Kyle Jamieson interview: New Zealand star still feeling on top of the world as he settles in at Surrey

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 (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
(Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

Last Wednesday, Kyle Jamieson was named player of the match, as New Zealand ran through India to win the inaugural World Test Championship Final on a sixth day at the Ageas Bowl.

The following morning, after celebrating with his team-mates, Jamieson got in a car and headed for London, to join up with his new county, Surrey.

By Friday evening, he was playing at the Kia Oval in the Vitality Blast, the first match of his nine-game spell with the county.

“It was a pretty quick turnaround!” he tells Standard Sport.

“We didn’t know the Test would go six days, but we enjoyed ourselves that Wednesday night. It was nice to spend time together as a group and enjoy each other’s company at the end of a long journey. It was just us and the support staff, so it was pretty special — music going, a couple of beers, enjoying the moment. Then I was straight into cricket 48 hours later!”

Last night, Jamieson was back at the Ageas Bowl in Surrey’s Blast win over Hampshire. On Sunday, he is there again, for the first of his two Championship matches for the county.

“I’ve spent a fair bit of time there over the last month,” he laughs. “We did our isolation there, played the final.

“In a way, it would have maybe been nice to see some other parts of the UK, having seen a fair amount of that ground from the hotel. But it’ll be nice to go back, as I’ve got some good memories and things went pretty well.”

Jamieson should provide a fearsome threat for Surrey.

In the 26-year-old’s first eight Tests (none of which have been lost), he has 46 wickets at 14 (as well as a batting average of 43). His two Tests in England, with the Dukes ball, have brought 10 of those wickets.

At 6ft 8ins, with the ability to swing the ball, there are shades of another Oval favourite, Morne Morkel.

His opportunity arose when Aussie Sean Abbott was injured and, so far, “it’s been awesome”. He is particularly enjoying being on the same side as Rory Burns and Ollie Pope, his recent international opponents. The same was true when at Royal Challengers Bangalore with Virat Kohli (who he dismissed twice in the WTC final).

It has “been nice”, Jamieson says, to step out of the “New Zealand cricket bubble”. He added: “It’s all new to me, but it’s been good to share dressing rooms with other people, learn off them and experience new environments and cultures.”

Against Hampshire on Sunday, he will come up against fellow Black Cap Colin de Grandhomme and Somerset will have Devon Conway in their ranks the week after — “bragging rights are on the line,” he says.

Some of their international team-mates are in quarantine at home, while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is enjoying some family time before the Hundred.

“It’s a bit weird when you have a moment like that, such a special experience as a group,” he said. “All of a sudden we are on different planes, in different cars with different destinations. It’s the world we live in, but we have certainly stayed in touch.”

Jamieson was one of the last players to come into this great Kiwi side, but is the perfect emblem of its selfless culture.

“It’s nice to have those accolades next to your name,” he says of winning Player of the Match. “But walking away with the Test mace was the most pleasing thing. I’ve said it a number of times that although some times certain guys walk away with different accolades it’s down to the collective. The bowling unit we have has been very special. We’ve got some world class guys, so I just ride their coattails a little bit.

“It is easy joining a successful team, and credit to the guys who have built it up over a long period of time. It’s certainly made my life much easier when you’ve got those senior guys there and you can just slip in. It allows you to go about your job and role pretty simply, because they do a lot of the grunt work.”

After three months in bubbles, Jamieson is enjoying being “able to get out, have a coffee, some food”. He wants to make the most of it, before heading home. Getting into New Zealand is not simple right now, even for the Player of the World Test Championship final. He has a flight booked on July 19, with a slot in hotel quarantine to follow.

That will provide the perfect chance to reflect on an extraordinary trip but, with Surrey, there is one last chapter to complete.

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