The Essentials

'I'd be a bit of a Thommo'

If politicians were bowlers, who would Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party, model himself on?

© PA Photos

What are your first memories of cricket?
I grew up playing it as a kid with my brother and father in the garden ever since I was four. I continued through to my mid-to-late teens, and I used to be relatively good. I opened the batting, bowled a little, but my main interest was being captain. I loved captaincy.

I gradually began to drift away from playing the game as I concentrated on golf, but I still follow it closely.

What's the best day of cricket you've watched?
I was at Lord's in 2000, when England played West Indies. It was day two and England were skittled. Andy Caddick took a whole stack of wickets in reply, then England had to bat again. It all happened on the same day and I remember having to look at my beer glass to make sure someone hadn't put something in it!

Who were your cricketing heroes?
I spent a lot of time watching Kent, so I was a big Derek Underwood fan. I also loved watching John Shepherd, the big West Indian. I lost count of the number of times I saw him smash a huge ball over midwicket into the stands at the St Lawrence Ground.

I was lucky enough to be at Lord's on day two in 1990 when England were playing India too. I arrived with Graham Gooch on 194 not out and he went on to make 333. It was a truly great knock.

Which cricketer would you pay to watch?
Maybe it's my English preference but I'd love to turn the clock back to watch Beefy in his prime. That would be incredible. In the more modern era, Sachin Tendulkar was a true great, but I don't see a giant today as there was from yesteryear.

If you could liken your style as a politician to the style of an international cricketer, who would it be?
I think I'd be a bit of a Jeff Thomson.

Test cricket or T20?
Test cricket every single time. T20 is there for entertainment but it has nothing on Test cricket. I'm not against T20 at all, and if it gets more money into the game and more people interested, then great. But I feel it's like having a bacon roll, which is good and nice, when I really want a full roast. The problem is, I like seeing bowlers attack, which they don't do in T20 cricket. They're forever defending.

Which politician would you most like to bowl a bouncer at?
Right at the moment, I'd like to bowl one at David Cameron. But I get the feeling at the moment a few of my European colleagues want to bowl some at me!

As told to Jack Wilson

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