NSW Cricket player Moises Henriques talks to Rosemary Tabuai, Abdul Nahi and other Reach Out! Youth Advisory Board Members about playing for NSW and Australia, juggling cricket and uni, and his goals for the future.
Abdul: Tell us a bit about yourself
Moises: Well I've just turned 19, and I'm here because I'm obviously a representative of Cricket NSW - I've been playing cricket since I was about 7 or 8 and I've been playing professionally since I was about 16. I live in Peakhurst which is over in the St George area if anyone's from Sydney. I enjoy cooking and shopping a lot and yeah that's about it.
Rosemary: That's pretty good. How did you get into cricket?
Moises: Just watching it - I mean my dad played soccer for Portugal so like he was a professional soccer player and so he wasn't too happy when I chose to go into the cricket field. I just kept watching it on TV and sort of since I was about three years old I just really loved it for some reason.
Abdul: Cool. I'd like to just ask a question in relation to what you just said - were there any family conflicts due to the sporting choice?
Moises: Ah there were a few - I mean like I was always sort of hitting the cricket ball around in the backyard and sort of breaking down the house, and he sort of wanted me to kick the round ball around and so...
Rosemary: Yeah cool. How have you juggled like school and cricket and everything like don't you ever feel like under pressure and how did you cope with it?
Moises: It's really, I mean it's not that hard - well, like sort of you train and everyone is really supportive of you like at school and with cricket, so you sort of compromise a bit of both here and there.. but I mean year 12 was probably the toughest year because I went away for about 3 or 4 months through the World Cup so like I was away from the HSC and had to come back and finish that off... but I mean I ended up doing pretty well...just to cope and actually do what is actually required isn't that hard so I guess it's just time planning I reckon - so yeah.
Abdul: Cool, excellent. Just out of curiosity, what are your interests outside of cricket and how do you chill out and things like that?
Moises: Ah, well I really like cooking and shopping, going to the beach I guess.. I mean now that I'm playing cricket professionally and you're sort of earning money doing what you love, it's just wasted on clothes and stuff!
Rosemary: Cool. What are your goals like in cricket plus outside of cricket - I mean, do you base your whole life on cricket?
Moises: Well at the moment my plan is to try and go as far as I can with my cricket and then I'm studying part time by correspondence at uni doing P.E teaching so...
I just want to finish that degree and then sort of move somewhere else like I'm not to sure whether I want to be a teacher but I just want to get a degree under my belt and then sort of move somewhere else I guess.
Marianne: Are you a goal driven person?
Moises: Well, ever since I was three I've told my dad I'm going to play cricket for Australia and stuff like that. But, I mean, I don't want to settle at that - I want to sort of become like the best cricketer in the world.
Marianne: That's a pretty big goal! Do you have steps?
Moises: Yeah - I do have a lot of short term goals - like at the moment I want to get up to about 15 or 16 in the beep test, little fitness things like that.
Abdul: Wow - what are you getting up to now?
Moises: At the moment I've just come back from a shoulder reconstruction, so I haven't done anything - and I've got about 12 and a half.
Abdul: Wow! So, how does it make you feel to like have the whole headlines you know the next big thing and you know - how do you handle it? How does it affect you?
Moises: I don't know - I never really let it get to me I guess. I've always just have fun and do as well as I can and I don't know - I just enjoy it. And when I'm out there playing I don't really think about anything like that so ...
Abdul: So do the headlines sort of get to you or do you just sort of ignore them?
Moises: No, I mean they are sort of flattering in a way but you can't really pay too much attention to it - I mean when you're on your way up all you get is positive headlines but then once you're there you only get negative headlines...
So it's pretty easy, like I mean everyone was getting those sort of headlines on their way up but once they get there they're all starting to get axed - I mean at the moment it's all good, everything that's being said about me is really nice, but hopefully that'll keep going.
Rosemary: Yeah for sure. So how does it feel being out there on the field playing for New South Wales or Australia? Like you know, you've got millions of people looking at you and you're playing - how do you feel?
Moises: Um it's, I don't know, it's really sort of like a massive adrenalin rush. I was lucky enough to captain the Australian Youth team over in the World Cup in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and like people over there just love cricket so much and they come to a game where Sri Lanka and Bangladesh aren't even playing and there are still 40,000 people there or something like that just for like a Youth World Cup, and if we had a Youth World Cup in Australia there would be no one there to watch the games.
Over there they're all yelling out your name because they all know who you are, and yet if you walked down a street in Australia no one would know you - so it's just really funny how the different cultures and stuff like that appreciate different things.
But the final for NSW in the ING game at the Adelaide oval was on telly and stuff like that, with everyone watching at the ground, and because I was the youngest one there it was just amazing to be out there playing against guys like Jason Gillespie and Darren Lehmann and stuff who I've been watching on telly for the last 10 years - it was really amazing - and then to go into the sheds after the game and chat to them and learn and stuff, learn a lot about what they do - it was good.
