Name: Anthony Brooks
Born: South Brisbane
Club in Ireland: Pembroke CC – Overseas Professional
Club in Australia: Sydney CC – 1st Grade Opening Batsmen
CP: What’s been your best cricketing moment in Ireland to date? And the worst?
AB: My best cricketing moment in Ireland would have to be a left handed catch in the slips to dismiss Matt Dwyer at Pembroke; however the best team moment would be the win on the last ball against North County to progress to the All Ireland Semi final. The worst moment would have been losing 9 games in a row after having created so much momentum early on in the season.
CP: What’s been the toughest thing about coming to live in Ireland? And the best thing?
AB: The toughest thing coming to Ireland has been missing family and friends after only being married 4 weeks. The best thing about coming to Ireland would have been our trip to Kerry and Dingle and enjoying the lush countryside and beauty of that part of the country.
CP: What’s been the highlight of your cricketing career to date?
AB: It’s difficult to split between scoring a half century and 100 run partnership with Alan Border at Bradman Oval and playing in the Sydney Grade Twenty 20 final on the Sydney Cricket Ground.
CP: How did you get the role at Pembroke? Did you know someone at the Club?
AB: The role at Pembroke came about through a combined effort from 2008 Railway Pro Trent Copeland and Pembroke member Ciaran Sharpe. They contacted me and things begun from there.
CP: What happens for you and Janelle when you go back in September?
AB: Janelle begins her graduate role in a top tier Legal firm in October and the cricket season in Sydney begins in the last week of September. We’re looking forward to catching up with family and friends and moving into our new apartment.
CP: What are your ambitions in the game?
AB: My ambitions in the game are to play first class cricket and make cricket my career. To play for Australia would be every young cricketer’s dream, I’d love to achieve that.
CP: Will you be back in Ireland next season?
AB: Unfortunately I doubt that I will return to Ireland next season due to my work commitments and Janelle’s career. However I may return in the future to play in Ireland if the opportunity presented itself.
CP: Who is your favourite cricketer?
AB: My favourite cricketers would be Matthew Hayden & Mike Hussey. Matt is a brilliant man who does a lot for young cricketers around Australia and I’ve been very lucky to get to know him. Mike is such a down to earth guy as well who has worked incredibly hard to earn a baggy green cap. Its difficult to choose one, both are brilliant; maybe Matt Hayden as he’s an opening batsman as well.
CP: What else are you passionate about besides cricket?
AB: I’m passionate about helping kids with sport and education. Giving back in order to provide opportunities for those who aren’t as fortunate as I have been gives me a lot of satisfaction.
CP: Who’s your best mate in Irish cricket?
AB: It’s difficult to choose one when there have been so many great people who have supported and helped Janelle and I with our Irish experience. If I have to choose one it would probably be Emmet Whaley, his generosity and constant support has been instrumental to our experience.
CP: Any grounds you visited especially memorable?
AB: Nothing comes close to the ground at Donnemana, the slope, the width of the ground and the whole experience was brilliant. The crowd and atmosphere for the All Ireland semi final was something I’ll never forget.
CP: Finally, Anthony, what are your views are on the standard of Irish cricket?
AB: The standard of Irish cricket is solid, the number of pros certainly elevates the standard, however the incorporation of a four team Leinster, Munster, North West and NCU representative competition incorporating young Irish talent and pros would provide a level between Section A & representative cricket in Ireland.
This could include 3 day matches, limited overs and Twenty20. The depth is the obvious barrier to overcome but that’s a given because cricket is not Ireland’s number one sport. There is some wonderful young talent for Irish cricket and the next 3 - 5 years is exciting and I’ll be following the progress closely.
Anthony Brooks in conversation with Liam Rooney
Copyright: Cover Point