WALTON, England and the World's most
Cricket World: Well Andy, I know you've
been here for a while now, but on behalf of Indoor
Cricket World, welcome to Australia.
Thanks Sheldon. As you know, I loved Perth when I
first visited, and now it's home--a great place, great
Before we get onto indoor cricket, could you tell us
a bit about your background. For example, I believe
you were born in Zimbabwe.
Yes Sheldon, my parents were farmers in a place called
Sinoia, which is north of the capital, Harare. I was
born into a family of three children. I have an elder
brother, Roy, and a younger sister, Jane. We had a
great life growing up on a farm, although we all
attended boarding school at an early age. Boarding
school was normal for most farmers' children, as
distances between the farms and the schools were vast.
And of course, the Rhodesian war didn't help-there was
always the risk of hitting a land mine on the dirt
roads, so we tended to spend as little time on them as
So when were the seeds of interest in cricket first
My Father was a very useful cricketer and it was he
who had the biggest influence on me. When I was three
he started showing me the basic skills and began
encouraging me. But it wasn't just Dad--I would have
to thank my old school master, Mr. Ian Lockhart, for
taking me that step further.
Was it just your Dad, or was yours a true
It was a bit of a family affair. During the school
holidays, at home, Dad would stage test matches on the
front lawn. My brother, sister and sometimes Mum would
join in. My poor Mum had this fantastic front lawn but
99% of the time there was this 22-yard cricket pitch
mowed in, usually an inch or so lower than the rest of
the lawn. So most of the year Mum would hold her
garden parties on our 'Lords' look-a-like pitch.
Anyway, all this effort from the family eventually
paid dividends when I was selected to play for
Zimbabwe at school level, playing alongside Graham
All this was occurring in Zimbabwe. When did you
move to England?
When I was 15 years old Dad took up a job in
Switzerland. So, even though we were then living in
Switzerland, I went to boarding school in England. You
could say I moved to England in 1980.
And when did indoor cricket first attract your
Well, I did the university thing and then went
straight into a job working as assistant manager of an
indoor sports complex, which just so happened to
include indoor cricket. I had never heard of this
version of cricket before, but it looked interesting
and I took it up in 1987.
You had played quite a bit of outdoor cricket by
then . . . did that hinder or help you once you
started playing indoor?
It helped. No doubt about it. I picked up indoor
cricket very easily. I think that once you have played
outdoor, you have the basics that are easily adjusted
to suit the indoor game.
Cricket World's interview with Andy Walton continues
in Part 2, in which Andy talks about the
fundamentals of the sport, and tells us the best
bowlers, batsmen and fielders he's seen.
Part 1 | Part
2 | Part
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