Record-breaking batter Sam Northeast has revealed the reasons why he put his team first and knocked back the chance to try and surpass Brian Lara’s world record score that has stood for more than 28 years.
Northeast became just the 11th player overall and second this century to score 400 runs or more in a first-class innings when he stroked an unbeaten 410 for Glamorgan during their victory over Leicestershire in England’s County Championship on Saturday.
It took a declaration from Glamorgan captain David Lloyd at lunch on the final day of the contest to stop Northeast’s quest for Lara’s record, but not before he was given the chance to bat on by his coach and former England player Matt Maynard.
Speaking on Australian radio on Monday, Northeast said Maynard came to him during the lunch break to offer him the opportunity to continue batting into the second session and try and break Lara’s long-standing world record score of 501* for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994.
“Matt Maynard, our coach, came (to me) and said if you want to go for it, then do it,” Northeast said on RSN Radio.
“We have got a game to win here, but I understand you are never going to get an opportunity to break the record.
“We sort of agreed as a team that wasn’t going to be the case.”
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Northeast said many of his friends wanted him to keep batting just to see how many runs he could end up with, but gaining the victory for his side was more important.
“A lot of my mates were saying ‘stuff the team, go and get Lara’s record’,” Northeast added.
“But at no stage did I think we weren’t going to declare and I was going to go for the record.”
Northeast was at the crease for a total of 603 minutes for his record-breaking knock, hitting 45 boundaries during his 450-ball stay and even bringing up his quadruple century with one of his three sixes.
The right-hander said he was nervous while approaching his century early in his innings, but his mindset had changed late in his knock as he approached the magical 400-run milestone and chased quick runs for his side.
“To go to 400 with a six, I look back on it now and think, what was I thinking?” Northeast said.
“I should have just knocked around some ones and made sure I got there, but at the time I just wasn’t thinking that clearly and just going for everything.”
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Despite an impressive first-class record that has netted 26 centuries and previous experience at at Under 19 level for England, Northeast has never been given a chance to show his wares at international level.
But Northeast is hoping that his record-breaking feat catches the eyes of national selectors, with the 32-year-old still of the belief that he can win an England cap late in his career.
“At 32 I still believe that time is on my side to a certain degree,” Northeast said.
“I would love to (play for England), so hopefully I can keep up putting numbers on the board.
“I don’t expect to get 400 every week, but if I can be consistent and score some more runs by the end of the season I would like to put myself in the mix.”