The KFC T20 Big Bash League kicks off with the Perth Scorchers versus Adelaide Strikers at the WACA on Monday, December 22. Scorchers fast bowler, Joel Paris, took time out for a chat.
How are the Scorchers looking in the lead up to your opening match of the Big Bash against the Adelaide Strikers?
We certainly feel confident, given the way we performed at the Champions League in India and the way the state team has been going, but we also know how difficult it is to win a competition like the Big Bash. It took us three finals before we lifted our first trophy. So we’re not getting complacent at all. As always, we will do everything we can to give ourselves the best opportunity of being successful.
You weren’t on the field, but you were a member of last season’s BBL-winning Scorchers squad and you’ve been to two Champions Leagues now, with the most recent tournament in India a stand-out for you. Tell us a bit about being on big stages like those and what it’s like to play in front of thousands of people, like the match against Chennai Super Kings?
It’s unbelievable. The crowd over in India was just awesome. It’s definitely a massive thrill and something that I will remember for a long time. There isn’t much time to think about the game while you’re out there and with the crowd being so loud sometimes you can’t hear yourself think, so it is definitely a challenge.
Your name has started doing the rounds as one of the next generation of quicks bound for the highest level. How does that make you feel and what do you have to do to get there?
It’s obviously very nice to have people say things like that and recognise me for my performance, but at the same time you try not get to ahead of everything that is going on and just focus on the next game or even training session. I think that it’s been made pretty clear that consistent performance is the key to an opportunity, so that’s my job and that’s what I have to produce.
What sort of music do you listen to? What fires you up pre-match?
I’m pretty easy when it comes to music, I tend to just listen to whatever is playing. I normally leave the big job of song picking to the rest of the boys.
Are there any summer festivals or events that you always make a point of heading to?
With the cricket season being so full-on in the summer, we don’t get a lot of time off so I haven’t had a chance to go to one yet.
What places do you like to head out to for a drink/coffee with friends?
The boys have a little café down the road from the WACA Ground called the Kinky Lizard, which is an awesome joint. I definitely recommend checking it out to anyone in the area.
What’s your favourite summer drink?
I don’t mean to sound boring, but I would have to say water or water mixed with Hydrolite. We have to perform at our peak through a jam-packed summer and that means constantly staying hydrated through some intense temperatures. If we’re mid-match, that’s important, but it’s also crucial in recovery so that our bodies can be as best prepared as possible for the next match. It would be a dream come true to play for Australia one day and if I’m serious about that, then preparation and hard work have to be my focus. I might treat myself to a coffee every now and then, but as caffeine is a diuretic, even that has to be managed.
Other than cricket, what are your favourite sports… to play or watch?
I played AFL all throughout my younger days but I also love golf and try to sneak a game in whenever I can.
What’s your training/playing/leisure time balance like in cricket season?
It’s definitely something that I try and balance the best I can. We have fantastic support staff who are always making sure we are handling things away from cricket and finding that balance. Studying part-time has allowed me to take my mind off cricket when I’ve had to.