Yer Tis, A Q&A With Jos Buttler
He’s made his name onto the big screen, scored 100 against Pakistan and loves to celebrate in style,
so they say!
26 years old, with plenty of fuel in the tank, it’s safe to say Jos will be a long-standing cricketer, but
what else does Jos get up to in his spare time?
Luckily, Myprotein caught up with Jos and can now reveal the goods…
When did your passion for cricket begin?
I began playing cricket when I was 6 years old, I have an older brother; he’s 7 years older than me so I was always playing with his mates in the garden or at the local club. As soon as I was old enough to join in with them, I couldn’t wait. It was a great way to get involved, (even though I was always doing the donkey work), but it was always a good challenge to play with the older kids. It’s a sport I have always loved from a young age.
Has cricket always been your sole focus?
I loved all sports, I played everything growing up! I played football, rugby and tennis. Tennis was a route I could have gone down, my mum played a lot of tennis and was very keen on me playing, she would take me to a lot of county sessions and coaching. I think the thing which stands out the most to me is the team aspect of cricket, but it’s still an individual game within the team – it’s a nice balance. I found that tennis, even at a young age, was very much an individual sport. It was just me and my mum going and I was playing for myself, whereas I love the team aspect of cricket. When I made the decision to choose 1, I knew it would be cricket.
How did it feel to be selected as part of the England team?
A really proud moment. Growing up I always, I want to say knew, but I really believed that I would become a professional cricketer at Somerset, which was my boyhood club, I would go and watch them as often as I could when I was a kid. I always believed I would play for Somerset, although I never really thought about playing for England until I actually became a professional cricketer at Somerset.
My debut was in 2011, it was a twenty20 game against India at Old Trafford. Walking into the dressing room with guys like Stuart Broad, Kevin Pieterson, Graeme Swann and a load of other guys I have seen on TV was surreal. Initially, you feel overwhelmed to be in the presence of superstars but then actually, they are just normal blokes who are really good at cricket, it was quite refreshing.
Surely your debut was overwhelming, exciting and of course, nerve wrecking?
It was, especially against India! India is the biggest cricket nation we play against, even though it was at Old Trafford, it was a very Indian crowd, it was very loud and there were lots of fans waiting outside the ground. I remember driving to the ground, I got a lift with a teammate called Craig Kieswetter, there were loads of Indian supporters and I remember Craig saying this is a little bit different to county cricket that you’ve been playing, it was quite daunting. I actually didn’t bat that game, we had won before I batted but it took me a while to really take to international cricket and get used to the pressures of it.
The Ashes is a while off, but is it on your mind already?
I think as an English or Australian player, The Ashes is always on your mind, you’re very aware of who won the last Ashes and I am lucky enough to have played in the last one, it was amazing to be a part of that series. I think that as a cricketer if you could choose one thing to win, it would definitely be an Ashes series. There is a huge summer of cricket ahead in England, however, I think everyone will always be talking about The Ashes coming up this winter. I am determined to get in the squad and be playing Down Under in a few months time.
You do a lot of travelling with the team, do you feel as though your social/family life is strained?
It can be, definitely. You definitely need a very understanding girlfriend, it’s a completely different relationship – it’s tough, they need to be understanding and very selfless. I think it’s very important to surround yourself with friends and stay in touch with them due to the pressures of cricket, they’re a huge help and can help you take your mind off things and get back to being human when you are away from home, simply Facetiming home can change your mood instantly. The travel is in some aspects lucky, I get to travel the world and do what I love. I see some amazing places, but naturally, you do miss loved ones back home who you don’t get to see as often as you’d like.
Spending a lot of time with a group of lads must be fun – tell us the best prank which has happened on tour?
There are a few pranks that happen in the dressing rooms. Joe Root is definitely one of them! He still claims it wasn’t him but he quite likes to go round at some point during the day to snip the toes out of your socks. So you put your socks on and they come up to your knee, or you go to put your boxer shorts on and suddenly the bottom is missing and you pull them up under your shoulders. The “snipper” in the dressing room is someone to be aware of! Mark Saxby, the team’s masseuse, loves a practical joke; he enjoys supergluing people’s shoes to the ceiling or to the floor. There are some good jokers around, but they are a great group of guys who have a lot of fun!
