FAST BOWLER DANNY CLIFFE ON LAST SEASONS ACHIEVEMENTS, EXCITEMENT AND PLANS FOR THIS SEASON AND HIS
How has your winter been? What have you been up too?
It’s been very cold. I’m ready for the summer! I got a kitten this winter, so much of my time, outside of work, has been devoted to my new feline friend Herbert.
How has winter training been going?
It’s been going really well. I’ve been training with Lincolnshire CCC which has really helped me to prepare for the upcoming season. I’ve been working hard to fine tune elements of my bowling action to generate as much pace as possible in my delivery. I’ve also been spending as much time as possible working on my batting at the sessions and I’m feeling good. Hopefully I contribute more with the bat this season too.
One year since you moved to STCC – how did the move come about? Have you enjoyed your time?
It is indeed. Karanjit Bansal (1st Team Coach & Captain) approached me initially. Karanjit and I go back a long, long way. We first met when I was 10 years old playing my first game for Lincolnshire Under 11s or something! He explained the ambition that the club had, where they wanted to be and how I could play a big part in that. At the time I’d been struggling with an achilles injury for around two years. It was a frustrating time and during it I couldn’t really play or perform to my full potential, as I’d be limping back to my mark in between balls.
It had got to the stage where I’d fallen out of love with the game a bit, and a change was something that I needed. I saw joining Scunthorpe as an opportunity to play with an old friend again,who I’ve got a lot of respect for, and try to get back enjoying my cricket, which I’m really pleased to say it has. Last season was the first season, since I was about 17 that I played a full season and thoroughly enjoyed it. I stayed injury free, which for me, as a fast bowler, was very welcome and a nice change!
Thoughts on the club as a whole?
The club has been wonderful so far. Everyone is very friendly. I was made to feel at home straight away, which is always important. I think you need to feel comfortable in order to perform to your full potential and it definitely helped me to hit the ground running straight away. It was nice to be around people who were so passionate about their cricket. There’s a good vibe at the club, and I hope we can build on that this season. It’s good to see the regular faithful coming along to watch on a Saturday and I hope a few more come along this season too. What’s better than watching cricket on a sunny afternoon with a cold pint in your hand?
Thoughts on your first season?
It was a brilliant season with us winning the league the way we did. Personally, I feel I had a great first season with the ball. To take seven five-wicket hauls and to blow teams away like we did was great. There’s no better sight than seeing stumps flying all over the place for a fast bowler! The 8-12 at Nettleham was definitely a highlight - I’m gutted I couldn’t get all ten that day. Batting wise I felt I could have contributed a lot more. It was nice to get a 70 odd later in the season, but aside from that I was disappointed in my batting, as I know I can offer a lot more. That’s why I’ve been working hard this winter to make sure I kick on with the bat. I'd have like to have done the double, as we had the team to do that, so it was frustrating going out of the cup via a bowl out, after bowling them out for 90 odd, but you can’t win them all can you? On the whole though, it was a great start and a thoroughly enjoyable season.
Excited for the season ahead?
Of course, it’s going to be a good challenge and one I’m looking forward to. I’m particularly looking forward to the first game of the season against Grimsby Town CC (my first club). My brother, Matt, has recently re-signed for Grimsby, so I’m looking forward to bowling against him and some of my former teammates.
Predictions on how the 1st team will go this season?
I think we will do well if we apply ourselves properly. I think what will be important this season in particular are the things that get forgotten sometimes; like pressure in the field, taking every chance and our running between the wickets. In my experience that can often be the difference, particularly against teams with a similar strength squad. If we can apply ourselves fully with the bat and ball and take our chances in the field, so that we only have to get 10 wickets, instead of 15 (due to dropped catches etc.), we will do well.
To take as many wickets and score as many runs as I can. I aim to lead from the front, set the tone and win as many matches as I can for the club. Obviously, it’s going to be a big challenge this year with the club playing in the ECB League for the first time and I hope I can play a big part in a successful season. I also want to enjoy it, have fun and enjoy playing cricket.
Long term plans personally/Cricket/STCC
Cricketwise - To enjoy playing cricket. Give 100% each time I play and see where it goes. On a personal level I’d like to play for Lincolnshire CCC 1st team again. But on the whole it’s just to enjoy it.
Rapid fire round – TEAM MATES
Favourite player - Brett Lee (all time) / Ramesh Chand (at STCC)
Favourite place to play cricket - In the garden
Favourite cricket moment - Daddy finally saying ‘Well done’
Favourite STCC moment - Winning the league
Most skilled player at STCC - Karanjit Bansal
Best friend at STCC - Karanjit Bansal
Best dressed at STCC - Fashion’s a subjective thing. For me, anyone who wears a nice leather jacket
Worst Dressed at STCC - I’ve only seen most people in their whites and training gear to be honest, so I can’t comment
Best banter at STCC - Darren Quibell
Worst Banter at STCC - Ben Brumby
Funniest - David Brown
Longest in the shower? - I’ve not timed it to see who takes the longest in the shower, but I’ve been known to take a long time in the shower, if you know what I mean! ;)