Matt joins Cricket AM
New Cricket AM co-presenter Matt Floyd gives us the inside track on his biggest challenge yet...
Last Updated: 02/06/10 3:18pm
He has a first-class ton to his name and has played against a host of England players but new co-presenter Matt Floyd says fronting Cricket AM might just be his biggest and most exciting challenge yet...
skysports.com: Now the 'selectors' have picked you to co-present Cricket AM what aspect of your new role are you most looking forward to?
Matt: Over the years Cricket AM has built up a reputation for having some very varied and interesting guests - from big name cricketers like Murali and Warney to celebrity fans like Brian Blessed! I can't wait to meet this season's guests because I know they won't disappoint! The team has been shooting plenty of new features too and I'm excited to see how they turn out and I'm looking forward to 'Speed Gun' too. Our quest to find the fastest club bowler around could get pretty tasty!
skysports.com: We've heard you aren't such a bad player yourself and actually played five first-class games for Oxford University.
Matt: As a kid I always wanted to be a professional cricketer. I was never quite good enough but thought that going to Oxford would give me the next best thing - the chance to play against professionals. I deliberately applied to a college with a strong sports background and luckily there were a few cricket questions in my interview because the admissions tutor was a big fan!
skysports.com: You made your first-class debut in 2001 against a Middlesex side that included the likes of Strauss, Shah, Fraser and Tufnell. How big a thrill was that?
Matt: It was a pretty incredible experience because I was up against some of my heroes as well as some guys I knew pretty well through playing for Middlesex colts at junior level! So while Gus Fraser was bowling at me Paul Weekes, who I know from Hampstead CC, was sledging me from first slip! It was all quite surreal really!
skysports.com: Strauss scored three runs in that draw. Back then in 2001 did you think you were watching a future England captain?
Matt: That season some very good players didn't get runs against us and often it was the guys you hadn't heard of who turned it on! One player who did look amazing back then, though, was Ian Bell who scored 130 for Warwickshire in a first-wicket stand of 343 with Mike Powell! Belly looked absolute class. Graeme Hick was also great to watch although I'm not sure our bowlers agreed! He hit 164 off 132 balls against us and it got a bit savage at times.
skysports.com: So what is your best achievement as a player...
Matt: Breaking into the first team at Hampstead (a club I've played for since I was nine) at the age of 18 was a very special moment. Also, I won't forget scoring 128no in the 2001 Varsity match. Our whole season was geared towards playing Cambridge - it was our Cup final - and that year we won by three wickets. My innings counts as a first-class ton as well, which is fine by me!
skysports.com: ...and your most memorable moment as a cricket fan?
Matt: I remember jumping around my living room and screaming at the end of the 2005 Edgbaston Test because it was such a tense victory! South Africa's victory over Australia in Johannesburg when they chased down 434-4 to win inside 50 overs also sticks in my mind. I was at Sky at the time, trying to do some prep for an interview, and I ended up staying behind because I didn't want to miss any of it. I couldn't believe my eyes as the game unfolded - it was the most incredible game ever played. It's hard to think we could see anything like that again!
skysports.com: So is limited-overs cricket your thing or do you prefer Tests?
Matt: Like most people I love watching Twenty20 cricket - the recent World Cup was fantastic and in terms of pulling in the crowds that format it is definitely the future. But I don't think you can replicate the tension that Test cricket creates. Take, for instance, the match at Cardiff last year when England blocked out the Aussies for a draw. I was there pitch-side and the whole crowd was going nuts every time that Monty and Jimmy Anderson blocked a ball. Ironically, that was the best atmosphere of the whole series! Another duel, between Freddie Flintoff and Jacques Kallis, when the South Africans were touring a few years ago also sticks in my mind. You can't replicate dramatic moments like that in the shortest form of the game and I find those 20-minute passages that build from nowhere in Test cricket more exciting than any other form of cricket.
skysports.com: Was it the thrill of watching live sport that got you into television presenting?
Matt: I've always been into sport in a big way so it seemed a natural way to go. One of the best things about working at Sky is that there are plenty of opportunities to try if you are keen enough. I started in a production role but tried my hand at reporting and through that I did some in-vision work. Later, I expressed an interest in presenting and got a chance when Nick Knight was ill for an overnight gig! Sky chucked me in at the deep end and somehow I survived. I still haven't done a lot of presenting yet and am still pretty new to it but hopefully I'll do ok. I guess we'll see!
skysports.com: So does that mean Cricket AM's gain is Hampstead CC's loss?
Matt: Actually, working on Cricket AM will hopefully give me more chances to play for Hampstead! In the past reporting on Test matches have limited my appearances for the club over the last three years. But Cricket AM is on from 9-10.30am and our league games in the ECB Middlesex Premier League don't start until 11.30am. So providing I can jump in a car after the show and go straight to the match I should arrive just in time for the warm-ups. If it works out like that it's the dream scenario - presenting and playing!
skysports.com: Can we look forward to seeing you test your arm in 'Speed Gun' at some point?
Matt: In a word, no! I think I was 11 the last time bowled in a competitive match. Actually, I'm not even allowed to bowl in the nets at Hampstead - which tells its own story. I have to go off and do some fielding practice instead! I've read on the internet that I bowl right-arm off-breaks but that's news to me!
You can catch Matt and co-presenter Sarah Jane Mee when the new season of Cricket AM begins on Saturday May 29 at 9am.