It can be a daunting thing being the youngest in a team, however, rising star Tim Southee has stepped up to the mark to perform at the highest level when it comes to cricket and of course, The Black Caps. This gifted bowler is in actual fact a very talented all round sportsman. Southee played rugby through his secondary school career. He played for Kings College first 15 as well as the Auckland Secondary School and Northern Region teams. However, Southee decided to give up rugby to chase his dream of becoming a BLACKCAP. He started in the game at a very early age and says his earliest cricketing memory is getting up early on a Saturday morning playing kiwi cricket with a yellow bat and yellow stumps. When he’s not bowling over the opposition he likes to get down to his farm and work the land.
We had a sit down with Southee to talk cricket and find out what his plans are for the year.
It seems you can your eye on the ball at a young age, when did your career really push off?
I was lucky enough to go straight from school in to first class cricket. Then a year after playing first class cricket I was picked to play for the BlackCaps against England so around the age of 17-19 it really picked up!
What is it like being the youngest on the team?
It was an amazing experience walking into the BlackCaps changing room as a 19year old and you look around and there are guys that you grew up idolising like Vettori, Fleming, Bond and Mc Cullum. So that was all a bit daunting at first but it was made a lot easier by the way those guys made it so easy to settle in. Finally now after 4 years I can pass on being the youngster tag to the likes of Kane Williamson, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult and Tommy Latham.
What has been the hardest thing you’ve experienced being a sportsman?
Always being in the public eye and I guess the responsibility that comes with being a sportsman off the field.
Between games, what do you do to keep fit?
Depends on how many days there are between games but usually there will be a travel day and a pool session. Then a day or two training, two days out from a game,heavy training then the day before a game a light training and a massage in there somewhere as well! Also if there is three days between games I will try fit a gym session in! Tell us about your season so far. It hasn’t been as consistent as I would have liked but it has been an okay season. The highlight has been the test win over Australia but we still have a very big series against South Africa coming!
You’re a young chap, how do you balance your career with a ‘normal’ lifestyle?
It is obviously hard when all your mates are off at uni and going to the beach doing what most guys my age do during summer. But I guess a few little sacrifices you make isn't too bad when you get the honour and privilege of playing for your country and travelling the world doing something you love doing. But I do enjoy getting home to the family farm and chilling out getting away from cricket for a bit when we do have some time off.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
I have a few. Beating Australia in Australia for the first time in something like 26 years was pretty amazing to be a part of! Also being named in the world cup tournament team for the ICC 2011 world cup in India was pretty special. And my test debut for a few reasons, it was the first time playing for NZ in a test and also getting 5 wickets and the fastest test 50 by a New Zealander!!
Can you tell us what is in the pipeline for this year?
This year is a busy year with the South African series then there is also tours to the Caribbean, India World Cup in Sri Lanka and then a tour of South Africa. So it is a very busy year for NZ cricket and I hope to be a part of all the tours and have a successful winter!
For other aspiring sportsmen, can you give us a few tips on how to reach the top?
Train hard and make the most of every opportunity you get!