Abdul: Cool, excellent, switch off a bit about cricket... um tough times and all that kind of stuff - you might have been through tough time so how do you deal with it?
Moises: Well actually just recently I went through a difficult break up with my ex-girlfriend - it was complicated, and a really tough time to get through for various reasons.
Abdul: Tough stuff. Did that interfere with your cricket at all?
Moises: No, well luckily it was in the off season so it was when the season just finished, but yeah - it was a difficult time.
Rosemary: Sounds really tough. Who were your biggest supports going through all of that?
Moises: Oh my dad mostly - my dad's sort of been there for me right through everything. My parents got divorced when I was about 12 or 13 and I've lived with my dad since then, so and he's just been there for me like every, every, every minute of the way.
I also had support from friends - Michael Clarke and my manager Neil especially helped me out a lot.
Abdul: So your dad's been a great support - all the way up through the cricket ranks?
Moises: Yeah, yeah, yeah - I mean he's driven me around to like everywhere until I could get my licence.
Abdul: Cool. Now a bit of a light hearted question if you were deserted on an island what three things would you bring and why?
Moises: Ok - cricket bat and a cricket ball - no I'll leave cricket at home for a little while...that's a tough question! So I am already clothed?
Abdul: Yeah you're clothed you're like going now to a deserted island and you're allowed to bring 3 things...
Moises: I'd probably take a cross word book or something like that.
Adbul: Ah, yeah smart.
Moises: Um - TV...
Abdul: TV - how good's that. We'll give you a power point.
Moises: Sunscreen maybe?
Rosemary: Sounds good. On another note, do you have any values that you've always stuck by, like a motto or something?
Moises: My dad always said to me 'don't be happy with someone else's misfortune, only be happy with what you've achieved. So if say I get into a team because someone is injured, don't be happy with that. You want to do something on your own terms and not because of other people. Like if my dad gets too much change he'll always go and give it back - he says that you should never be happy with other people's misfortune, and I just think that that is just a really true comment.
Abdul: That's great. Do you have any tips for youngsters trying to get into professional sport?
Moises: All I can say is just enjoy it, and train hard, do it with passion, do everything 100%.
Jake: Can you describe the experience of meeting these people who you've seen on television and idolised - just meeting them in person and actually playing beside them - what's that like?
Moises: It's sort of really strange..
Jake: Is it like an 'I've made it - this is it' moment?
Moises: No - when you meet them it's nothing like that. I remember when I first came in the NSW squad when I was 16, and I was the youngest guy ever to be given a contract, and Brett Lee was there trying to get fit to go to India, and I met him and was like 'Oh my God - this guy's the King' and stuff like that.
And the first session I've gone in (and Brett Lee bowls like 150km per hour, really fast), then the fitness trainer came in and said 'Brett's just trying to prove his fitness - so someone's going to have to pad up', and then all the more experienced players start walking away, and they go 'young fella - over here' - and I had no idea what was going on, and I've just put my pads on and sort of gone into the net, and then I see Brett Lee up the other end, and I've just gone 'oh no...'
So the first session - it was really good that I got to face someone like that and I mean get out of it alright - I just came out with one massive bruise - but I went to school the next day, and I've gone 'ok boys - have a look at that!'
But I'm still in awe of those sort of guys, even though I'm playing with them now - I mean in my first ING game Michael Clarke was on my left and Brad Haddon on my right, and Stuart Clark was coming in to bowl - I'm just thinking - 'geez - all these guys, and what am I doing here?' sort of thing, so...
Cara: Do you prefer batting or bowling?
Moises; I'm an all rounder, so I do both - I don't have a favourite.
Cara: So is the shoulder reconstruction going to affect your bowling or anything?
Moises: It would, but it was only a really sort of minor one - and by the start of the season, like I've still got another 3 or 4 months until the first game, and I can almost bowl now. I'm about 2 weeks away from bowling - because I only had it about 9 or 10 weeks ago now - so I've been doing all the right things like rehab and stuff like that, so I should be right, and it shouldn't really affect anything...
Abdul: You juggle university studies and cricket - is there ever a time when you just think 'stuff uni, I just want to play cricket!'
Moises: I do it by correspondence, so I mainly just do assignments and exams now, so when I'm trying to stay up and do one, sometimes I just think 'why the hell am I doing this?' I've got training the next morning - and sometimes I feel like dissing it, but then I think in the long run, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and not be able to play cricket again..so...yeah...
Marianne: So what keeps you motivated with all the training you do? - because it sounds pretty full on.
Moises: At the moment we're training about nine times a week, and today before I came her I had fitness training, and then I'll go off to training this afternoon as well. It's pretty easy to stay motivated - I mean we're pretty lucky in the way that we get paid to become fitter - the rest of the general public has to pay to become fitter.
So, although you might whinge and whine about the time you have to wake up and get home and stuff like that, I mean it's just a privilege, so - it's not that hard to stay motivated I guess - especially when you're doing it with guys who you enjoy spending time with.
Abdul: Thanks very much for coming in from us all - it's been great talking with you.