James Faulkner: My father has been a big influence on me

James Faulkner (left) is congratulated after receiving the baggy green cap ahead of his debut at The Oval © Getty Images

Aug 21, 2013
 
Australian all-rounder James Faulkner has said that his father Peter has been a big influence in his early days. Faulkner, 23, received the baggy green as he made it to the playing XI of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval on Wednesday.
 
“Growing up he’s always been a pretty big influence, we obviously spent a lot of hours in the backyard playing cricket and he’s just let me enjoy the game and hasn’t really got too much involved,” Faulkner was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
 
Faulkner had asked his father to step down from Apple Isle’s selection panel to avoid any partiality during his rise to the elite level.
 
“He resigned from being chairman of selectors [at Tasmania] when I was 16 or 17. He just let me do what I do and I’m grateful for that. He has never put any pressure on me to play cricket. As long as I was enjoying it, he was happy. I’m grateful for that,” he added.
 
Faulkner’s father played for Tasmania in the 1980s and appeared in 54 matches scoring above 2000 runs and taking 100 wickets.
 
Faulkner has benefitted from Australia’s decision to shuffle their playing XI throughout the Ashes as they searched for alternate options due to the poor performance of the team.
 
“The last couple of seasons I think [my batting] has improved a hell of a lot. Hopefully this game I can score some runs and take some wickets. That’s the objective,” Faulkner said to the newspaper.