Cricket is the only sport which stops for a meal, what would you say is your go-to cheat meal?
It would have to be some sort of Asian meal. A Chinese takeaway at lunch time during the cricket would be awesome. I love Chinese food!
What would be your daily routine in terms of nutrition on a match day?
It’s really important for us to try and take on a lot of food. I try to consume food little and often rather than big meals as they tend to sit on your stomach. Breakfast is really important; I try to eat a lot of omelettes when we’re on tour, throughout the day I snack on protein bars or jerky.
Shakes are important, our strength and conditioning coach will make up a load of shakes or carbohydrate based shakes to make sure that we all get the right electrolytes and fluid, it’s really important that we stay hydrated throughout the day as it can be a very long day and some of the climates we visit such as India and Sri Lanka, it gets very hot and humid. We obviously try to avoid cramp, so nutrition is key.
After the match, we make sure we’re consuming recovery drinks and eating well to replenish everything that we’ve lost throughout the day. Nutrition is such a challenge but is so important, you might not necessarily feel like eating, but you need to find ways to recover your body and I find that supplements, shakes and high protein bars are a great help.
Looking through your Twitter feed, you’re clearly a football fan – what team do you support?
I get quite a lot of stick for this, but I support whoever is winning. I was a Blackburn fan back in the day when Alan Shearer was there. I suppose I was more of an Alan Shearer fan really and now that they’ve been relegated to League one, which is a big knock back for them- I moved on. When I moved to Manchester 3 years ago, Manchester City was on the up, so I started supporting them. I also know a few United supporters, so I supported City just to get under their skin. Also, whenever Barcelona or Real Madrid do well I support them too! I love football but unfortunately, I do not have a tight affiliation with anyone as such at the minute, I’m a bit of a glory hunter.
Clearly, Messi is a contender, but who else would be a sporting role model to you?
Messi is definitely up there! I would also say Roger Federer; I have a lot of respect for Roger. Just the way he does things, he has such class and elegance about the way he goes about things and obviously the Grand Slam win he had after the doubt everyone gave him, it was questioned as to whether or not he would do it again. His consistency is admirable. Closer to home, in cricket, AB de Villiers is a sporting idol of mine, I love the way he plays his game. In my opinion, he’d be the complete batsman that’s ever played the game.
Originally from Somerset, cider must be a beer garden beverage surely?
It is, definitely! Thatcher’s cider is a huge go-to and is obviously very popular down in Somerset.
Do you drink during the cricket season? Or is alcohol banned?
It’s not completely banned. I think cricket is a lot more professional than it used to be, it used to have quite a big drinking culture. Players these days take a lot more care and attention in their diet. Some of the best memories I have in cricket are after we have won a game or series and everyone is sat in the dressing room, drinking a beer and talking about the game that’s just been or moments throughout the series.
I feel like a lot of the best moments in cricket come from being at the bar and talking cricket with someone, it’s probably one of the places where you learn the most. Everyone frees up after a few beers, it’s a fantastic experience!
I have recently been to the IPL in India, the twenty20 tournament with the world’s best players around. If you go down to the bar you can guarantee that some of the world’s best cricketers are sat in there, you can share a beer with them, talk about different cricketing stories, funny stories that they know throughout their career and they really are some of the best memories you get in cricket.
What has been your most memorable moment in professional cricket?
My most memorable moment would definitely be scoring 100 against Pakistan, the fastest one day 100; I scored 100 of 46 balls. That came after 6 months of a pretty lean spell with the bat as well, so I put a lot of pressure on myself and people in the media were giving me a little bit of pressure and then to come out and play a record breaking innings was very emotional! It was a great moment and just shows how in professional sport the margins are never very far away from getting back in form and being in great touch. Dubai 2015 was definitely the most memorable moment for me.