It’s one week since Worcestershire Rapids achieved Vitality Blast finals day glory at Edgbaston with their memorable triumphs over Lancashire Lightning and Sussex Sharks.
One of the major heroes of that stunning success was 20-year-old paceman Patrick Brown with his four wickets against the Lightning and tight bowling – 0-14 in four overs – versus the Sharks.
Here Pat looks back on that triumph, the challenges ahead – with Worcestershire and on returning to studying at the City Of Worcester University – and his future goals in a Question And Answer Session with the Worcestershire CCC website.
Question: Pat, here we are one week on from Edgbaston, how are you feeling now, has it all sunk in yet?
Pat Brown: “I think so. It still feels quite unbelievable that we’ve done it. Looking back, it is a great achievement for us.”
Question: What has it been like for you, have you been recognised by people in the street after what you achieved?
Pat Brown: “I’ve been stopped a couple of times by people to say well done and to praise the boys. It’s really nice but it’s a bit embarrassing for me.
“I never thought that would ever happen, I never expected it. I didn’t really know what to say. But thanks to everyone for their kind words.”
Question: You said in the press conference after the game that you never expected to play on a stage like that?
Pat Brown: “What I meant by that was when I was younger and I was trying to get into cricket, I never expected to get that far, to play on such a big occasion.”
Question: In the end, you finished as the competition’s leading wicket-taker by a considerable distance?
Pat Brown: “I’d like to say I wasn’t thinking about it – but I was! Going into finals day, I knew if we got through the semi that I would have a decent chance of finishing on top.
“To get four wickets in the semi, and bowl well in the final, and help the lads to win, is way more important than finishing as top wicket-taker but that’s a nice bonus for me.”
Question: Since then you’ve had so many plaudits from people like Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports?
Pat Brown: “It is really nice to hear but things can change very quickly. If you have an average year next year, then no-one is talking about this year.
“You’ve got to keep yourself level-headed or you might fall into the trap of getting on a downward slide.”
Question: Sounds like you are already preparing for the future, and that you can’t afford to stand still?
Pat Brown: “You’ve got to keep looking forward. It’s obviously nice to have won the Blast and be leading wicket-taker but there’s nothing more going to come my way for that now so I’ve got to think about doing it again next year and hopefully breaking into the red ball team as well.
“You’ve got to try and stay ahead of the game. It’s a nice problem to have, that people are going to be looking that deeply into how you bowl but you have got to try and stay ahead of things and maybe come up with the same delivery that can have the same effect.”
Question: Will you be working on things like that in the winter?
Pat Brown: “Definitely. I want one more variation at least. More than anything, I’d like to work on my yorker as well because that can be very useful on pitches that aren’t conduisive to slower balls.”
Question: There is nothing you can keep hidden in the locker these days with the technology teams have at their disposal?
Pat Brown: “I’ve played on TV three times this year before finals day this year bowling change-ups and each time they looked at it and tried to pick it on commentary, showed everyone what I did.
“But, even with all the cameras, I don’t think many people picked it. I still found a way to disguise it as best as I can.”
Question: Do you enjoy the publicity you’ve received for your achievements?
Pat Brown: “I had to do a press conference after the game and actually found it a lot easier than I thought I would, being at the top table rather than around the table with four or five people.
“It is nice that people are talking about you being a threat and ‘our dangerman’ but, like I say, if I don’t do anything during the first half of next year, then people soon forget about that.
“It’s nice that people want to talk about me – but I want to keep them talking by continuing to perform.”
Question: Do the lads give you plenty of good hearted banter over the publicity you’ve received?
Pat Brown: “They are really good. I don’t think it is the type of changing room where you can get too carried away because the lads will pull you up on it.
“We are quite good, we keep each other grounded. It’s all about it being a team effort.”
Question: Did you enjoy the celebrations once the trophy had been lifted?
Pat Brown: “It was amazing. We stayed in the dressing room until about 2.30am. It was special to be there with everyone, to be there with all the staff, family, girlfriends.
“It felt good to stay in the dressing room we’d been in all day and soak it all up.
“Matt Rawnsley (Worcestershire CEO) gave a speech which unfortunately I missed because I was doing a press conference.”
Question: You said that the Kent semi-final in the One-Day Cup was the making of you. What did you mean by that?
Pat Brown: “I feel like I’ve matured a lot since that game and, weirdly, I backed myself more after that.
“In the death overs, I’m not afraid to be the one to do it and I’m not worried about getting whacked.
“If I get whacked and we lose a game, it happens, but as long as I’m having more games when I’m successful, then you will take that.”
Question: How did you become this white ball ‘expert’ because you ended last season as a Championship regular in the promoted side?
Pat Brown: “I honestly don’t know. Like I say, I think I’ve matured as a player, know my game a lot better and am more tactically sound than I was 12 months ago after working with Richo (Alan Richardson).
“I feel he has helped my white ball a lot in terms of how simple he has tried to keep it. The messages he has conveyed are really simple – but effective – which translates into our methods and plans being really simple.
“There is no point trying to bowl five different deliveries in an over because you can’t perfect five deliveries, not consistently anyway.
“To have one, two or three – and knowing you are going to nail them – is a lot simpler and easier to process in your mind.
“When you are going back to your mark, you are just thinking ‘I’ve got my main delivery, do I change it up to this one or the other one?’.
“Nine times out of ten, you go with your gut feeling on what to do.”
Question: Presumably you also want to make your mark in red ball cricket again?
Pat Brown: “I definitely want to come back off this winter in a better position to be playing red ball cricket because, in white ball cricket, things can change so quickly.
“You saw in white ball cricket, how I went from last year doing nothing to being leading wicket-taker, and that can happen the other way around just as easily.
“I think, if I want consistency over a long period of time, I’ve got to be playing red ball cricket as well and that’s what I aim to do.”
Question: You were used as an out and out attacking bowler at the end of last season?
Pat Brown: “I was never used in a role I felt was sustainable over a long period of time. That was not really something you could do all season, sustain over a career.
“It was good to get in the team and to be part of the team when we went up was tremendous.
“But it wasn’t going to keep me in the team for this year or put me in a position where I could be knocking down the door for red ball cricket this year. You don’t want to be averaging 35 as a seam bowler.
“I need to learn a couple more skills, be more consistent, and work out a way like someone like Leachy (skipper Joe Leach) has to get my wickets.
“I don’t feel I know my game in red ball that well, especially compared to white ball. I need to. Learn my game better, how I’m going to go about stuff, get my wickets, like I know pretty well in white ball now.”
Question: Now immediately on the horizon is going back to the City Of Worcester University to complete a business studies degree?
Pat Brown: “I’m in my last year and it will be good to get that done.”