Influence Room_Rectangle (Nick Compton)

The Influence Room Podcast - Changing the dialogue with cricketer Nick Compton

Posted on Sep 26, 2019 2:58:10 PM

In the debut episode of our podcast, we chat to legendary cricketer Nick Compton about sport, fame and moving on from the career that’s defined him.

Talking to Influence Room founder and fellow cricketer Alex Payne, Nick looks back on his journey so far, confronts his career crossroads, and reveals how Instagram has given him a platform to express himself in a whole new way.



Overview

It’s easy to look at someone like Nick Compton – cricketing legend turned content creator – and see an overnight success. But as this honest conversation reveals, his success has been the product of passion and perseverance.

Nick reflects ‘I was a passionate sportsman at a young age …. I wanted to achieve desperately inside myself.’ As his career progressed, and other promising players fell by the wayside, Nick chased his passion all the way to the international stage, fuelled by his love of the game and a drive to excel.

Now, as Nick looks to the future, he’s once again using passion as his waypoint, carving new paths into photography and media. What’s clear is Nick’s desire for authentic self-expression in all his pursuits. And maybe it’s this that elevates him from just another influencer to someone who truly connects with his audience.

“I can feel myself trying to find that adrenaline rush … that sense of purpose”

 

But as Nick’s cricketing career has shown, it’s perseverance that makes passion pay off. Only by putting in the hours, swallowing his pride, and harnessing every performance – good or bad – was Nick able to transform passion into professional success.

And he recognises that this same engine of perseverance is as vital to the world of social media as it is to sport. Despite already bagging a solo photography show and 85,000 Instagram followers, Nick’s sense of determination shines through; ‘that’s a talent that I potentially possess,’ he says, ‘but it needs to be harnessed.’

Five quick takeaways:

  1. A moment can change everything. Cricket’s been trying to shake off its stuffy image for years, but in a heartbeat, England’s victory in the World Cup has opened the game up to a whole new audience.
  2. Influencers have been around a lot longer than social media. Six decades before Instagram existed, Nick Compton’s grandfather and cricketing legend Denis Compton boasted a type of celebrity that went beyond his sporting prowess, winning hearts and making waves as the original ‘Brylcreem Boy'. 
  3. Today, shape-shifting careers are a fact of life for everyone, not just athletes. As jobs become more fluid and flexible, having a range of skills and passions is a must.
  4. Social media is an unprecedented platform for creativity and self-expression. The secret is to use it as a tool, not a crutch.
  5. For content to create an impact, it must have true passion at its heart.

If you enjoyed this episode and don’t want to miss the rest of the series, you can follow The Influence Room Podcast on Spotify and Apple iTunes podcasts.

 


 

Full audio transcription

- Bronagh Monahan

Hello and welcome to The Influence Room podcast presented by me, Bronagh Monahan, the Head of Talent.

- Alex Payne

And me, Alex Payne, still trying to work out what I'm doing in the business but I suppose the seed of the idea was mine three years ago and I'm glad to be here now. And it's produced by the brilliant Entale

- Bronagh

 Hello, welcome to The Influence Room podcast. We've got Nick Compton with us today

- Alex Payne

We do indeed.

- Bronagh

Which is really really exciting because we've just come off the back of one of the most ground breaking performances in sport for England, would you say?

- Alex Payne

Certainly one of the most iconic, straight in there, where would you place yesterday's World Cup final?

- Nick Compton

I was asked that today and it was it was hard to put into words really, partly because I'm still kind of shaking a little bit from just what happened. I was at Trafalgar Square. Ten thousand people. You know it ebbed and flowed there were people from all over the world. I mean Indian fans, you know, Pakistan fans all coming together and suddenly there's about an hour to go, and you just looked around and it was just packed and heaving. So for me, definitely one of the best sporting occasions I've had, but I probably hiked back to 2005 Ashes being a Test cricketer and that's the traditions of Test cricket. Probably something that was in the forefront of my mind. But definitely in terms of playing with some of the guys that obviously achieved this amazing feat yesterday and having gone through some of their journey I think to to stand there and see them achieving what they did, having been a part of their journey, albeit only maybe for a few years here and there, it was pretty amazing.

