Thursday 10 April 2008 

Phil Mustard Interview

You have had a pretty hectic winter already but was it enjoyable?

Yeah it has been a pretty busy winter, something that I have never witnessed before. It has been very enjoyable though, we had a good series in both Sri Lanka and New Zealand – even though we didn’t win the ODI’s.

How have the lads been coping back here, are they ready for the season?

I haven’t spoken to many of them, I have only been back for two weeks but they are in South Africa. We have had a couple of weeks off and spoken to them on the phone a bit but apart from that I don’t really speak to them unless it’s the season and that’s when we start to be friends again!

Of course you won the Friends Provident Trophy last year, so are their any plans to win more silverware and have another successful year?

I think with the success we had last year, with one similar to that then we would be again happy. Our biggest aim is to succeed in the Twenty20, we have a young side but we have not really taken the competition to our liking and never really beaten and decent clubs, so it could be something to aim for.

There is a lot of aspects to the shorter formats of the game that are being brought into cricket specifically for the Twenty20 and one day games, what are your thoughts?

Twenty20 has brought a new lease of life into cricket. In Test cricket a few years ago you used to get 200-250 runs in a day where as now due to the modernised way to play, teams score 350-400.

I watched a game here and thought that you looked great behind the stumps, you hopeful that you will continue as an England international?

Yeah I think I have had an interesting winter. Done a lot of keeper work with the likes of Peter Moores and Andy Flower. I need to just keep working on my batting and doing my keeping drills – then I think it could be a very good year for me.

Durham themselves have some big matches coming up this year, so bright times ahead for the county?

We have a One Day match against New Zealand and a Twenty20 against South Africa. Things are looking good for Durham, with Plunkett, Harmison, Onions and Davies all home grown – who will get you tickets because of their quality.

There is a lot of local support for you, so do you reckon you get a lot of support and are producing a lot of home grown talent?

I think we get about 500-600 people in to watch a four day game and we had a full crowd in the Friends Provident Trophy. We have a very good support from the North and they are really sport mad so it is nice to have such a good following.

With the summer coming up for you aswell, do you think that you will be keeping for England in the shorter format of the game and are you happy with your start to international cricket?

The biggest thing for me is to play in your home country in front of a lot of people at Lords. I have learnt a lot from being away in the last six months and I feel that I have got a lot to give to England. My start to my international I feel has been good so far and hopefully I will be selected for the ODI’s and Twenty20s.

Different forms of cricket and international cricket means busy times for you, any problems with fitness?

No I have done a lot of fitness over the winter. As I did not play in the Test matches I had a lot of time to work on it during the games and I feel fit and ready.