Sam Robson has been in impressive form for England Lions © Getty Images
London: Apr 3, 2014
Sydney-born Sam Robson insisted on Wednesday he has no qualms declaring his allegiance to England, having spent the past six years playing for Middlesex.
The 24-year-old batsman has yet to make his international debut but will look to force his way into an unsettled England Test side, still trying to bounce back from an Ashes whitewash, after impressing on recent second-string tours of Australia and Sri Lanka.
Robson struck five hundreds in six matches during those trips and knows continued weight of runs for Lord’s-based Middlesex — whose coach, Angus Fraser, is now also an England selector will keep his name in consideration ahead of home series against Sri Lanka and India in June and July respectively.
An Australia Under-19 international who also played for the Eastern Suburbs club, Robson headed to London soon after leaving school and liked it so much he stayed on.
“I came over here when I left school, loved everything about it, loved Middlesex and turning up at Lord’s as a professional cricketer,” said Robson, the son of an English mother.
“And the more time I’ve spent in London, the more I’ve loved it, and it’s become my home. So that’s the deal; I’ve become used to life here, this is where I live and this is where I’m a professional cricketer.
“Four-day games, the Championship, that’s the great strength of the English system. That’s what’s unique, and that’s what I love most about county cricket.
“We’re professionals, we’re paid to play cricket, not sit around. I think it’s a great system.
“There’s no better place to be working on your game and improving than out in the middle.”
There were suggestions Robson faced a conflict of loyalties when it came to deciding his international future with current Australia batsman Chris Rogers, who played for Middlesex, trying to persuade him to pursue a baggy green cap rather than the blue of England.
But Robson stressed there was no dilemma in his eyes.
“Middlesex is where I’ve learnt to play First-Class cricket,” he said. “It’s not something that really bothers me [questions of nationality].
“I’ve been here for a long time now. I love London, I’ve been here since I finished school and I haven’t given it too much thought.
“I grew up in Australia, I still go back there in the winters and my family live there, there’s no hiding that and I’ve never tried.
“I’ve tried to reinforce my commitment to the English cricket system ever since I’ve been here though.
“I committed simply by coming in the first place, signing up and giving up opportunities in Australia when I was very young. So from then on my focus has always been here.”
He added: “I’ve toured with the Lions and the England Performance Programme [EPP]. I’ve grown up overseas but I’ve committed to England and that’s all there is.
“When the issue of selection came up, it was a straightforward decision.”
Now Robson, speaking ahead of this weekend’s start of the County Championship programme, wants to emulate childhood heroes Michael Slater [Australia] and Michael Vaughan [England] by forging a Test career.
“I think there are opportunities there with England now, but you never know what’s going to happen with selection.
“I looked up to Michael Slater as a youngster, but I always remembered guys who did well for the other country in Australia.
“Vaughan, I remember he was outstanding in 2002, 2003, so for a little while I was trying to bat like him.
“I pride myself on having good technique and I try to hone that.”