Last week we spoke to England legend and all-around character Ryan Sidebottom, in the latest of our ‘Barmy Army Meets’ Q&As.
On top of an illustrious county career, the 35-year-old made 65 appearances for the Three Lions and provided some truly memorable performances.
On Thursday, we gave our members the chance to ask Sidebottom their questions and he provided some fantastic answers on a range of topics.
Don’t worry if you missed it, we’ve compiled some of the best bits…
How does bowling in a T20 World Cup final stack up against going on Dancing on Ice for the first time?
“It’s a piece of cake bowling in a World Cup final.
“Dancing on Ice, when I got there I was coaching Surrey at the time and it was in the summer. They asked me if I’d be interested in going on the show and I had to meet the producers. I turned up in a tutu, a headband, and sweatbands.
“I spoke to these two ladies for about 20 minutes and then they had an American pro skater and he literally chucked me around for 20 minutes. Just flung me around. I thought there was no way they’d ask me to go on the show because I was like Bambi on ice. Two weeks later they said they’d love to have me on.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wasn’t very good.
“It was weird. I remember ringing Maddie up and going ‘I don’t know what I’m doing here. It’s ridiculous. I’m just sat here with all these really, really famous people and I’m just a normal cricket lad sat in the corner drinking a pint of beer’.
“It was good fun. It really was good fun.”
Which England team from the past would you have liked to play in, if you could play in any?
“Honestly, I would have to say this current team. I mean, it’s so brilliant to watch the brand of cricket that they’re playing. It’s so exciting.
“They go out there and play with no fear and with that freedom that everyone wants to see. They bat all the way down and they have got a brilliant bowling attack, with Jofra who’s come into the mix as well. This team is absolutely outstanding and it’s run so well, with Eoin Morgan. It’s just so exciting to watch.
“In the past, you could argue you might Kevin Peitersen, he puts bums on seats, or there’s a Graham Thorpe, a Graham Gooch, a Darren Gough, whereas now you can probably go from one to 11 and say wow, this team is so exciting and brilliant to see.”
“I would say this current team. Not just because of what they’ve done but how they go about the business.
“Also I think as a cricketer you’re also viewed how you are as a person, away from the game, and I think this team is very approachable.
“You see now after the game, they go to the fans and they sign autographs, they give cuddles out and they have fun. I think that’s what it’s all about, having that contact with the fans as well.
“That means a lot to many people.”
Who was your best mate in the England team?
“I’d have to say Swanny because he was at Notts as well when I was there. Everyone knows Swanny’s an absolute character. He never shuts up. Always laughing, always joking.
“Funny story actually from the T20 World Cup final. I always stupidly stood next to him singing the national anthem and he always sang in an operatic Pavarotti voice, blurting it out. The camera always panned across you and I just could never stop laughing.
“Me and him have a lot of banter and we still keep in touch regularly. Funnily enough, we didn’t actually watch the T20 final. When we batted, me and Swanny sat in the toilet and just chatted the whole time because we were so ridiculously nervous.”
What’s the most memorable wicket you’ve ever taken?
“Probably Jaques Kallis.
“It’s weird, you don’t have a player that you think ‘I always get him out’ but you always want to pit your wits against the best and some reason I’ve got him out on a few occasions.
“He’s an amazing player and it’s always nice to get someone out like that.”
What’s the best spell you’ve ever witnessed?
“I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a few. I’d probably say Steve Harmison, I can’t remember where it was but it was a brilliant spell.
“Also probably Stuart Broad in Sri Lanka. The ball wasn’t doing much and I think he’d just sort of come into the game. It might’ve been his second test or third Test.
“He made the batsman, high-quality batsman, play and miss on a docile pitch in Sri Lanka in 80-degree heat.
“You sort of knew then that he had the potential to become a regular for England and there you have it, look what he’s done now.”
What’re your memories of the 2008 tour of New Zealand?
“I remember the Balmy Army being absolutely immense.
“My parents were there when I took my hat-trick in New Zealand. Yeah, it was a really nice tour in terms of taking wickets and doing well but it was just a great tour, all in all, with the amount of Barmy Army support we had.
“My dad never ever watched, he was an absolute nightmare because he was a nervous wreck, and he was there on that day.
“It was weird because I both saw them and at the end of the game, they came up to me and even dad gave me a hug.
“He bought me a bottle of whiskey, he loves whiskey but I absolutely hate it but I had no option to have a bit of a sip of it.
“Sort of a special tour. You always remember those tours where you do well and you help the team win. New Zealand is very special place and as I say, the Barmy Army were absolutely outstanding.”
Would you say that was your favourite tour?
“I think all tours are different as you Barmy Army guys will know. They’re all different, different continents, different people. I can’t specifically say one tour that I’ve been on, I’ve enjoyed them all.
“Even Bangladesh. You think ‘oh Bangladesh, third world country’, there was a Pizza Hut across the road. There were rats running over the bed but it’s a tour you always remember because it was so much fun.
“The memories you make as a team. That group camaraderie that is built when you go on tours and they’re not ideal but you make the most of it.”
Were you playing in the era where England teammates had to share rooms? Who was yours?
“I’ve had a few. I’ve shared a room with John Lewis, shared with Swanny quite a few times. Very entertaining, we didn’t get much sleep.
“I remember my debut when I play for Yorkshire and there was like a big drinking culture. I was only 18.
“You played hard but afterwards you went out and you had a few beers. It was my first tour and I think I got a lift with Bradley Parker. We were playing away somewhere and I was dying for a number two, like literally, it was touching my underpants and he veered off twice or pretended to veer off of the services and pull back on the motorway.
“Literally, when I got to Cardiff, it was in my pants, and he thought it was hilarious.
“That was my first game. That night they took me out and I got in at half four on a milk float with a milkman. I played all the next day. On the second night, you always had a team meal and a few drinks.
“I had to do the royal toast, I didn’t know what that was so I just stood up and said any old thing. I’d had four pints as an 18-year-old. I sat next to the scorer and I chundered mint choc chip ice cream all over him because I was so drunk. That was my debut.
“The lads absolutely killed me. I was bowling the next day and I was so hungover I could hardly see.”
What is your favourite game?
“It would have to be winning the T20 World Cup. Yorkshire winning back-to-back titles is one that sticks out in my mind but it would have to be winning the World Cup.
“In 2009 we were horrendous. We got knocked out, we lost to Holland. So to win in 2010 and in the Caribbean, you guys know how good it is there.
“England had not won a global tournament in a long time. We probably surprised a lot of teams in how we played. The celebrations were immense.”
How much do you put winning that tournament down to KP’s influence?
“He was massive. The beauty of T20 is that generally over a season, you would say that the team wins you tournaments but in T20 one individual can win you a game.
“You could sort of see when we got off the plane, he had that steely determination. He set the bar so high for us on that tour.
“We played some great cricket, it was so entertaining. All 11 contributed but he was different class. He played shots that I’d never seen against the likes of Shahid Afridi. Guys that were had big, big characters and that everyone thought would win them the game. He just took him down. He was so good. Ridiculously good.”