Sam Robson made a fine century for England © Getty Images
Sam Robson made a fine century for England against Sri Lanka  © Getty Images (File Photo)

 

Leeds: Jun 22, 2014

 

The Australian father of Sam Robson believes it would be “amazing” to see his son play cricket against some of his childhood friends during next year’s Ashes after the England opener scored his maiden Test century.

Robson’s 127 was the cornerstone of England’s 320 for six at stumps on the second day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Saturday.

Among the near-capacity crowd who witnessed Robson bring up a century in only his third Test innings were his father, Jim, and English-born mother, Rosamunde.

England will stage next year’s Ashes and Robson senior told reporters: “He’s going to take one game at a time but it is very exciting.

“If he ever got to the level of the Ashes it would be amazing because he’s got some great mates in the Australia team — Steve Smith and Phil Hughes are two of his best mates.

“It would be very strange to play against them but it would be wonderful.”

The Robsons all had an anxious wait on Saturday after 24-year-old Middlesex opener Sam was 98 not out at tea.

“It was incredible when he got his hundred,” Jim Robson, who runs the indoor nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground, said.

“It was a very nervous tea interval. I didn’t know what to expect because you never know until you reach that magic mark. But it is very special.”

Although Sam made his Test debut at Lord’s, his Middlesex home ground, Jim said the occasion had proved somewhat overwhelming for his son, who managed scores of just one and 19 in the drawn first match of a two-Test series with the Sri Lankans.

“I’m glad we didn’t just come for the First Test. He was so nervous for that match, I couldn’t believe it.

“Being at Lord’s, even though it is his home ground, I think he was overwhelmed by it.

“It was a bit like a party at Lord’s rather than a cricket game. He was organising tickets and meeting us after the game.

“It was probably too much for him, so this time he’s been able to concentrate on the cricket. He’s been much more relaxed this Test.”

Robson senior, a well-known figure in Sydney club cricket with the University of New South Wales team, has played a key role in the career of both his sons.

“I coached him and his younger brother, Angus, who plays for (English county) Leicestershire, from when they were toddlers. The two boys played cricket non-stop.

“I played many, many years of grade cricket and then I played with my two children — I kept playing club cricket so I could play with Sam and Angus,” the 58-year-old explained.

- ‘No mixed feelings’ -

Meanwhile Jim insisted he’d no qualms about Sam’s decision to opt for England, despite the pleas of Middlesex captain Chris Rogers, the Australia opener, to aim for a ‘Baggy Green’ cap instead.

“My wife was born in Nottingham, so the English passport is the best thing she’s ever done in her life!” he said.

“There are no mixed feelings, I just want him to do the best he can do in his life,” added Jim, who played Second XI cricket for English county side Worcestershire.

“As soon as he [Sam] turned 18 he came straight over to England to play.

“London is one of the great cities of the world and I knew how good the cricket set-up was and I knew he would play so much. All he wanted to do was improve as a cricketer.

“Australia wanted him last year, which probably would have been a little bit late because he was established and loves Middlesex and has a lot of friends there.

“I’m just a cricket lover…It doesn’t matter where he is playing, he will just do the best for his team. I’m just proud of him.”

Catch all the stories related to Sri Lanka’s tour of England 2014 here