Hoggy discusses early playing days in Cricket World interview

Matthew has revealed how his school years saw him play very little cricket and that he is immensely grateful to Yorkshire legend Phil Carrick for turning him from a Bradford Cricket League third-teamer into a bona fide professional cricketer.

He was interviewed by leading cricket website Cricket World on 7 November for the feature “Off the Mark”, which looks at how some of the world’s greatest players got into the sport and became professionals.

Matthew, a Cricket World ambassador, talked about how his school’s sports curriculum stretched to “football, football, football or football”, and had to look further afield for alternative sports.

He said: “I'm not a massive fan of football, but I wanted to play sport at school so I played football at school, I played rugby outside for Stanningley in Pudsey in the winter and in the summer I played cricket for Pudsey Congs, which was a short walk from our house.”

Success is defined by incredibly fine lines, and Hoggy’s story could have plateaued in the Pudsey third team as a teenager, but a chance visit from one of Yorkshire’s finest players changed the youngster’s life forever.

"It was there that aged 16, 17 I was played third team cricket when Phil Carrick, an ex-Yorkshire left-arm spinner, came to Pudsey Congs, took one look at me and said, 'I want you in the first team.'"

That was the first step in Matthew’s rise to the top of the game, but there was more to come.

"'What do you want to do with your life?' he asked me. I said, 'I'd like to be a vet, so I'm taking A-levels, I want to go to university and study' and he said, 'how about cricket?' "I replied, 'Well, I'd love to play cricket for a living but I don't think I'm good enough.' He said, 'Well, I do'.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

To read the full interview, visit http://www.cricketworld.com/off-the-mark-how-it-began-for-matthew-hoggard-cricket-world-tv/43147.htm