Jimmy Neesham is one of the more interesting characters in international cricket. He speaks his mind on social media and his witty tweets have made him a sensation. Back in the IPL with Kings XI Punjab after six years, he […]
You are one of the rare international cricketers who speak their mind on social media. Does speaking your mind help de-stress? Like the tweet after the WC final when you said one should eat and die happy and fat…
I just use it to kill time and have fun. There’s no fun to be on social media if you are not using it. It’s not a chore that bores you. I don’t wake up in the morning and think I am going to be funny today. If I have spare time and am waiting for someone in the lobby, I hop on Twitter and talk about what’s going on. As professional cricketers on tour, we have a whole hunk of spare time.
How difficult was it to take the field for the next match after the World Cup final?
Extremely difficult. It’s a funny thing that I have played maybe only a dozen games after the World Cup. It’s a gradual on-going process. The public still wants to hear about it. Taking the field as a runner-up doesn’t feel good. When a game comes down to small margins, you know it has nothing to do with skill. But then some people get hit by cars. People die in plane crashes. You know that’s unlucky. There are a lot of worse things happening to people than just losing a game of cricket. So you got to look at the positives. It could have ended in a different way but there are much worse places to be in.
You had said you thought of quitting cricket. How different are you from the Neesham who played IPL in 2014?
I was 23 years old. Barely played handful of international games. I was raw. I could play cricket but I didn’t know why I was succeeding. I am little more grounded as a person now. I am looking at the mentorship ability that I’ve got to bring more to the KXIP than just scoring runs and taking wickets.
Was the spotlight and all the money coming from IPL a bit of a problem?
Yes. Definitely. In 2012, I wasn’t getting picked for my domestic team. In 2014, I was playing in the IPL. It was a meteoric rise. I didn’t have the knowledge to cope with that kind of thing. The successful teams have been the older teams like CSK and Mumbai Indians. I feel fortunate that I got a second go at it.
You talked about mentorship. What areas do you think Indian youngsters need to focus on outside cricket?
As you go up levels, there’s more money and consequences involved. You want more success and you fear failure more. That’s natural when you dream of playing international cricket or IPL since your teens. In cricket, there are bound to be failures. You have to get to a spot where you can accept your failures. Learning to survive without cricket is crucial. Understanding that your cricket’s great but if I never play again then I’ll be fine.