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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Interview > Chris Cairns

February 17, 2003

Chris Cairns is one of the two finest all-rounders in the world today -- Jacques Kallis being the other.

Ashish Magotra caught up with the Kiwi star in Johannesburg.

In the last few matches you have been playing mainly as a batsman, while you have been an all-rounder throughout your career. How difficult is it for you to make the adjustment?

It is hard for me because I always like to be in the game with my bowling. It is a bit frustrating, but that's the way it is. I am not one to dwell on what I don't have. I would like to dwell on what I do have -- and that's my batting.

Have you ever wanted to captain New Zealand?

The vice-captaincy was bestowed on me. Everybody has an ambition to captain their country. But we have a great captain in Stephen Fleming. If he is ever injured or not available, I am ready to step up. But, like I said, it is bestowed upon you and until the time comes you have to wait.

You are one of the world's great all-rounders, but you have also suffered from so many injuries. Do you think you have under-performed as a result?

I suppose so. I have not had the amount of matches to build up big statistics, but again that's the way it is. I can't change that. Some people are gifted, they go through careers without many injuries.

Someone like Kapil Dev for example, or even Sir Richard Hadlee. I have had a lot of injuries, but that's the way my body is. It hasn't stopped me because I love cricket. I will continue to bounce back every time I am down.

Have you set yourself any personal goals during the World Cup?

Yes, I have. But for the moment I prefer to keep them private. There are team goals as well and they are the most important.

New Zealand have improved over a period of time. What do you attribute the fact to?

We have a good system, a good academy so the young guys are coming through there. It is important to have a good breeding ground for the young guys. I think that has contributed to our success. We have more good players coming through the ranks. Also, the fact that they now have players to look up to, players to learn from.

When you look back at your career, how do you want people to remember you?

As someone who always liked to entertain and play good aggressive cricket. That's what I have always enjoyed doing. That's what I like watching. That's how I like playing. That is how I want to be remembered.

Do you believe sledging adds colour to the game?

Oh yes! As long as it is within the confines of the game. I'll have a word if I think it will help me get a wicket. I think it's part of the game and people simply make an issue of it. Look, it's international sport, there is a lot at stake. Tempers are gonna fray so it's a situation where as long as it is within the rules and confines of the game, I think it is okay.

During the first few matches of this World Cup we have seen that spinners have had a bigger part to play than was earlier imagined. Do you expect this to continue?

Definitely. The wickets are a bit slower than we anticipated. Spinners will play a part, but it has to be a quality spinner. Most teams have at least one quality spinner so I do think they will continue to play a part.

And what about bowlers like Chris Harris, who give you nothing to play with, no pace, no space...

I think this World Cup either good fast bowling or quality spinners will do the trick. Dibbly dobbly bowlers, not so much.

Do you see this as being your last World Cup?

Yes, maybe. I am not thinking beyond it. Right now, I am just concentrating on playing. I am enjoying my time with the Black Caps, not setting any goals that I want to end with. I will keep going for as long as I can.

When you look at your game as a batsman and bowler, have you sometimes wished you were only a batsman?

I get bored if I am not bowling. I love doing both and I can't imagine myself not doing one in the game. I love the game. I love running around in the field, throwing the ball in, coming into bat and walking into bowl. I just love to be involved with the game.

Was the loss to Sri Lanka in the first game a surprise?

Yes, it was. It was tough. Obviously with the Kenya situation we have to get as many points as we can. Every game is our final now. We have to win every game. There is just no other option but to fight. We were desperate to win against the South Africans. When we get into a situation like that with our backs to the wall, we fought and gave it our best shot.


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