How Sussex star Phil Salt's century left his mate pie-eyed

Phil Salt finds the boundary in the One Day Cup win over Surrey / Picture by Andrew Hasson for Sussex Cricket
Phil Salt finds the boundary in the One Day Cup win over Surrey / Picture by Andrew Hasson for Sussex Cricket

I’m chuffed with the way we’ve started this year’s one-day competition.

Beating Surrey with their big names and international experience, a thumping win away against Kent and then Wrighty’s incredible innings to set up victory at Lord’s were superb results, as was the tight victory at Essex. Four wins from five (before Thursday's narrow loss to Hampshire) suggests we’re playing pretty well.

My century at Beckenham was good fun. I had a couple of mates there watching, and I think they enjoyed themselves as much as I did.

One of them, Aaron, who I know through my best mate and former Sussex seamer Stu Whittingham sent me a message on WhatsApp on the morning of the game: “I’m going to ton up on pints… you on runs!” “I did my bit, I hope you did yours”, I replied once I was back in the dressing room.
By the look of him when I caught up with him after the match, he had. Pie-eyed!

I’m working hard on consistency with everything I do, both on and off the pitch.

Alongside adapting to conditions, making sure we each have well-established processes as players is a big focus.

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If we can repeat the things that give us the best chances of performing to the best of our abilities, then with the talent we’ve got, I feel we’re going to win more games than we lose.

For me, it’s actually more about what I’m doing off the pitch: getting my routines right in training, making sure my lifestyle is right away from the game, with what I’m eating etc etc.

I’ve found, particularly in the past few months, if you can get those aspects like clockwork, then performances tend to follow.

The fewer things you have to think about, the easier it is to be focused out in the middle.

I’ve picked a lot of that up from spending time around some really good professionals. CJ is the example that sticks out in my mind here at Sussex, but to be honest we have a dressing room full of good pros.

My winter away was really useful as well; speaking to guys that have been in the game for years and years about what they do. It’s then been about picking out what’s relevant to me and putting it into practice.

It’s not about becoming an automaton. Anybody that knows me knows I am a little bit mad, and that comes out naturally. I don’t feel you have to lose that sense of fun in order to do things properly. Dizzy talks a lot about enjoying yourself and doing things with a smile on your face, and I’ll definitely keep doing that.

Something else that helps in terms of keeping everything is perspective, is walking around the ground and seeing what everyone else at the club does every day to keep the operation ticking along. It certainly makes your role as a player seem a bit smaller.

I’ve made some great mates in the office as well as in the team, and when you’re someone like me who didn’t grow up locally and doesn’t have the existing support structures in place, then you’ve got to create those yourself.

Luckily, Sussex Cricket is a pretty good place to do that.

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