Tag Archives: Moneyball

The DeadBall Interview: Daniel Vettori

I interviewed the current New Zealand Cricket captain Dan Vettori late last year for my employer,  Barkers Men’s Clothing (you can read the better, fancier feature at the Barkers blog), and thought I’d post the transcript of the interview for your reading pleasure. Bear in mind that the interview was conducted four months ago, so there was still hope for the season at the time. Or that faint patina of hope that all New Zealand Cricket fans know and ‘love’.

That soon faded. But the thrill of interviewing Vettori never will. He was an exceptionally impressive fellow, well-spoken, thoughtful, opinionated… Everything you’d like a sportsman to be, but so rarely encounter. I happened to be reading Michael Lewis’ excellent sabermetrics tribute Moneyball at the time, and self-consciously had it lying on the table between us when he came down. I figured it was as good a way as any to see how curious he was. I figure most All Blacks don’t even look at the book. Dan Vettori not only looked at it, he made keen observations about its content (tragically before I switched my dictaphone on) and had, in fact read it twice, the second time after he had made a concerted effort to appreciate the intricacies of baseball so as to see what that new knowledge altered in terms of his appreciation for the book.

Which is just great. We’ve now had two straight captains who are serious students of the game – but not just the game they happen to excel at, but games in general. For a side like the Black Caps, cursed by population and temperament to never have the resources our opposition has at their beck and call, this attribute is incredibly important. God knows where we’d be without his influence. Anyway, without further rumination, here is the transcript of our conversation,

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