Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION WITH COUNTY PACEMAN PAT BROWN

Pat Brown is confident he can regain his England spot after injury if he repeats the performances for Worcestershire that earned him an opportunity in the first place.

The paceman was delighted to put pen to paper on a contract extension until the end of the 2023 season at Blackfinch New Road.

Brown sees the County being the ideal platform to help his career progress and also in his development as a bowler.

He made his England breakthrough in four T20Is in New Zealand and was also named in the white ball squad to tour South Africa before he was forced to withdraw through injury.

Here Brown looks back over the winter, his experiences with England, the T10 League and the Big Bash, and his ambitions for the future in red ball as well as white ball cricket.

Question: It must be great news for you to sign a four year contract?

Pat Brown: “It is goods news for me and hopefully for the club as well to be able to commit for that long.

“They committed to me while I still had nearly two years left of my contract, which shows a good commitment from them, and on my side to commit the next four seasons of my career to Worcestershire is a big commitment from me – and I’m happy to make that because it’s a great club.”

Question: You think it is the club that can help you progress and develop the way you want to in your career?

Pat Brown: “Of course. That was a factor in my decision to want to extend my contract with Worcestershire and not let it run down.

“The success Worcestershire have had in white ball cricket during the past two years has given me a platform to perform and go onto play for England.

“I think to have played for England on the back of Worcestershire’s performances, that gives me great confidence that if I continue to do that, there is no reason why I can’t get back into that England set-up.”

Question: You played in four of the five T20Is and the two warm-up games for England in New Zealand. You must have been happy to play so much?

Pat Brown: Definitely. To have the backing to play in six out of seven games was fantastic and to get the backing after one game didn’t go my way, when the figures were pretty average, and to go again the next game and that they believed in me, was massive for my confidence.

“I think it helped me to really kick on at the back end of that series.

“That was a slightly experimental squad but it was nice to play. I knew there were people ahead of me still but to get the call-up as well for South Africa for both legs (T20I and ODI) instilled that confidence that I’m good enough to be operating at that level.

“Even though sadly, because of injury I was unable to go there and perform, I still took confidence out of being selected.”

Question: It must have been a proud moment when you got your England cap off Steven Finn along with Sam Curran and Lewis Gregory?

Pat Brown: “It is almost a ‘pinch yourself’ moment because you see other people getting them and it’s always showcased and you can see everyone getting their cap.

“For me to actually be there, receiving my cap off Steven Finn, was quite surreal because I’m seen people before get it and I often wondered what that feeling was like and it was a very proud moment.”

Question: How big a step up is it from playing at County level?

Pat Brown: “It is another level and quite a big jump in terms of the quality of players you are up against.

“The depth of batting line-ups is so much better than in county cricket. If you get a few wickets in county cricket, you think that after number six down the batsmen won’t hurt you so much whereas in international cricket every team bats down to nine or ten.

“Even if you get them five or six down, there are still people that can hurt you which is probably the biggest thing in terms of the quality and you never felt you had a ‘safe’ over where you could tie someone down.

“Colin de Grandhomme took quite a liking to me and it turned out that I bowled at him every game which was good for him and bad for me because of how it was going!

“But I think the major challenge is just the fact that you are playing the same team over and over again so they get a good chance to look at you and work you out a bit more.

“I suppose that is the challenge of international cricket and why your skills have to be so well rounded in order to succeed.

“In county cricket you played a team once or twice and don’t see them again for another years whereas I was playing the same players four times in 10 days.

“They get a good look at you which can make it slightly tricky but that’s instilled into me what I need to do to become a better all-round bowler and to get back to and succeed at that level.”

Question: What was it like playing under the World Cup winning captain in Eoin Morgan?

Pat Brown: “It goes without saying that Eoin is a brilliant captain and his success in winning the World Cup with such a great team shows that.

“But from a personal point of view, he was really supportive. I always knew he was there on your shoulder supporting you in doing what you needed to perform.

