Record-breaker Anderson focuses on big summer

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2014
corey anderson
PHOTOSPORT
RECORD BREAKER: Corey Anderson has earned a place in the record books.

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Corey Anderson made headlines around the world with his remarkable unbeaten 131 against West Indies in Queenstown on Wednesday, which included a 36-ball century, the fastest in any cricket international.

He chatted to Mark Geenty on the eve of today's fourth ODI in Nelson.

Q. Could you describe it as a life-changing innings?

"I guess it was. Everything happened pretty quickly and I've had a lot of messages and phone calls. But you've still got to stay humble about it and one innings doesn't make a summer.

How did you celebrate?

"I just had a nice couple of drinks down at the bar with the guys. We celebrate each other's successes and I was celebrating Jesse's as well [Ryder cracked 104 off 51]. That was unbelievable being in the front seat for that."

What's it like strolling into a bar in Queenstown as the world's fastest centurion? Free drinks and keys to the city?

"I got a couple of offers but I kindly had to turn them down. It was nice to get a little bit of recognition from people around New Zealand. I'm sure that will calm down over the next few days."

Was it true that you used Ross Taylor's bat?

"They sent me Ross' bat and I started using it and Ross said: 'it's fine, you can keep using it'. It's worked wonders and I have to say thanks to him. I've had a few innings with it now, it went through Bangladesh so it's 20-odd games. It's a nice bat and it's got a wee chip out of it now, so hopefully it hangs on for a bit longer."

Shahid Afridi was quoted as congratulating you on breaking his record, but added he hadn't heard of you before. Care to fire back anything?

"I guess thanks for recognising it. Records are there to be broken and he's got two on that list. He's an incredible player and I'm sure he'll try and knock it off again. It's one of those things you never intend on doing and it just happens."

Who's the best known individual to offer congratulations?

"I don't know to be honest, I've only had personal messages through friends and family and I haven't really looked through the internet [Anderson doesn't have a Twitter page]. It's been wonderful support and I'm really grateful."

There was a photo posted of you and your family after the innings, did it mean more to have them there?

"Mum [Linda] and Dad [Grant] and my brother [Cameron] and brother's girlfriend were all there. I never get runs in front of Dad and to have him there and see me get runs for one of the first times was really nice and to share that moment was really special."

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And you're not the only member of the family to represent your country?

"Yeah, Dad was a sprinter and ran at the 1974 Commonwealth Games. I'd like to think I've got a bit of his pace, but probably not. I didn't see him in full flight but it seems like he was a pretty good athlete and a little bit of that has come down on me which was nice."

What was your best athletic event at school?

"I was normally discus and shot put; Dad was the running events. We went opposite ways."

There's an Indian Premier League auction coming up in February, are you tempted to bump up your reserve price now?

"I haven't really given it a thought. There's lot of speculation with these kind of things and all it takes is for someone else to do something special and then they'll be flavour of the month. I'll just take it in my stride and focus on the big summer we've got ahead."

Dwayne Bravo said Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming should sign you up. Thoughts?

"Yes I did hear that and it's nice of him to say that. I've just got to keep working on what I'm doing and it's going well at the moment. It seems like a bit of lottery [the IPL]. We've got the T20 World Cup and the big Indian series coming up which is hopefully another chance to impress."

You attended the same school as Sir Richard Hadlee and Chris Cairns [Christchurch Boys' High School] and were offered a Canterbury contract at age 16, but it seems the expectation sat well with you?

"You always think 'am I ready for this?'. Every cricketer goes through stages where you question if you're able to play at that level. I got struck down with injuries and had to keep fighting to push my case and try and believe I could actually play. Early on there was a lot of hype but if you let that get to your head you'll battle with it. I'm lucky I've got a loving family and they ground me fairly quickly."

Was Cairns the benchmark for you growing up?

"I loved the way he played. He was always someone I looked up to when I was younger, you want to be him in the backyard. But I want to create my own footsteps and if I can keep going and create a legacy then you become someone else who goes through Boys' High that's gone on to do well.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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