What a Cricket Tour is REALLY Like with Matthew Hoggard
Since Part Two of “Hoggy’s Mini-Series”, England have won the Test series against Pakistan. The incredible Jimmy Anderson took his 600th Test wicket and Zac Crawley became England’s 10th highest individual scorer with a brilliant 267!
In Part 3, Venatour’s Cricket Ambassador Matthew “Hoggy” Hoggard will be looking back to what it was like touring with England, discussing friendships, the best and worst roommates, and, of course, Australia.
Throughout the course of your England career you were a part of tours to numerous different countries. Are there any tours that stick in the memory more than others and if so for what reason?
Over my nine-year career, I enjoyed 20 incredible tours. Every one of them stands out for one reason or another.
Whether it was being locked down in Pakistan where we weren’t allowed out of our hotel rooms – we had armed security everywhere we went! Then there were the likes of the West Indies where we were out partying in 2004. That was when our amazing run as a team started.
Every single test tour stands out for good and bad reasons. If you want to know more, you’d better buy me a beer on the Ashes tour and ask me!
What did you enjoy the most about touring Australia with England?
I was lucky enough to tour Australia twice with England and once on a preseason tour with Yorkshire.
What is there not to enjoy about Australia? The sun, the sea, the surf, the food, the people. It is just an amazing place to visit.
There are many vast experiences to be had. From places such as Melbourne to Adelaide, or Sydney to Perth, over to Ayres Rock or up to Brisbane. There is so much to see and do you just can’t get bored.
They love a cold beer, they love a BBQ, and I love a BBQ. Every city has its own unique culture. It has its own unique vibe and identity and it’s brilliant being able to go out and explore it with people who also love the game of cricket.
Australia is a superb place to go. It’s up there as one of my favourite destinations to tour. Yes, the cricket is very hard, and people take it very seriously. You know you are always in a challenge. But everyone is so up for their sport and the Aussies are mad about cricket, so it’s a great place to tour as an English cricket player and fan.
Due to the time you spent away from home on tour, you must have made some very close friendships throughout your playing career; do you still see any of the 2005 squad or others that you played with for England?
As you say, you do forge some very close friendships with your peers and within the group. We do keep in touch now we are retired but because everyone is so busy doing their own thing away from the game, you rarely get to see the others.
The closest person that I am with is Simon Jones. I get to see him a bit throughout the summer, making trips to each other’s houses, not right now obviously!
Look out for the final part of our Mini-Series with Matthew Hoggard next week!