“Eoin is not over bothered about what happens as long as you have a clear plan and you stick to it and execute what you are looking to do.

“Often the little chats we had would be him just making sure I’m clear with what I’m doing and he is happy to just let you get on with it which is a style of captaincy I enjoy and obviously have thrived under with Mo (Moeen Ali) at Worcestershire.”

Question: Presumably New Zealand has given you the appetite for a lot more of the same with England?

Pat Brown: “Absolutely. It is disappointing to miss out on South Africa but it’s one of those things, part of the job.

“It’s upsetting for a few days but then you just have to pick yourself up and crack on and put a target on how you get back there because you’ve now got a hunger for it.

“Certainly going over there and playing in that environment and at that level has certainly given me the hunger to keep going and recover well and look to get back there (with England) in hopefully the not too distant future.”

Question: After New Zealand it was a completely different experience with Karnataka Tuskers in the T10 League. An interesting experience?

Pat Brown: “Interesting is a good word for it! It was tough, really tough, our team didn’t do too well and I didn’t perform too well either.

“It was a tough learning experience but I think it was well worth it. It helped me to develop certain parts of my game and I improved game by game during the tournament but perhaps didn’t quite execute how I wanted to and adapt quick enough potentially in some situations.

“It’s a new format and it’s quite hard to read what is going to happen a lot of the time. I remember one game where I ran to someone facing their first ball and I was thinking ‘he’s going to knock this for one’ and he’s hit me for six first ball.

“You have to be bowling ‘death’ bowling the whole 10 overs. It was tough but a good experience nevertheless.”

Question: Next stop was Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League and you did some training with them before the injury?

Pat Brown: “It was good having Dale Steyn around and some amazing Australian domestic players as well.

“Just speaking to people, being around that environment, has helped me to learn so much about my own game and learn a bit about other people’s games and how they go about things, just generally learn a bit more about T20 cricket as whole.

“I’ve not played a massive amount so I don’t profess to know too much about the game or know so much to be an expert on T20 cricket so it’s good to continue my learning.

“Obviously with my injury, it was just disappointing I didn’t get a chance to put into action what I learnt in New Zealand and what I’d been learning in Australia as well.”

Question: Nevertheless it is presumably what you dreamed off, bowling on or being involved with some of the biggest stages in the world in cricket?

Pat Brown: “Absolutely. I think it is everyone’s dream to represent your country. If you are a county cricketer, you’ve got aspirations to get to that next level so I felt very privileged to be able to do that.

“To go out with a shirt with the ‘Three Lions’ on the front and a shirt with your name on the back and ‘England’, it was quite a thing and, like I say, I just feel very privileged to have done that and hopefully it is not the last time.”

Question: I remember during a conversation at Cheltenham last year that you spoke of a desire to play more red ball cricket and I believe England are encouraging you to try and play more red ball cricket?

Pat Brown: “Yes, they are. Speaking out there with the Head Coach, Chris Silverwood, he was very keen for me to keep developing that side of my game.

“Even if it is not your primary strength, it is still something that can help you with white ball cricket, certainly one day-cricket.

“England are keen and I’m keen myself. I’ve only played five games and I think it would be silly to write off a red ball career for myself without giving it a fair chance at least.

“It is something I’m keen to prove to myself, that I can be successful with it, and I’m sure, if given the opportunities which, if I earn them, I will be, then I will hopefully give a good showing.

“That’s the aim now, to get into that, team and play a decent role in hopefully getting Worcestershire into Division One.”

Question: You did play in the final third of the 2017 season in the Championship side when Worcestershire gained promotion?

Pat Brown: “It’s given me confidence that I can and opening the bowling in one-day cricket last year, which is pretty similar to red ball cricket, and having success doing that and given me confidence to say ‘there’s no reason why I can’t do that’ and there’s certainly no reason why I wouldn’t want to.

“It is something that Worcestershire are keen for me to do, and push for me to challenge to get into that team, and it’s something I’m really keen to do as well.”