CricInfo Interactive

Interview with Fanie De Villiers

Fanie De Villiers profile on CricInfo

Official 1997 Hong Kong Sixes site

South African swing bowler, Fanie de Villiers, was sidelined during the 1996/97 International season by a nasty cut nearly severing three of his fingers. After hard work, he has returned to the international scene with the warm-up matches at the Hong Kong Sixes. Rohan Chandran got Fanie to the keyboard, and navigated him through the interview, while Alak Chakravorty (azzie on #cricket) moderated the interview.

Fanie:   Right, we're ready to go here

Mynn:   Hey Fanie's here

Mynn:   Fanie, so how seriously do you guys take this sixes tourney

Fanie:   We obviously tried very hard... We had a bad draw with West Indies and the Sri Lankan boys in our group.. We had both hands in it, we just needed a couple of runs off the last ball and we couldn't.. Very close games.
It's sad to lose games that way, we'd rather lose by a long way.. A few of us haven't played this so we're still in the learning processs..

bakait:  You have had a long and healthy career ... Seeing that India's 2 fast bowlers have broken down recently, what do you suggest the prospective Indian fast bowlers do for fitness/health to have long careers

Fanie:    It's very important to find the problems first.. I reckon the problem is that we are playing too much cricket.. no fit body can last, doesnt matter how fit you are, the system must change.
We have to have a group of about 20 players, and alternate players around for every single game. You can't have one bowler bowling every single game like Srinath does;  they are going ot break down, no matter how fit they are. At the end of the day you've got wear and tear that's taking its toll and you cant do anything about that

Fanie:   secondly...

Fanie:   The biggest problem lies in the practices.  If you practice between games every single day,  it's as good as a one day game that you play because you bowl 5-10 overs in a practice.  I reckon bowlers must practice less and just bowl enough to feel confident, and that way save themselves.

Fanie:   and thirdly

Fanie:   The only way to make sure that an injury doesnt recur again is to do specific bio-kinetic exercises on the areas where you have a problem,   and most of the time a phenomena where you actually get weaker the longer the seasons carries on   so you still have to do gym work once or twice in a week to stabilise your strength and keep it there,  and that's the only way to keep fit

MA:   How do you rate SA's chances in the upcoming series against pakistan

Fanie:   Well, I dont think the record is on our side... Teams that have played against Pakistan in Pakistan have lost 99% of the time

(Adrian Kuiper questions Fanie's statistic... :-))

Fanie:   It is very tough. To actually win a game there you have to get used to the conditions.  We are going straight into the first test without really a warm up game.

Fanie:   The team has got potential, yes.  As you said, if New Zealand can beat Pakistan there, then anybody can. It might be alright in the first test with Wasim Akram not there, he is still injured

Fanie:   We are playing the second test at Sheikhapura which none of us know, the odds are therefore against us

Caze:   Is there great interest in cricket by blacks in SA? Or is the SA team a reflection?

gana:   Hi Fanie how are you?

Fanie:   Caze: you can't say it;'s a reflection.. We've got two players in our group.. Herschelle Gibbs, a coloured from the Cape, and Telemachus is the same

Fanie:   We've got a lot of black players seriously coming through.  You have to take the ratios in mind of the amount of players that are at the right age to play test cricket

Fanie:   The development programme to put cricket into schools started recently; the guys are still young, 18/19 years old .   They are going to come through.  The interest is phenomenal. There are so many people playing mini cricket and so on at a young age. If they can just follow through into high school and university we can really become a force in the game

gana:   who do you think will win the next world cup. If your answer is SA who will be the runner-up

Fanie:   The answer has got to be south africa obviously

Fanie:   I think what makes it very difficult is that teams change within two years, you get half the teams that have changed.  At this stage Pakistan can be a good force, as can India, if their bowlers last.  South Africa needs to develop the young bowlers and if Donald lasts we have a great chance too.

Fanie:   One Day cricket is very important when it comes to bowlers; most teams score runs, but a good bowler keeps the runs down.  We have a lot of young players that are really getting better and better

gana:  Do you think Sri Lanka will continue to play like this way for another 2 years?

Desi2:   Fanie...who do ya think that will be yer key player/players in Pakistan?

