Stuart Appleby interviews journalist and CNN broadcaster Piers Morgan.
Stuart interviewed Piers during a cricket match between Newick Cricket Club and Piers Morgan’s select eleven, including the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, in east Sussex.
Q) Is Newick Cricket Club like a second home to you?
“Yes, totally, I grew up here. I went to school in Fletching which is a mile away and then I went to another school in Danehill, Cumnor House with some of the Brocklehursts, who of course, The Cricketer will know well. I moved to Newick when I was about 12-years-old and my parents have a house at the top and I own the other half of it, so we’ve been here ever since. So for the last 35 years we’ve been here and I’ve played cricket at this club since the age of 13.”
Q) Why cricket?
“I just loved it always since when I was a kid. I was pretty good as a kid, I played for the England prep school squad once, so I was quite a useful fast bowler. I slowed down as I found women, wine and song. I played here (at Newick Cricket Club) with some of the guys who are playing today (Newick Cricket Club versus Piers Morgan Eleven) for 35 years. I used to play a lot of league cricket down in Sussex. I played in the Sussex Cricket League for Newick’s first team for about ten years, but obviously now since I work in America there’s less opportunity for cricket. For the past ten years we’ve had this fixture and it’s great. I bring as many dangerous ringers as I can, KP (Kevin Pietersen), Freddie (Andrew Flintoff), Devon Malcolm and Lennox Lewis (to play).”
Q) Today’s a day for traditional cricket, the green grass, the club pavilion, is this what you like?
“Cricket’s all about having great teas, beers afterwards and it’s the camaraderie that’s unique. I always think that if you meet someone who likes cricket, it’s a great camaraderie kind of sport cricket. It’s a very civilised sport. I’ve never met anyone who plays and loves cricket who I didn’t basically like. It’s something that I always feel when I come back from America, in particular, coming and playing cricket in Newick with all my old friends and bringing a few mates who play proper cricket, and then having a good game is great. We then all go back to my place and have a good party, it’s fun.”
Q) Playing cricket for England or the career you’ve got now?
“I’d have given it all up to bat for England at Lord’s against Australia. I’d of loved to have smacked Shane Warne for six over his head. I’d give it all up for that.”
Q) Test cricket, one of your passions?
“Totally, yeah. I was in America with my sons for the 2009 Ashes series in England and I watched every single ball that was bowled from the last two Test matches. That involved getting up in Los Angeles at 3am, watching until 11am and then going to work. That’s dedication for you. And my son’s were all there as well.”
Q) If you could choose any attributes from a modern-day player and implement them in your game, what would they be?
“My best shot was the pull shot or the hook shot, either. I was very good at those which meant I could only ever bat from July onwards when the wickets were hard enough. I’d probably take KP’s switch hit, Freddie’s straight six ability and (Michael) Atherton’s determination. I think if you put those three things together, with a bit of Beefy swashbuckling from Botham, I’d be quite happy with that mix.”
Q) Best Test match memory?
“I still think the 2005 Ashes series was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life, it was so exhilarating. I had two mates playing, Kevin and Freddie, and to sort of live it through them as well was incredible. It was just a sensational series. Every match was amazing. I went to four Tests and I was there on the last day at the Oval, and to actually beat what was one of the greatest team’s in history, was an incredible achievement for British cricket. Although our current team is a great team, I think for characters and for great performances that was my favourite England team there’s ever been.”