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Wednesday 18th May 2011

Anthony Martin is an anomaly. With cricket having evolved into the world of the glitz and glamour of sportainment and the modern cricketer seeking mega-stardom, Martin is a throwback to the days of yore.

He is not fascinated by bling, the latest clothing trends or the hottest gadgets.

The 28 year old leg spinner has no insatiable desire to be in the lime light. He is neither submissive to peer pressure nor does he feel the need to be confined by the media manager’s guidelines when responding to questions.

“I am my own man, I know who I am and what I am about, I learned very early in my life that I have to prove myself and work hard for everything I want,” Martin told in an exclusive interview.

“I play cricket because I love it, I don’t play for money, I play for the love of the game. Even if I wasn’t being paid I would still be playing and I would still play with the same intensity,” Martin said while taking a break from his first day back on the job as a Police Constable in his native Antigua.

The enthusiastic and aggressive leggie was selected to the West Indies squad for the Digicel One Day International Series against Pakistan and made his international debut at the Beausejour Cricket Grounds. He played two matches and went wicketless but his 19 overs cost only 57 runs and he believes his role in the team is to keep the pressure on the opposition batsmen by bowling a barrage of dot balls.

Throughout his First Class career he has been known as a fierce competitor, a trait which he said was cultivated from his early childhood after he was exposed to fellow Antiguan and legendary West Indian batting maestro Sir Viv Richards.

Martin tells the story that his uncle, Lindy Scotland – a former Antiguan player who taught him cricket in his childhood – was close friends with Sir Viv. The former West Indies captain would visit Martin’s home and he developed an admiration for Sir Viv’s world renowned aggressive demeanor.

“I like the way how Viv played and I have always had that in me since I was young,” Martin explained.

“I play hard and I have a winning attitude, I want to win everything because when you see Anthony Martin I want you to see a winner,” Martin espoused.

“I know if West Indies has 11 players on the field with the kind of attitude I have and if we put in the hard work in the nets then it won’t be easy to beat us,” Martin reasoned.

Martin also said that he is pleased with the direction in which West Indies cricket is going.

“I spoke to the coach (Ottis Gibson) and I let him know that I like the direction that he is taking the team in and I have seen when it is time for discipline there are some guys who are not comfortable,” Martin said frankly.

“That is not my style, all my life I have known only one way – to work hard for everything you want and to remain humble in doing it. I have had a taste of international cricket and I want to play more and more and I would like to be around to accomplish the goal the coach has set,” Martin divulged.

“Without discipline we cannot achieve the goal of winning and some guys are not accustomed to that. They want to come in, take it easy and get paid. I will do the hard work and stick to the game plan because I want the team to win. It is not about Anthony Martin, it is about West Indies cricket,” Martin preached.

Martin said that despite his inexperience at the international level he believes that he can add value to the West Indies team with his restrictive bowling, his never-say-die attitude and his winning mentality.

“I want to play for West Indies so bad and want to be out on the field so bad that even when I am not playing I am just praying for a wicket to fall so I can run out there with the drinks, I am hungry for this,” Martin revealed.

“Playing for the West Indies is what I have wanted all my life and I want to be out there representing the people and playing my part and if some days my role is to carry drinks I will do that to be best of my ability because we are all part of a team and I will do what is necessary for success,” Martin said.

“I am not a young man, I don’t have the luxury of screwing up because you don’t get many opportunities in life so I have no room for failure,” Martin said.

Martin refused to end the interview before he made what he described as the most important point.

“I want the people to know when I go out there I go out there to represent them. I don’t have to look good, I want the people to feel good. I am tired of the people turning off their TVs because West Indies lose. I want the people of the West Indies to listen to the radio and watch the TV and not want to move. That’s what I want to be a part of. I can’t do it alone but I am desperate to play my part.

“And whenever the selectors are ready for me I don’t have to do much packing. My bags are packed and I’m ready to play. Wherever, whenever I am ready to go. Cricket is what I love and it is what I want to do everyday.”

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