- Alex Payne

I've watched a fair amount of sport in my time and I cannot remember the last time I turned off the television because I couldn't watch, and I didn't look once, twice, three or four, five every time I turned my back on, England lost a wicket, so by the end I said 'I'm not having any of this'.  So I turned it back on with this 15 off the last over required. So, I mean, I missed the six over the bar. But I cannot remember the last time. It was as enraptured as it was. What were your emotions like watching it?

- Nick Compton

I kind of felt there was there was a feeling going into the day, first and foremost, that it was England's day. I think the fact that they had that blip through the middle of the tournament, you know, Sri Lanka Pakistan losing to them, kind of losing their way slightly. And then Liam Plunkett came in as he's done for so many years and just sort of settled the bowling attack a bit, the balance of the teams - they sort of regained their balance.

- Alex Payne

 The gray and the beard obviously works.

- Nick Compton

Yeah, just back of the length crossed seam. It's amazing how the simple things worked so well! And then the teams found their confidence. With these big tournaments, they're very hard to sustain your performance. Of course it's about timing, but how on earth do you time something? I mean clearly that the England team has been doing so well for so many years and you just hope that timing is going to be right. I think to have that little resurgence as they did come the semi-finals etc. and to play the sort of form of cricket they have - I definitely thought they were going to come through. But, having played at Lord's for many years knowing the wicket very well, it hasn't been the flat wicket that I definitely enjoyed when I was a young player at Middlesex. It's become a bit grainy, it's become a wicket that hasn't really been that conducive to free flowing playing. So, that was the only obstacle I felt, that was going to stand in the way for England, and it did. I thought New Zealand, as they had done throughout the tournament, just played the conditions perfectly. In many ways you have to feel for them. I mean, I still can't work out how they lost that game because I thought they had it in the bag

- Alex Payne

We often talk about broadening influence, and we don't want what we're doing to be just about Instagram. A couple of questions - you mentioned the 2005 Ashes, which was the last time cricket was on terrestrial television. In terms of influence and in terms of impact, what do you believe yesterday [the World Cup final] will do for cricket in this country?

- Nick Compton

Hard to say at this stage but I think what I'd like to see is - the biggest thing for me was one of Owen Morgan's comments yesterday when he said 'would the Irish Gods have helped you yesterday?' and he said, 'Well, Abdul Rashid said we had Allah on our side, so we're in good hands' and I think that kind of epitomized, not only the team, but the multicultural diversity that there is in cricket, particularly in England. I think that was shown in Trafalgar Square yesterday. It sort of amazed me that British Indians that play a lot of cricket, and I think fundamentally we want the game to be spread. I think the ECB have put a huge amount of work into trying to - there's been a bit of contention over this hundred competition that's coming in. But fundamentally we're trying to garner new support and make people realise that cricket is a great sport. It is exciting, it is fun. It doesn't have the boring, old, archaic feel to it. I think if yesterday wasn't a showcase or an advert for what a great game it is and how it can bring Jeffrey Archer, Barbadian-born, and you've got Moeen Ali with his beard and you've got people from all walks of life coming together. I think that's what's so special about this team.

- Bronagh

 I was gonna say, it is moments like that... they always have an incredible halo effect and particularly in a place like the U.K., football is a sport that just consistently gets so much promotion and moments like the Women's World Cup in football and obviously, the Cricket World Cup this weekend, it just shows there is an appetite for it.

- Alex Payne

I think even more so now given everything else that has happened. I mean it was almost like yesterday was just a perfect moment in time. Everything else was forgotten. I think that's why people bought into it in such great depth yesterday. You know, if you read the front pages on a daily basis it's just so utterly depressing - the back pages are a really nice place to be.

