Q&A with Ripps

25 Jun 2020



@photosportnz

Q&A with Ripps

Michael Rippon has become an integral part of the Volts Squad over the past 3 seasons, contributing in many games with both the bat in the middle-to-lower order, and the ball with his left-arm wrist spin. This week we caught up with Ripps to talk about his Cricket background, spin bowling, and his aspirations for the 2020/21 season.. Enjoy!

Q: Thanks for your time Ripps. How has your lockdown period been in Dunedin?

A: It was interesting to say the least. Before lockdown happened, I was looking for some temporary accomodation before moving in with team mate Josh Finnie - and eventually  decided to move into an 'AirBnb' for about 4 weeks. I chose a very small pad to stay in with my girlfriend. My reason being we weren’t going to spend much time indoors.  3 days in we were at level 4 and weren’t allowed to leave the house!

Q: Have you begun training with the Volts Squad yet? And if so, what has been the focus of your training?

A: Yes we have. The first block of training is just about getting in touch again with your game and working on the fundamental basics of your skills. As we progress, the players will work on areas of their game that they feel they need to up-skill. 

Q: How did you first get started in Cricket, and who were your favourite Cricketers growing up?

A: At my school, we had to play a team sport. I played cricket and hockey. My favourite childhood cricketers would be Brian Lara, Jacques Wallis, Shane Warne, and Lance Klusener to name a few.

Q: When did you first start bowling spin? And who have been your best mentors in spin bowling?

A: Like many growing up, I used to bowl slow-medium pace deliveries. It was Jonathan Trott’s dad - Ian whom suggested I should bowl spin. I actually started off as a finger spinner bowling a leg spin as a surprise delivery. When you're only 12 or 13, players couldn’t pick it. I went to the U15 nationals week - had a great tournament and then a couple weeks later I decided I didn’t want to be a finger spinner anymore and wanted to transform into a wrist spinner. It was really tough in the beginning. There were plenty of times when I would go down to the nets with my dad and I’d say right I’m bowling off spin again. He always encouraged me to not give up. 

Q: What would be your advice for a young spinner coming through the age-group sides?

A: There's going to be dark days but it’s part of the journey. Spin the ball hard, have a smile on your face, and be brave. 

Q: Talk to us about your time in South Africa and England, which teams did you represent and what were some highlights?

A: I grew up in Western Province, and made my debut for the Cape Cobras in the 2010/11 season. The following season, I broke my collarbone. Sussex were down for a pre-season training camp. I had just started bowling again and they invited me for a trial. I went there, and took 7/12 in my first game against Kent's 2nd XI, and thankfully got signed on a 2 year contract. The highlight for me was being a young player surrounded by seasoned campaigners. I was a sponge, soaking up as much information as I could. 

Q: What drove you to wanting to play cricket in New Zealand?

A: About a month before I signed with the Volts, I was chatting with my mum and I jokingly said I was going to play in New Zealand honestly believing it wasn’t at all possible. Anton Roux - who was previously the Netherlands head coach (and the then Volts Asst. Coach), rang me up and said there was a possibility of me coming over and playing during the 'Ford Trophy' campaign as Mark Craig had just undergone surgery and was unavailable for selection. I've always had a burning desire to play the highest level of cricket I possibly can, and I felt the set up and structure in New Zealand and at the Volts would help me to achieve this.

Q: What were your first impressions of Dunedin when you arrived in 2018?

A:  Little bit chilly, but beautiful!

Q: What have been your highlights while playing for the Volts over the last few seasons?

A: To witness the growth and maturity of our current squad. From where we were 3 years ago to where we are now. And we’ve still got a helluva long way to go. The potential in this squad is inexpressible. 

Q: What are your goals both personally and for the Volts team, after a relatively successful season in 2019-20?

A: Just to continue building on what has been working for us. Sharpen our skills and take everything to the next level. 

Q: Out of the wider Volts Squad, who has the best hidden talent?

A: Gosh I really don’t know. Maybe Binga (Brett Harrop, Volts Physiotherapist), he reveals a new hidden talent every season!

Q: In 2018 you had one of the all-time mix ups at the crease with Nathan Smith, what happened and who’s fault was it? (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVBXbrQZg90)

A: Contrary to popular belief, it was Nathan fault. Enough about that!

Q: Thanks for your time Ripps. We look forward to seeing you out on Uni Oval in the near future!

A: No worries!