Steve: Hi, This is Steve from Calibre Fitness here with Clint MacKay, How are you doing Clint?


Clint:
Yeh, good thanks mate. How are you?

Steve: Yeh, Really good, thank you. Clint McKay is an Australian fast-medium bowler who has just finished up leading Australia’s one-day charge against Sri Lanka, bowling 4/33 in their first match. He is currently a member of the Victorian Bushrangers side and has represented Australia at one day international and Test level. He also plays for Melbourne Stars in the big bash league and Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

Clint made his ODI debut for Australia in November 2009 against India and later that summer earned a Baggy Green for Australia against the West Indies. With his running-in-treacle approach to the wicket and front on action, he doesn’t necessarily fit the mould of the modern fast bowler, but he has established himself as a key component to the each of his respective teams.

Clint, growing up, were you always better with the ball than the bat?


Clint: Ah, yeh I think so. I liked to have a bit of a bat and my batting in my junior days wasn’t actually too bad, well better than it is now, I tend to struggle a bit. But yeh, bowling was always at the forefront. I always opened the bowling for each of the teams I played for and yeh, that’s what I really enjoyed about cricket growing up.

Steve: Fantastic. Did you play any other sports growing up?


Clint: Yeh, I played a lot of AFL football and also quite a bit of basketball. Growing up I always wanted to be an AFL footballer and that didn’t quite work out, I wasn’t quite good enough. So I sort of fell into cricket which, looking back, is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Steve: Ok, great. What does your diet consist of?


Clint: It tends to change quite a bit, it depends whether we’re in season or pre-season. Especially around the game time, I eat a lot of carbs a lot of pasta, just to make sure I’ve got all that energy for the next day. Other than that, probably another big thing is no soft drink, because there’s so much sugar and I’m trying to get the weight down a bit. That’s probably the biggest change in my diet right now.

Steve: Yeh, sure. What does a normal cricket training week look like?


Clint: Once again, it all depends whether it’s in season or pre-season. Pre-season is when all of our fitness stuff is done, that will consist of 3 gym sessions a week and usually about 4-5 fitness sessions, which is 2-3 running sessions, then the rest is cross training, whether it’s on the bike or the cross trainer or even in the pool. It’s pretty full-on at that time of year. Then you throw in probably 3 skills sessions a week too. 6 days a week with Sundays off and you usually do a couple of sessions a day, so it’s pretty full on. During the season it probably changes up a bit because you tend to play so much, so frequently that it’s hard to get the fitness sessions in. So we usually have a 3 day gap, we have a gym session in between that, then there’s always a skill session the day before a game, but we generally take it pretty easy the few days directly before a game.

Steve: You’re considered to be a bit of a one-day specialist, do you have aspirations to play any more Test cricket or are you happy sticking to One-Dayers?


Clint: Ahh, Definitely. That’s the focus at the moment to get back and play some more Test cricket. I don’t want to finish my career on one Test. It was a great honour to play that one test, but I’m definitely doing everything in my power to make sure I can build on that one Test. But at the moment, I’m happy playing One-Day cricket and hopefully there’s some success round the corner for the Australian cricket team.

Steve: Okay, Great. What has been the highlight of your career or most memorable cricketing moment so far?


Clint: Ahhh, it would definitely have to be getting the baggy green hat off Ricky Ponting back in 2009. Other than that, getting presented with my one-day cap for Australia. First time representing my country is something I’ll never forget, especially the Test one when all my family was there to watch me get presented.

Steve: What are your thoughts on the Big Bash and T20?


Clint: T20 has been fantastic to get the female and to get the younger kids back involved in Cricket. We lost them for a few years with the one-day and test cricket. I think it’s great for family outings and especially because it only goes for 3 hours, I think it definitely gets a different crowd to the ones we were getting in the other forms of the game. So, it’s been fantastic for cricket, just the introduction for cricket that appeals to the whole public rather than just a minor pocket.

Steve: The Bushrangers are faring pretty well at the moment, sitting 1st on the Ryobi One-Day cup ladder and 2nd on the Sheffield Shield ladder, how do you feel like you boys are travelling?


Clint: Yeh, as you can see with those positions on the ladder we’re doing quite nicely. Obviously the last 2 shield games we lost to South Australia which was quite disappointing; One comprehensively and the last one only by 1 wicket. So that would have been nice to get one of them and guarantee ourselves a place in the final, but we’re definitely not far away and we’ve got some very good players still involved in cricket Victoria, so we know if we can get to the finals then we’ve got the team that can actually win both tournaments. So that’s what we’re going for at the moment. If we don’t win both then we’ll be quite disappointed with the result of the season.

Steve: Yeh, sure. What do you consider to be your main strength as a cricketer?


Clint: Probably my consistency. You generally know what I’m going to give each game and that’s probably the same as my bowling, I haven’t got the pace of a Peter Siddle or James Pattinson or those sort of guys, so I really need to make sure I get enough balls in the right area and ask enough questions of the batters. If you can do that for a long enough period of time, then eventually one’s going to go in your favour and that’s probably my biggest strength.

Steve: What are the main challenges you face as a professional cricketer?


Clint: That’s a tough question, because there’s quite a few. There’s always a lot of travelling involved and there’s always a lot of pressure playing elite sport and that’s something we’ve actually spoken about today and it’s something that, playing professional sport, we love that kind of pressure because it gets us going for each game. One of my personal ones is that I struggle a bit with my weight and the diet and stuff that we were talking about before, that’s one of my biggest challenges, trying to keep that under control. I tend to blow out quite easily if I don’t do the work, so just making sure I’m doing all the training and my diet’s right.

Steve: Have you suffered any particularly bad injuries throughout your career?


Clint: I had a really bad one about 2 years ago; I actually had a navicular stress fracture, which is apparently quite a bad bone in your foot. No blood and oxygen gets there, so it takes a long time to heal. I had a bone graft, they took some bone from my hip, put it there then put a big screw through it. I think it was about 10 months off cricket. That’s so far so good, it hasn’t given me any grief yet, so hopefully that stays that way and the screws and the bone grafts hold in place. Looking back, it was probably quite good time to happen, it gave me the opportunity to look back and reflect on what areas I need to improve and whatever else, so I think it’s definitely made me a better cricketer because of that.

Steve: Who do you think is the best cricket player you’ve played with or against?


Clint: Ahhh, tough question again. There are so many great cricket players around. Obviously playing with Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Michael Clarke and those type of guys and I was lucky enough to play at Mumbai this year with Sachin Tandulkar, I reckon one of the greatest to come out of India of all time and Harbhajan Singh was there as well. So yeh, it’s probably a tough question, I’ll probably just end up giving you 5-10 guys that are those sort of guys and even Kevin Pietersen in the new era, there’s not too many better than him going around at the moment either.

Steve: Sure. Just finally Clint, What advice would you give to a young cricketer just starting out?


Clint: Ahhh, the best advice I’ve ever been given and it’s probably the best advice I can pass on too is to make sure you keep enjoying it. If you keep enjoying it then you’re going to improve and you’re going to be excited to get out of bed and play it each day and that’s what you’re after. So that’s my biggest thing, make sure you keep enjoying it, keep having fun... and when you do that, you’re going to get better as well.

Steve: Yeh Sure. No Problem. Well, that’s all I’ve got for you Clint. Thanks for your time, I appreciate it. I’m sure all our readers will appreciate your insight into cricket and the sport.


Clint: Nah, no worries mate. Glad to do it!