- Nick Compton

I try not to drop names, of course, but I was at The Oval this morning doing a bit of reporting and managed to bump into a few of my old teammates, Moeen Ali be being one of them. He's a great guy and a good friend. I was just saying, talk me through the occasion yesterday from from the changing room point of view, obviously we're disappointed to missed out, but he said it was interesting because Lord's, it was a terrible atmosphere. He said at the start it was terrible - there wasn't much going on and I think I might have had something to do with the fact that the pitch wasn't conducive to free run scoring and an explosive sixes and fours, it was kind of a game that was very tight and edgy. But then he said Gee in the last hour it just absolutely erupted. He said he's never seen Lord's like that you know which which obviously, when you're looking at the game moving forward and moving from one generation to the next, Lord's has traditionally been full of the old MCC members, quite traditional and then suddenly, it just blows open. There's this form of cricket hopefully going to do exactly what it did yesterday.

- Alex Payne

One of the things other things I wanted to ask you about is, obviously England will rightly be lauded - but just a word on how New Zealand handled it, because I would dread to think if the shoe had been on the other foot the English media would have made of it. I mean, just absolutely nothing went their way, and still the stories are coming out today that actually the six should probably have been a five.

- Nick Compton

It should have been a five because the two batsmen hadn't actually crossed at the time that Guptill's throw had come in, and it was actually interesting, one of the journalists this morning showed me a picture he had taken on his iPhone of the throw from Martin Guptill as Ben Stokes was diving, just before it made impact with his bat and went off for four runs, and actually it was directly on line to hit the stumps. There is a feeling that if it hadn't hit his bat, he probably would have been run out and England would've lost anyway. In the heat of the moment officials make mistakes. It's a big mistake. Because being frank about it - had that ball not hit Ben Stokes' bat, I couldn't actually see England winning. Because the wicket was so difficult to hit sixes and fours, there were hardly any in the game. And the run rate, at that stage it would have been incredibly difficult. Never say never. But I think the odds were definitely stacked for New Zealand. Jason Roy had an early LBW appeal which, being brutally honest, probably should have been given out and then you look at Ross Taylor who's one of New Zealand's best players - It wasn't a great decision. It's one of those things and that's why you see Jos Buttler on his Instagram feed today saying it was probably England's destiny, and things just conspired.

- Bronagh

The stars aligned...

- Nick Compton

They sometimes work that way - the cricketing gods as we say.

- Alex Payne

And Allah!

- Nick Compton

Yeah, and Allah.

- Bronagh

So, what sort of role did sport play in your life growing up? Who were you earliest influences?

- Nick Compton

What a question.

- Bronagh

I mean obviously your Dad.

- Nick Compton

My dad was was an influence, but let's not take away the fact that I had a very fortunate upbringing. I mean, South Africa as a country - you can tell from the horrible twang that I haven't managed to get rid of - I've tried hard, public schools made a good effort of it - and then I started playing with more South Africans again. Growing up in South Africa, I grew up in Durban. And obviously it's a sports mad country, rugby and cricket being the mainstay of sport over there and I clearly had a bit of sporting ability and that for me was everything. School was about sport, whether it be hockey, athletics, running - I did it all. Dad put a cricket bat in my hand probably at the age of about five. Little did I know then, I'd heard about my grandfather and his prowess. But you're a young boy and you're just more excited to be in the back garden playing something you love. So I didn't really understand that. What effects did that have on me in terms of the imagery? I think I now look back and maybe some of those photos, those iconic photos at home, that Dad maybe collected or had of Granddad hitting the winning runs in the ashes and for me, it was like 'yeah, cool but I want to be like Michael Vaughan' or 'I want to be like my heroes that were playing at the time'. That was kind of more what was in my in my memory. I remember going down to King's Mead which was the ground in Durban and watching my heroes playing for Natal, the Natal Sharks, every Saturday. It was it was like a religion. It was a way of life. And so the sporting culture in South Africa clearly had a huge impact on me and I think it was probably at the age of about eleven or twelve that I went on a tour to England with my prep school and and stayed with Granddad. I had met him before, quite a few times, but it was the first time I was in his house and he came to watch me a few times and I remember getting a few runs and obviously the press were there. That was my first insight to who he was and and the kind of character he was. He was a bit older then, he clearly enjoyed a few drinks, and I remember being in his garden out near Caldecott school, which is in Hertfordshire I think, and we had a game the next day and my dad was throwing me some underarm balls in his backyard and had a nice high elbow and I was hitting the ball back to my dad and he was sort of drinking a glass port on the on the balcony and stood up and said 'Oh for heaven's sake just hit the bloody thing!'. I kind of remember stopping then and thinking 'yeah, he's probably right'. It was something I probably struggled with most of my career that I was quite a technical player. I wasn't the dashing entertainer that I probably dreamed I would be, or hoped I would be - I was sort of a bit more of an opening batsman who took pride in staying in for time. When he said that it was, it is something that stuck with me because I always remember, there's times when we always over complicate it, particularly in cricket. It's a tough game mentally to stay balanced and whenever I was struggling I would go back saying 'you know what, just to hell with it,  just hit the ball' and it would sometimes just free me up. So some strong memories of family and of course growing up in South Africa.

