Matt Quinn – Essex County Cricket Club
27 Years old
Major teams – Cornwall CC, Auckland U19s, NZ U19s, Auckland Aces, Essex Second XI, Essex.
Having played club cricket early on with Matt when we were both around seventeen and eighteen we became mates and bowling partners, Matt quickly moved through the ranks from school cricket at Sacred Heart College in Auckland to the age group teams for Auckland and then NZ.
After leading the attack for the Auckland Aces for a couple of seasons, he then chose to pursue a potentially more stable and slightly different career of moving to Essex to play for them on his British passport.
He has now played 34 First Class matches taking 120 wickets at an average of 29.65. His best bowling figures for an innings came at the Cheltenham Festival hosted by Gloucestershire in 2016. 7- 76
I asked him a few questions about how he grew to enjoy the game, what he's doing now and how things have played out and whats had an influence on him.
I hope you enjoy,
1.How long have you been playing cricket, and what encouraged you to play at the higher levels growing up?
A. I played my first game at the age of 5, so 22 years now, nothing major encouraged me to play other than just enjoying playing and luckily I got picked for good teams and progressed through the age groups
2. What have you been doing to keep busy recently, obviously the winter in England is pretty cold for a few months, how do you keep busy and fit?
A. Ive had a busy winter with Essex with lots of gym work and bowling and batting indoors. Recently been doing a bit of road and trail running to keep myself a bit fit. Also there’s been plenty of time for a bit of Call of Duty.
3. What are the benefits for you being a county cricketer for Essex?
A. Being part of any successful side has its benefits, most especially being around a group of players who are the best in the country at what they do. Being picked in the first team for Essex at the moment is hard as we are such a strong team so it forces you to get better and push your case for selection.
There are a lot of supporters when you’re doing well and a lot of critics when you’re not so much, as soon as you lose one game after a good run of results people think you need to change the team and bring new people in. So I try and stay focused on the good support from the loyal Essex fans.
4.What do you feel helped you become the person and cricketer you are now for example, fitness / training styles / mentors. ?
A.I think the most important thing is enjoying practice, bowling for me has never felt like a chore, I have always loved it so I bowled a lot growing up and naturally found ways to get people out and improve. I have never enjoyed fitness nor do I particularly enjoy it now, but there comes a point in a players growth and development where you need a high level of fitness and strength to develop further as a player. Tony Sail was the first to introduce me to this during and Auckland U19s winter training. Everyone else was doing cricket skills and I was forced to crawl up and down the empty net… but this was an indication of what was to come as from 17 onwards fitness has been a constant work on for me, only now at 27 do I feel I’m at a good level and can maintain where I’m at.
5. Is there any thing you would have done differently?
A. I would have made sure I w batted a lot more growing up… every team from the age of 13 I was made to bowl and bat 11 because I was so tall and bowlers didn’t bat, which now days is definitely not the case
6/7. What has been your toughest moment in cricket and what has been your highlight? You've spent a little bit of time here and there dealing with injuries, as a fast bowler this is part of the game, how to you bounce back from injuries that keep you from playing the game you love?
A. My toughest moment has been my fairly recent run of injuries from the age of 22-26 my back was in a bad way, so to come through that and be able to play again is my highlight as I thought my career was over. You just have to set small, short term goals sometimes. It’s a long road to recovery so making very little progress in the grand scheme of things can make you really depressed and down so small goals along the way helps you to see that you are improving.
8. How does mental health play a part in your cricket and what are the benefits?
A. Mental health plays a big role, firstly if you are not confident in yourself and you are in a pressure situation in the field, how are you meant to execute what you are trying to do? So keeping positive and making sure you tick the boxes you need to before games, so mentally you are feeling good is important. Also staying away from people who rip you to shreds on social media can affect you mentally especially when you’re going through a bad patch. So its important to have someone to push your confidence and encourage you just a little when things are going well..
9. Two things for young and old players that you think can benefit them.
A. If you are young and want to be cricket player, don’t just play cricket, other sports can really help your development. Racket sports train your hand eye, football trains your balance and fitness and other sports also help. Try avoid being a “one trick pony” If you can have something to fall back on if cricket doesn’t work that is positive. There are a lot of people pursuing the same dream…
5 quick fire questions to wrap up
- Favourite young player to watch? –
Ian Bell when he plays a cover drive
- Toughest game situation you’ve been in? Facing Morne Morkel to hold out for a draw against Surrey in the last first class game of the season which was on TV, we were 9 down, I managed to survive.
- Favourite dish to whip up?
- Best roommate and why?
Dean Bartlett (Aces) we had a great time taking the mickey out of the older players when I was younger.
- Favourite ground played at club/domestic?
Favourite international ground, because of the wow factor has to be Lords.
Favourite club ground, for the best memories and being with mates, Cornwall Cricket Club.