Fanie:   I think a young man by the name of Jacques Kallis must be watched carefully, a very very good player. He might be able to get to the class of Daryll Cullinan . Those two batters are at the top of my list .

Fanie:   Bowling wise,  Shaun Pollock must not be underestimated.

Desi2:   Yeah, I love that guys' game.....

Fanie:   He's a fantastic all rounder, hitting the ball well, bowls quick deliveries on a line and length, and can also be a stock bowler, which makes him a complete all rounder.  Allan Donald on those wickets, hopefully if the ball stays low, can also be effective. Uneven bounce will suit his bowling so much more'

sib:   Your view on South Africa's chances in England for the triangular tourney and tests next summer

Fanie:  That's a long tour. We have done well in England last time around;   it suits our cricket much more than the sub continent.  I think we are mentally more tough than the English,  and that can be the deciding factor in a tour .

Fanie:   If I can be controversial, I think the deciding factor in our loss against the Aussies was that we played youngsters,    and there weren't enough senior players involved in stabilising the team.  It can be directly related to selection.  You don't gamble when you play the best team in the world with your young players;   you use your more senior players, and they can get things going when it gets tough .

vin:   As you are a bowler, what do u think of Debashish Mohanti and Harvinder Singh? Do you think they will perform like this as they did in Canada?

Fanie:    I think it's very important to play as much cricket as possible..  It's very very seldom that a young player comes through and does well, and if they do, it is very seldom that their second season will be good

Fanie:   The real bowlers do well second time around, because good batters do look you up, they know what to expect. The second time round it needs a real clever guy who can pull it through.  Let's hope these two guys have the potential to develop more; if thats the case I agree that they can be just as effective in the future

vin:   Who do u think was the best bowler in the past? And who is now?

Fanie:  We have to say Glenn McGrath now. He bowls from very high, he gets bounce, he gets lateral movement that's very very important,  and on top of it all with his pace and height he's an accurate bowler too. He can bowl a line and length, and   he can bowl stock deliveries, which gives him so many more chances of getting a wicket in the over.

Fanie:   If you go back in the past, the Richard Hadlees, they were the guys who did the same, constant legnth, and then the extras like bounce, pace on top.. all that combined together makes you a special bowler. Wasim Akram is very much the same, that's why he's one of the best in the world, but you can count these guys on one hand

Mynn:   In the Ind/SA reciprocal series we had 3 tests and heaps of ODI's. Would you have preffered a full 5 or 6 test series instead, which would have given enough time for the teams to come to grips with the conditions?

Fanie:   Well talking bowlerwise, NO, it's too much cricket. You are going to break down.  I know luck plays a role when it's only 3 Tests,  but you have to go the way cricket is going, towards one day cricket. It's going commercial, it's going that direction, lets stick with the things that makes cricket a loved game

Fanie:  You need 4-6 month tours to play 5/6 test matches and for the players its too much time away from home. You can't deliver the goods in a full tour.   You get bored, you lose interest.

MA:   Every time SA steps on a cricket field, the players appear to be immaculately prepared ...Just how do you guys manage to stay motivated day in and day out?

Fanie:   MA: it's very important to have certain players in your squad to keep the motivation going.  A guy like Jonty Rhodes is fantastic.  He keeps you on your toes, he leads by example on the field,  the fitness of Hansie Cronjé.  The second thing would be very much patriotism

Fanie:   The second thing would be very much patriotism. If you've got patriotism in you,  then you will try and perform as much as possible, and we have got enough of that, believe you me!

azzie:  Do you have a set of most memorable moments in cricket?

Fanie:  Cricketing wise, the game against Pakistan at the Wanderers I took 10 wickets in the game and scored 66*, man of the match in that game

Fanie:   Australia needed runs in the second innings with 2 days batting, I got the first four wickets, then a couple more the next day, and manage to take the last wicket when they needed just 5 runs to win

Fanie:   I was very proud of it

Fanie:   The third,  a One Day game at the Wanderers:  They needed 5 to win the game, Border and Steve Waugh batting and I bowled 6 perfect yorkers and we won the game!  Fantastic atmosphere there with 40 thousand people chanting your name

azzie:   Impressive :-)

SixesRoh:   Fanie says thanks very much to you all

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Date-stamped : 28 Feb1999 - 11:25