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ANDY WALTON, England and the World's most capped player

Part 1

Indoor Cricket World: Well Andy, I know you've been here for a while now, but on behalf of Indoor Cricket World, welcome to Australia.

Andy: Thanks Sheldon. As you know, I loved Perth when I first visited, and now it's home--a great place, great people.

ICW: Before we get onto indoor cricket, could you tell us a bit about your background. For example, I believe you were born in Zimbabwe.

Andy: Yes Sheldon, my parents were farmers in a place called Sinoia, which is north of the capital, Harare. I was born into a family of three children. I have an elder brother, Roy, and a younger sister, Jane. We had a great life growing up on a farm, although we all attended boarding school at an early age. Boarding school was normal for most farmers' children, as distances between the farms and the schools were vast. And of course, the Rhodesian war didn't help-there was always the risk of hitting a land mine on the dirt roads, so we tended to spend as little time on them as possible.

ICW: So when were the seeds of interest in cricket first planted?

Andy: My Father was a very useful cricketer and it was he who had the biggest influence on me. When I was three he started showing me the basic skills and began encouraging me. But it wasn't just Dad--I would have to thank my old school master, Mr. Ian Lockhart, for taking me that step further.

ICW: Was it just your Dad, or was yours a true "cricketing" family?

Andy: It was a bit of a family affair. During the school holidays, at home, Dad would stage test matches on the front lawn. My brother, sister and sometimes Mum would join in. My poor Mum had this fantastic front lawn but 99% of the time there was this 22-yard cricket pitch mowed in, usually an inch or so lower than the rest of the lawn. So most of the year Mum would hold her garden parties on our 'Lords' look-a-like pitch. Anyway, all this effort from the family eventually paid dividends when I was selected to play for Zimbabwe at school level, playing alongside Graham Hick.

ICW: All this was occurring in Zimbabwe. When did you move to England?

Andy: When I was 15 years old Dad took up a job in Switzerland. So, even though we were then living in Switzerland, I went to boarding school in England. You could say I moved to England in 1980.

ICW: And when did indoor cricket first attract your attention?

Andy: Well, I did the university thing and then went straight into a job working as assistant manager of an indoor sports complex, which just so happened to include indoor cricket. I had never heard of this version of cricket before, but it looked interesting and I took it up in 1987.

ICW: You had played quite a bit of outdoor cricket by then . . . did that hinder or help you once you started playing indoor?

Andy: It helped. No doubt about it. I picked up indoor cricket very easily. I think that once you have played outdoor, you have the basics that are easily adjusted to suit the indoor game.

Indoor Cricket World's interview with Andy Walton continues in Part 2, in which Andy talks about the fundamentals of the sport, and tells us the best bowlers, batsmen and fielders he's seen.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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