Liam Plunkett recently caught up with Swagcricket.com in an interview arranged by Royal, the official sponsor of Major League Cricket. Plunkett was a member of the England team that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup. After the mega event, he moved to the United States of America.
Earlier this month, Plunkett turned up for the San Francisco Unicorns in the inaugural edition of Major League Cricket. Amid his busy schedule, the right-arm fast bowler answered our questions related to his experience in Major League Cricket, life in USA, IPL career, England career as well as Legends League Cricket. Here are the excerpts:
Exclusive interview with Liam Plunkett
A World Cup winner with England, now playing with #SFOUnicorns at @MLCricket – Liam Plunkett is loving being part of cricket's journey in he USA. #MajorLeagueCricket #MLC2023 pic.twitter.com/H1dW5dy6vu— San Francisco Unicorns (@SFOUnicorns) July 23, 2023
Swagcricket: Hey Liam! How have you been doing? How is life in America?
Liam Plunkett: It’s Amazing!
Swagcricket: Share something about your experience playing for San Francisco Unicorns.
Liam Plunkett: It’s been a couple of years since I played high-end cricket, so it’s brought that excitement and passion back to me. I play cricket to test myself against the best – so it brings that hunger, competitiveness, and winning mentality out of me.
It’s good to play with some of the best in the world and keep learning how they go about their business, because the game changes year-to-year. When you’re out of the game for a couple of years, people evolve and adapt, and even the tactics and prep changes. So it’s been brilliant.
Swagcricket: Superstars of Pakistan Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan are part of the San Francisco Unicorns team. How is it sharing the dressing room with them?
Liam Plunkett: Great, they’re very good people that can have a joke and laugh around, but on the field, they are they put in more than anyone else.
They’ve got passion for the game, and you can see how every game Rauf will run in, firing balls as quick as he can – he won’t leave anything in the tank. Same with Shadab: he’s very skillful. I’ve played against them at international level and it’s nice to play with them and see how good they are.
Swagcricket: You played your last match for England in the 2019 World Cup Final against New Zealand. Tell us something about that epic game at Lord’s.
Liam Plunkett: For me, I feel like it’s the greatest cricket ever played. There you go!
Swagcricket: You won Legends League Cricket last year with India Capitals under Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy. How was it playing under Gambhir’s captaincy?
Liam Plunkett: Yeah, I played under Gambhir before when I played in the IPL. When it comes to the masters, the legends, everything is kind of relaxed and lowkey.
I think he was happy to be playing and he was a calm figurehead. It was enjoyable and that was because we had a calm dressing room, and everyone got on with each other.
Swagcricket: Cricket in the USA has grown tremendously over the last 3-4 years. Where do you see the USA cricket team in the next 3 years?
Liam Plunkett: Hopefully, Major League Cricket just gets stronger and stronger, after how good it’s been this year. I think you might say a few more franchises pop up and I think a lot of the franchises will have their own facilities and stadium. And I think you might see a pipeline where each franchise has a high performance center.
Swagcricket: You turned up for the Delhi Daredevils team in IPL 2018. Which was your favorite moment in that season?
Liam Plunkett: I think my debut, to be honest with you. I’d been going well away from the IPL and I didn’t get picked up in the draft, I had an injury. Then I went across. I think I managed to pick off three for maybe 17, or something, in my debut.
It was a great atmosphere and to say you’ve played in such a unique competition, where people worship cricket, it’s like a religion. To be involved in that and play a debut play with different people from different background, with the best in the world and with Ricky Ponting as my coach – I think it was an incredible experience.
PACE⏩ & BOUNCE⏫!— Major League Cricket (@MLCricket) July 16, 2023
Liam Plunkett utilizes both in this CRAFTY wicket of the in-form, Nauman Anwar!
5⃣3⃣/2⃣ (5.5) pic.twitter.com/iDaFgLKtwD
Swagcricket: Many fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer, and Shaheen Afridi have struggled with injuries and fitness problems in the last 1 year. You have been bowling pace at the age of 38. Any fitness secrets and tips you want to share?
Liam Plunkett: I think I’ve changed and adapted the way I’ve trained, as I’ve gotten older. I’m trying to be a little bit smarter. I used to do a lot more when I was younger. As you get older, it’s about prioritizing what you need to play cricket.
So, it’s not so much that I’m going to the gym to get a six pack – the work has to be cricket-specific, and the load has to be managed around playing. At the end of the day, playing cricket is what you get paid for, so I’m doing everything to build up to play cricket.
Swagcricket: Who has been the toughest batter to bowl against in your career so far?
Liam Plunkett: I’m gonna go Chris Gayle and Alex Hales.