Dan, your sporting highlight is very impressive, bowling to former top world batsman Sachin Tendulkar in a nets session. Can you tell me about the experience?
Sachin was just a normal sort of bloke. No fuss.
I had a chat to him after the net session and he offered me some advice regarding my bowling.
I knew how good a batsman he was before the nets session as he was rated one of the greatest batsman in the world, but after the session I even took more notice of his feats with the bat.
Have you bowled at any other top-line cricketers in net sessions?
Yes. I’ve been fortunate to have bowled to a few in the net sessions at the MCG.
Cricket Victoria would often organise the net sessions for various international sides and often they would seek out fast bowlers so I would get a call.
I’ve bowled against players from England, South Africa, India and Australia.
They were wonderful experiences for me personally as they helped me with my development as a fast bowler.
Dan, you’ve taken over as the co-coach at Allansford for this cricket season. I would have to say you come to local cricket with excellent credentials. Where did your career begin?
I started out as a nine-year-old playing for the under-13 side at Maryborough.
I made my A grade debut with a club called Laanecoorie Dunolly which played in the Maryborough Cricket Association at the age of 13.
I can still remember my first senior game against Clunes. I made a duck but I got two wickets for 32 runs.
I never played in any premierships sides with Laanecoorie Dunolly.
I was 14 years old when I played games in the Hatch Shield side for Coburg over the Christmas break before I was asked to play with Coburg in the sub-district competition.
I also played the next year over the Christmas break for Central Highlands in the Dowling Shield competition.
Can you remember much about your time playing sub-district cricket with Coburg?
I had a great time at Coburg. I was there for a couple of seasons.
My highlight with Coburg would have to be that I played in a grand final side in the 2001-2002 season.
Sadly, we got beaten by Preston and I only made 15 runs, and I never got any wickets but I loved the experience.
I went over to Melbourne and played in the seconds when I was 18 years old.
I ended up getting stress fractures in my back and missed the 2005-2006 season.
The next year Carlton asked if I wanted to go over there and I ended up playing in the firsts and seconds.
My greatest claim to fame at Carlton occurred in a 20-20 game of cricket. We were playing Hawthorn and I got a hat-trick.
I also played in another 20-20 game and faced up to Dirk Nannes. He was playing for Fitzroy-Doncaster.
He was the quickest bowler I’ve ever faced. Dirk went on to represent Australia in the 20-20 competition.
He was a franchise cricketer in various competitions.
I was also fortunate to have bowled against top-class batsmen in Aaron Finch, Brad Hodge and Glen Maxwell in some games.
Who did you play for before joining Allansford this season?
I wanted to step back from playing at district level because I was burnt out so I went out and played with Keilor who play in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association.
I played there for six years. I got 36 wickets last season which ended up being a pretty good effort.
I got the man of the match award in my first season with Keilor against Douta Stars in 2011-12.
My figures were four wickets for 30 runs in the first innings and four wickets for 40 runs in the second innings.
Last year I was lucky to win the man of the match award in the grand final again. I got six wickets for 56 runs in the first innings and followed it up with five wickets for 43 in the second innings.
We ended up winning both grand finals.
Dan during your career have you had any stints playing cricket overseas?
Yes. I played for a team called Cheadle in the Cheshire County Cricket League.
I was only 21 years old when I made my first trip over there. I got 70 wickets and made 450 runs in my first season.
It was a tremendous experience playing over there.
I played there for six months and then came back here for six months before going back to Cheadle. I did that for three years.
They used to play cricket in all types of conditions over in England.
How did it come about that you’ve come down to open the bowling at Allansford this season?
I had been a development officer at Cricket Victoria and I had been down here for a few years on matters relating to cricket and I just fell in love with the place.
Warrnambool ticks a lot of boxes for me. I’m a country boy at heart and I just wanted to get out of the city.
I’ve been friends with Ben Boyd for a few years and we just ended up talking about me playing cricket down here and Allansford was the obvious choice.
Dan has Allansford had many players at pre-season training?
We’ve had good numbers considering some players were still involved with footy commitments.
Our numbers have varied from 15 to 20 players. We’ve been training for a few months.
Have you taken much note about the strength of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association?
Yes. I’ve kept a good eye on the competition over the years. I know Woodford’s John Houston very well.
Woodford and Russell’s Creek have good sides and I anticipate other sides will try and measure up this season. It looks like being a very even competition.