masterclass seems to have become a more frequent topic of conversation post match – is this a deliberate attempt to pass on your knowledge to assist your teammates to match your ambition?
I believe since the masterclasses have started we’ve had record innings, scores and partnerships. Like a doting father, seeing his child succeed, I live my batting through teammates.
Any tips for youngsters out there, looking to find their way in the game as a batsman?
Take your time to build an innings. Even in T20.
You’ve also taken 112 wickets for the club. Do you consider your bowling to just be a sideshow to your batting, or do you have genuine hopes of being an all-rounder?
I’ve opened the batting at school so I have no qualms with taking on more responsibility.
Now you’ve scored a hundred runs for the club, what possible future batting achievements are there for you to aim for ahead?
Well even Glenn McGrath scored a career 50 despite an average of 7.75 (first class)…
Phil very well batted. I’m sure all Exiles members in attendance on the day will always remember that moment. Here’s to another hundred runs over the next decade.