Deep Extra Cover: Rikki, you’ve already had a good start to the season in the MCC v Yorkshire game in Abu Dhabi – a couple of wickets and 91 runs in the match.
Rikki Clarke: Well, as you get older, you get to know your body a little bit more and try to pick up where you left off. I had a good season last year and managed to play every single game.
RC: Well, I’ve got a few little niggles here and there but I can manage them and get through them. I hope it stays like that and I get no serious injuries and try and play every game again. It’s a case of doing what I’ve done the last few years, keeping it very simple. On my day, things go well. When you have a bad day, you come back for the next game and it could be your day then.
We play a lot of cricket so I think that, over the years, I’ve learnt that I’m not going to get it right all the time and the sooner I can forget about those bad days, the better it is.
DEC: Would you say you are playing as well as you ever have?
RC: Yes. I would say for the last four or five years, particularly coming to Warwickshire, it’s been definitely something for me that has worked. I’ve matured probably as a person and as a cricketer and that’s helped a lot.
DEC: Is that just down to you or have other people helped?
RC: Ashley Giles and Graeme Welch were massive factors. Jim Troughton as well when he took over the captaincy, he helped me a hell of a lot. And so I’ve gone from there and kept it going.
DEC: So are you expecting to finish your cricketing days at Edgbaston?
RC: Oh, yes, no more moves. I’m not sure how long I’ve got left so I’ll try and enjoy each day as it comes. This is my 16th season as a professional. I’ve always aimed to get to 20 seasons; that would be brilliant. It’s just a case of each day as it comes, try and keep fit.
DEC: Do you feel that you can be an influence on the younger players here?
RC: Yes, that’s definitely part of my role as a senior guy – to be a role model. If you’ve got a younger guy coming in, you try to give him a bit of knowledge. Fundamentally I think that young guys have to work it out for themselves, but it’s always good to give them a little nudge and point them in the right direction.
DEC: And life after cricket?
RC: I’ve done some work experience in Dubai where my dad works and essentially, that’s where I see my future. I’ve done my level two coaching badge, I hope to do level three as well and potentially have coaching as a back up.
DEC: Thanks, Rikki, and best of luck for your 16th season and onwards.