- Alex Payne

He is one of the great icons Dennis Compton, in terms of not only playing the amazing cricket that he did but football as well. Was I right in thinking he was one of the original Brylcream boys?

- Nick Compton

He was, he was the first Brylcream boy.

- Alex Payne

So he was the Beckham of his era...You know like if Beckham was sponsored by Brylcream, the hair product. So in many ways he was sort of one of the original influences. I just wonder did you ever talk to him about his glory days? Or was he somebody who parked up and enjoy the port? 

- Nick Compton

It was hard. I mean I do wish that he was alive particularly when I was starting off on in my professional career. He died when I was 13. So I don't know maybe at that age it was more a case of listening to stories whilst he stopped and spoken to everyone.

- Alex Payne

Do you remember following in his wake?

- Nick Compton

Yeah. I mean I often say it. He was present at Middlesex and I went to Lord's and I got given a Middlesex Sunday league shirt which was a very proud moment. I came into the Middlesex office at Lord's and then he took me and held my hand and walked me onto the hallowed turf at Lord's where England obviously did it yesterday and you sort of have to pinch yourself thinking that one day as a 13 year old I was going to be out there scoring hundreds and you know playing for England on that pitch. Then obviously you see what England did yesterday and it's a bit of a story or a journey that comes together. But it was then when my eyes opened to the fact that 'wow, this is Lords' no offence to Kingsmead in Durban but Lords cricket groud... And I think I was like 'this is where I want to be'. I'm not going into too much, but the way things were going in South Africa politically, to get an opportunity to do my schooling and get my my A-levels was obviously an amazing opportunity. Little did I know then that I would play for Middlesex in my last year of school and and kind of things just carried on from there.

- Bronagh

And did that legacy come with a lot of pressure?

- Nick Compton

Yeah. I mean it did. And again it's hard to put my finger on I think I had put a huge amount of pressure on myself. So it's a little bit chicken and egg, you know, which one came first? But I always feel that the genes and these images as a young kid, probably grew that in me without me even knowing. But you know I was quite a passionate sportsman at a young age before I even knew about Granddad's real prowess and what he had achieved in the game. So, hard to put my finger on because I wanted to achieve desperately inside myself and perhaps used him as I'd love to achieve some of the things that he did. But I looked at Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar probably equally - I wanted to achieve some of the things they did. So it's probably more in the latter years you know I think as I've got older when I played for England in my 30s and and then recently retired that you start to look back more legacy maybe and look at what he achieved. I try not to compare myself. I was a different player. I probably would liked to have been an entertainer like he was. You look at what Ben Stokes did yesterday and he entertained. I think there's memories of him playing and I think my Granddad had a few of those. When you talk to other people who often come up to me at Lord's and regale stories about him. I'm proud I would say that's probably the best way. I'm very proud to have had that family legacy.

- Alex Payne

 Did you enjoy it?

