Exclusive Interview With Dizzy & Tuffers

Picture the scene……

The weather is overcast but arguably ideal bowling conditions, there is a slight wind and play is scheduled to start at 12.30pm, the pitch is in as good a condition as possible and the crowd is gathering.

The problem is, this isn’t any normal cricket game, this is Sphering.

Ten foot high balls will be rolled down a 180ft long hill with a drop of approximately 50ft and the balls will roll towards 15ft inflatable stumps, the bizarre twist, inside these balls will be cricket legends Jason ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie and Phil ‘Tuffers’ Tufnell.

Bizarre is an understatement.

This is all part of the http://www.fanvfan.com/ Betfair challenge series that these two fine men had agreed to partake in with the current ashes series running alongside. Tuffers leads 2-1 with two to play.

I had the pleasure of interviewing both of them and this is how it went.

GSB: Hi Dizzy, pleasure to meet you? How are you?

JG:  Hi Derek, yeah I’m good thanks.

GSB: Have you ever done anything like this before?

JG: No mate I haven’t and I am a bit nervous.

GSB: Are you enjoying the Betfair challenges?

JG: I am enjoying them, though I feel I was jipped down at Cardiff as I had problems with the Pedalo. But I am coming back strongly.

GSB: What are your thoughts on Tuffers?

JG: He’s as mad as a cut snake.

GSB: So do you miss playing Dizzy?

JG: No, I had my time and I knew it was time to move on, but I am going to play a bit for my local club back home (in Australia).

GSB: Who would be your all-time favourite cricketer?

JG: Too many to choose from but probably initially the West Indian Malcolm Marshall and then as I become a fast bowler I looked up to Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes.

GSB: So if you hadn’t had been a cricketer, what would you have done?

JG: Probably gone back to my first job as a pizza delivery driver, I use to have an old Datsun automatic and my friends use to take the mick out of me.

GSB: Were you good at the job?

JG: No, I wasn’t.

GSB: How did it feel to be part of such a great Australian team?

JG: Oh I felt privileged, it was an honour. I knew my roll in the team and I also knew when my time in the team was up.

GSB: How are you enjoying the presenting and commentating?

JG: Yeah I do a bit for BBC Radio 5 Live and I present and commentate for FOX Sports for Australian coverage and it is something I am thinking of as a career but I am also doing my coaching badges and I am currently doing level 3, so who knows.

GSB: What is your prediction for the remainder of the Ashes series?

JG: People shouldn’t underestimate the Aussies and if our bowlers do come good then we can win the series.

GSB: Finally, who has impressed you in the England team?

JG: As a bowler I would definitely say Jimmy Anderson, his all round game has improved immensely. He is a great bowler and I think he is the best fielding bowler in the world at the moment.

GSB: Cheers Dizzy.

JG: Your welcome Derek.

He was a very enjoyable and interesting person to interview and he then even took the time to introduce Tuffers to me, now this man is a character and the interview went a little like this.

GSB: Hi Tuffers, How are you today?

PT: Yeah I’m good mate, nice to see you.

GSB: Are you nervous for this today?

PT: A little yeah, been looking in the womb type thing that I have to crawl into, so yeah.

GSB: Ever done anything like this before?

PT: No, never.

GSB: So, what are your thoughts on Dizzy?

PT: Yeah, he’s a top man, a top man and a great bloke.

GSB: That’s not what he said about you?

PT: Well there you go, but us English have a stiff upper lip, but he’s was a great cricketer and it is nice to see him again.

GSB: How you enjoying the Betfair challenges so far?

PT: They are great, though I didn’t enjoy the horse racing the other week at Warwick, as not done that much before.

GSB: Do you miss playing cricket?

PT: Yeah, course you do, course you do. I still get that tingle and would like to be involved in the banter in the changing rooms, but you can’t play all your life. I’d love to be involved in this ashes series.

GSB: Do you get nervous watching?

PT: I do yeah. Especially when it is tight periods of play or the final hour like at Cardiff. I was on the edge of my seat and I was more than a fan, I feel for the boys as an ex-player.

GSB: So who is your all-time cricket hero?

PT: Crikey! Erm I didn’t really have a hero to be honest.

GSB: Where you always going to get into cricket then?

PT: I fell into cricket and I enjoyed playing it and playing football.

GSB: So who did you admire?

PT: Georgie Best.

GSB: That has nothing to do with football then?

PT: No, not really.

GSB: So what is it like working with the one and only Geoff Boycott?

PT: Oh well Boycs is a great man with good opinions and good advice for the boys. It’s always interesting.

GSB: If you weren’t a cricketer what would you have done Tuffers?

PT: Oh well, I was a Silversmith with my dad so it would have either been that or a rock star.

GSB: Ha ha, so what was your first ashes experience like?

PT: It was at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground).

GSB: Tough start then?

PT: Yeah well I took 0- in the first innings, 0- in the second innings and got 0 and 0 with the bat.

GSB: Consistent then?

PT: Yeah and all the lads signed a bat and put a zero on it too, so it was OK, but I played 4 or 5 ashes, but never won one.

GSB: What is your prediction over the two remaining matches?

PT: Well they are both result wickets and with good weather, it should swing in overcast conditions. I say we’ll win 2-1.

GSB: Finally, who do you admire in the current Aussie team?

PT: They are all good cricketers, obviously Ricky Ponting is a bit special but I admire them all, they are a great team.

GSB: Thanks Tuffers.

PT: Your welcome mate.

He was a great person to interview and a very well liked individual.

Back to the event…..

Both men bowled down the wicket and hit one stump each hence the event was called a draw.

A fun day was had by all and a friendly atmosphere made my day an enjoyable one. The event was attended by BBC news, Sky sports news, Getty Images and The Yorkshire Post so I felt very privileged.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank:

Also please check out the challenges at http://www.fanvfan.com/ and if you have time then enter some of the remaining challenges.

Also the chance to face Dizzy or Tuffers in a once in a lifetime opportunity @  http://www.fanvfan.com/competitions plus check out the video of the challenge below! 

Many thanks for reading and as usual I welcome your comments.



3 Responses to “Exclusive Interview With Dizzy & Tuffers”

  1. swissmiss1979 Says:

    Thought you might be interested in a campaign that Tuffers is involved in: http://pioneers.bcs.org/2010/5/12/sir-clive-sinclair

    It’s a really interesting and funny short film, with Tuffers talking about Sir Clive Sinclair. Do let me know what you think if you watch it 😀

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