Slats: For this weeks interview I have one of the games longest serving manager Rich with me. He has seen not only seen his beloved Kent through the good and the bad but also seen WCC grow as an entity. His Kent side have climbed lusty peaks and currently play in division 1 for one dayers where they sit comfortably in 2nd. His side has a lot of worldly talent drawing on players from all parts of the world and it is one of these reasons that we believe he's so special.
Anyways enough blabbing from me, onto what Rich thinks about WCC and his team.
Your sides start to the division one, one day series has began well, do you see yourself as being able to carry this momentum through the remaining rounds to possibly pulling off the title? And how do you think you are going to go about doing this?
Rich: Firstly I would like to thank you for jinxing me! We picked up a lost this week :-(
On a serious note though, One Day was never our major target we were just hoping to make it through the season and avoid relegation, so this fine start is somewhat a pleasant bonus to us here at Kent.
Slats: On the reverse side, your side in 4 day has performed below expectations over the last couple of years. On paper your side looks one of the strongest around, however results have not gone your way. What do you see as the main cause of this and how are you going to approach to solve it to get into division 1?
Rich: Yes your spot on there and this is a major worry at the moment of why a side on paper as strong as it is has failed to pin down more wins this season.
The cause is simple Kent are located in one of the wettest parts of the world and even some of the away games see us visiting other wet areas and as a result we have been effected by rain in ever single game thus far this season. Obviously some games have seen a lot less rain than others but IMO we were ahead in a few of the effected games.
Slats: Rivalry seems to be something entrenched in a lot of you English managers minds! Which team do you most enjoy playing in WCC? And more importantly which one do you enjoy beating?
Rich: LOL Ė I think your find that Rivalries extend much further than us English managers!
Kentís rivalries though have built and intensified over time having been here from the start the main ones are with the original teams such as South Australia, Hampshire and NSW etc, however new ones are always developing with many mates from the forum getting into WCC.
South Australia/Hampshire has certain become the strong ones itís always a missionÖ Opps I mean always a pleasure in defeating their sides.
NSW are a nice occasional rivalry as so far due to league positions we havenít played them much, but when we do we are always up for the battle ahead.
Slats: It appears obvious you place a lot of importance on your one-day sides performance. Many managers don't do this and then ultimately totally don't care about VB Cup. What are your views on the VB Cup and do you take it seriously or is it a place to give your young guys a go?
Rich: I am afraid your research team has miss-informed you, I spent about 2 minutes developing my One Day side this season all my time and effort went into making my Four Day side one to be reckoned with.
VB Cup is a issue which keeps coming up time and time again, I like the VB Cup itís something a bit different and adds more to WCC and I feel the group system will be much more accepted by the managers as even if they are mathematically out they are still involved in the matches etc.
Also if youíre not particularly bothered about the VB Cup as you pointed out itís the perfect opportunity to check out your rookieís talent ahead of the draft.
Slats: If you could manage one other team in WCC who would it be? Would you give yourself a challenge or do you enjoy the high life?
Rich: Itís easy to say one of the top teams, but if I was to leave Kent I would probley take on a challenge and see if I could build them up like I have done so with Kent so far to a level of respectability and be a contender for titles.
As for a particular side I really couldnít say; one because I havenít really had to think about it and second I just said Iíll take a challenge and the current manager will probley lynch me for saying the side isnít that good ;-)
Slats: Come transfer time it's not uncommon to find you on your comp a lot!!! It's obviously something you place a lot of importance on! What have been some of the better trades you have made the last couple of seasons?
Rich: To be fair this season was a little deceptive as two of my trades were like 3 for 3 so it obviously made it look a lot more than what I actually did in terms of number of trades completed.
This season I was highly active mainly due to being around a lot more, I think transfers fell during a holiday from work so thatís why, also I think it helped that with some other trades and draft picks/rookies last season I suddenly had a lot more players people wanted so increased deals.
Best deal, Ok that is an incredibly hard choice to make but I think I am going to have to say my first ever WCC trade back at the end of season 1.
The deal involved me releasing B.Lara to NSW for S.Waugh, at the time the deal wasnít a massive improvement to my side as both were about the same stats wise, however the deal also involved 2 other players of not great quality, I think Bugís was desperate for a opener or something and I got a couple of solid players in return, as a result I suddenly had two players that people wanted to trade for and as they say the rest is history as transfers began to roll and with some fantastic draft/rookies thrown into the equation Kent has just gone from strength to strength.
When I started out with Kent I think we had like 2 players with a batting average of over 30 in One Day cricket and a couple in Four Day when it arrived, now the Four Day side boosts a batting line up of a top 6 all averaging over 50 and 2 over 40. Although One Day hasnít been an issue we have still picked up players with 50+ averages and the whole batting line-up is solidly above 30.
Slats: Out of all your players which one do you think has performed the best so far in this short season? Who are you looking for more from????
Rich: Tough call the young bowler Q Aylott has impressed in the bowling department in both forms so far, batting has been harder to pin-point as different people have stood out in different matches so far.
Slats: We've seen some great sides so far, SA season 3 and Mumbai season 2!! Out of all the teams which one do you think is the strongest?
Rich: South Australia mainly because their side was the complete package, whereas IMO Mumbai was all about their batting and having such huge totals week in week out that it didnít really matter if their bowlers were slightly weaker.
Slats: Now it's time to find out a little bit about Rich as a person!!!!
If you had 10 dollars left and you were about to buy what would you buy with it?
Rich: A monthís Internet assess to be with you all ;-)
Slats: Describe your ultimate female? A Mixture of Anniston and Hurley? or Anderson and Mika (don't ask how I know porn stars)
Rich: Gezz there is so many stunning women about at but I guess a starting block of somebody like Christina Aguliera wouldnít be a bad start.
Slats: What's your ultimate job?
Rich: Tough one, there are a few things I wouldnít mind tryingÖdonít really have any really fixed ideas as such yet iam open to all things.
My ideal job however would need to be a job where things are always a bit different each day doing exactly the same thing day in day out would bored me after a while. If money was no factor I wouldnít mind doing a few things I enjoyed like becoming a cricket photographer how good would that be, watching cricket for a living ;-)
Slats: 10 years from now where can we expect to find you?
Rich: 10 Years would make me 29 and by then I would hope to be in a job I enjoyed, with the women of my dreams and making Cricket Web the leading Cricket Website in the world! And also within 10 years I am determined to defeat South Australia in WCC!
And I guess above all enjoying life :-)
Slats: Well I hope you all enjoyed the return to the interview scene. Rich gave us an interesting insight into the going onís at Kent.