The Essentials

'I'd be a bit of a Thommo'

If politicians were bowlers, who would Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party, model himself on?

© PA Photos

What are your first memories of cricket?
I grew up playing it as a kid with my brother and father in the garden ever since I was four. I continued through to my mid-to-late teens, and I used to be relatively good. I opened the batting, bowled a little, but my main interest was being captain. I loved captaincy.

I gradually began to drift away from playing the game as I concentrated on golf, but I still follow it closely.

What's the best day of cricket you've watched?
I was at Lord's in 2000, when England played West Indies. It was day two and England were skittled. Andy Caddick took a whole stack of wickets in reply, then England had to bat again. It all happened on the same day and I remember having to look at my beer glass to make sure someone hadn't put something in it!

Who were your cricketing heroes?
I spent a lot of time watching Kent, so I was a big Derek Underwood fan. I also loved watching John Shepherd, the big West Indian. I lost count of the number of times I saw him smash a huge ball over midwicket into the stands at the St Lawrence Ground.

I was lucky enough to be at Lord's on day two in 1990 when England were playing India too. I arrived with Graham Gooch on 194 not out and he went on to make 333. It was a truly great knock.

Which cricketer would you pay to watch?
Maybe it's my English preference but I'd love to turn the clock back to watch Beefy in his prime. That would be incredible. In the more modern era, Sachin Tendulkar was a true great, but I don't see a giant today as there was from yesteryear.

If you could liken your style as a politician to the style of an international cricketer, who would it be?
I think I'd be a bit of a Jeff Thomson.

Test cricket or T20?
Test cricket every single time. T20 is there for entertainment but it has nothing on Test cricket. I'm not against T20 at all, and if it gets more money into the game and more people interested, then great. But I feel it's like having a bacon roll, which is good and nice, when I really want a full roast. The problem is, I like seeing bowlers attack, which they don't do in T20 cricket. They're forever defending.

Which politician would you most like to bowl a bouncer at?
Right at the moment, I'd like to bowl one at David Cameron. But I get the feeling at the moment a few of my European colleagues want to bowl some at me!

As told to Jack Wilson



  • POSTED BY Graham on | February 19, 2016, 8:50 GMT

    I think Cricinfo has a duty to print all the comments unless there is swearing. Whoever decided to interview a politician must have known it would split opinion.

    I see that several comments written by others have been deleted. These comments were not offensive, but did question the reasoning behind interviewing divisive politicians.

  • POSTED BY Samuel on | February 19, 2016, 6:34 GMT

    I am sure Van Rompuy would like to bowl to Nigel Farage at 150mph :))

  • POSTED BY Ed on | February 18, 2016, 22:52 GMT

    Not the most truthful of interviews. I smell a PR job. He's previous claimed his first cricket match was going to Lords in 1990. Yet he mysterious admires the Great John Shepherd (coincidentally the only black player in the kent side in the 60s and 70s, and an immigrant), despite the fact Shepherd left Kent in 1982.

  • POSTED BY J on | February 18, 2016, 16:31 GMT

    Beyond his politics, the most startling thing I recently learned about him is he's only the same age as Sandra Bullock. The life of a perennial pub bore clearly takes it toll.

  • POSTED BY David on | February 18, 2016, 15:27 GMT

    How sad that most of the comments simply reflect the political prejudice of the poster. I disagree with many of Mr Farage's policies, but I wish that other politicians were as honest in their views as he is. He has also shaken up British politics, which can only be a good thing. Whether you agree or disagree with what he says, he bats for Britain, and it is really good to hear him supporting cricket in general, and Test Cricket in particular. Can't quite see him as the quickest and most terrifying bowler ever though..

  • POSTED BY xxxxx on | February 18, 2016, 13:46 GMT

    Nigel appears to be yelling to the right while playing with himself one-handed. Does this have any significance?

  • POSTED BY Kanu on | February 18, 2016, 13:23 GMT

    While I do not agree with him politically, it was refreshing to know he shares the same interest for test cricket as many of us here. Had to look up for John Shepherd though, so not sure why he was Nigel's hero. @BigTev: The guy might be a nut, but not 'sinister', surely! Comparison to Hitler was in bad taste, I am afraid.

  • POSTED BY Stuart on | February 18, 2016, 13:04 GMT

    I see he's playing his favourite forward defensive shot in the photo, nothing's getting through there, a bit like his dream for Britain's borders.

  • POSTED BY Mark on | February 18, 2016, 12:27 GMT

    @BigTrev on , It's just a harmless interview, and if you are worried about sinister agenda's look very carefully at the things Cameron and or Corbyn want that the mainstream media won't talk about. Anyway with regards the leaders of the two main parties I would have Cameron as a shirt front batsmen up for taking a ton off a weak attack only to cower at the sight of a mystery spinner or a couple of genuine quicks. Corbyn has a more genuine passion for the game, I see him as a nagging finger spinner who will bowl and bowl all day but be unable to buy a wicket.

  • POSTED BY Thomas on | February 18, 2016, 12:13 GMT

    British independence must certainly be something like Test cricket these days - that is to say, in a parlous state.

  • POSTED BY Ian on | February 18, 2016, 12:08 GMT

    Please don't provide a platform for this man's sinister agenda. What next, hitler bowled a mean off break as a boy but was more interested in the captaincy?

  • POSTED BY Adrian on | February 18, 2016, 11:48 GMT

    He wouldn't be Thommo. Thommo had substance to back up his bluster!

  • POSTED BY Sandeep on | February 15, 2016, 2:43 GMT

    A nice interview with Nigel Farage. Did not know that he was a supporter of this lovely sport (besides David Cameron and John Major).