- Nick Compton

I loved batting well. I didn't enjoy it that much when I wasn't playing well. I felt the ups and downs were stressful to say the least. I got better at it. But I can remember even being a young kid at the age of 11, 12, 13 at school level and if I didn't perform it often felt like the end of the world. It felt like it was this dream that I had of playing professionally in front of thousands of people achieving some of the things that they had. How was this going to be possible if I couldn't even score some runs on a Saturday for my school? I kind of had a bad way of comparing the two. I think it was only when I became a professional that I understood what it required to to get to that point. A dream and a fantasy was one thing and wishing was another thing. But actually the hard work was what really counted. And I realised that the dream and fantasy was going to remain a dream in fantasy if I didn't put in that hard work. It took a very good mentor and some very clear direction to help me realise that there's actually a process to this. The work needs to be put in if you want to see the results and I think that's when I started to look at cricket as more of a job. Not a job per say, but I was a professional batter. That was my job that's what I'm paid to do and when I started to understand that, and was probably slightly less emotional it, my professional career grew and I definitely did enjoy it. The moments that I had at Somerset were probably the most enjoyable given that it was probably easier to play my cricket there? I don't know, people would say well you were away from the Compton name etc.. I think it's a perfectly valid answer but I don't particularly see it that way. Maybe it's because it was an easier way of life and you're two minutes away from the ground. Somerset was your ground - you could leave your bag there. Small things like that... whereas Lord's is such a big entity, such a huge sporting ground and Middlesex don't own it. So you're almost a visitor every time you play there and I think the ability to practice more consistently and small things like that. There was a real warmth at Somerset about their cricket team and I have to say I caught it at a great time, you know as you said we spoke earlier about timing. I played in a great Somerset team with the likes of Buttler for five years and you know Marcus Trescothic who's just retired. You've got players like that and they were really ahead of their time as a team. So I caught the wave of that and was very lucky. I remember sort of being there for the first two or three months and thinking 'gee it's a long way from London, I'm not really into farming, i like cider but I've probably always preferred the green juices to cider’ so that wasn't going to work either. But, when I let that all go and said, you know what, my ambition is to become an important cog in this wheel or in this machine and actually I want to make this team and I want to contribute to that. And when I did that I found my own identity. I think at Middlesex I never really found that. I think I was trying to potentially live up to this talented schoolboy trying to impress the whole time. Whereas at Somerset I just found my way that worked and I bought into that. I think those were the years I probably enjoyed the most, but coming back to Middlesex - winning the championship. That was pretty special.

- Bronagh

I was going to ask - I know you're a professional speaker, is that right?

- Nick Compton

I do bits, i have got a mentor over here. I've enjoyed the media, I've always enjoyed talking and being in front of screen. My Dad was a TV presenter, as a wildlife presenter in South Africa. So I have kind of some of those attributes. I think my Mum was a journalist as well.

- Alex Payne

Where are you on the journey of where you want to get to in terms of media?

- Nick Compton

 Good question, I'm on the journey. I've realized that the media world and coming out of sport is a difficult one when you think of what a part it played in my life. I think from waking up in the morning to thinking about what I was going to eat for breakfast and what next session I was going to do and how I was going to prepare for the next game... I mean that was kind of all my mind thought about. And even in winters when it wasn't the cricket season my mind was thinking 'how am I going to be better for the next summer?' and 'what do I need to do?' and 'where do I need to go and play?' and I think that that was kind of what I hung onto. I think now that that's gone it has left a huge gap and it's it has been difficult, I can feel myself trying to find that adrenaline rush, trying to find that sense of purpose which perhaps isn't there. And I might never live up to those sort of heights. Playing in an England shirt walking through the long room with Alastair Cook in front of you, I've got to be honest, that probably won't happen again. Certainly that won't happen again in terms of that feeling.  I think that's what has been difficult to come to terms with. I think with the media, it's the purpose and I think from a media point of view I'd like to become a good presenter, a good media personality, potentially. But again I'm realizing that it's a tough game. It's hard work and you know the same attributes that I put into my cricket are going to have to be put in elsewhere. I've been doing a bit of photography as well which is a passion. I did an exhibition last year and I feel that that's a talent that I potentially possess, but again it needs to be harnessed. You need to find your market and to find out what type of photography you want to do, so there's picking something and going forward with it. I think at the moment in some ways it's probably best not to give myself too hard of a time. I think trying different things is important. As long as I don't keep going around in circles for too long. Trying to work out what is next is important and I don't want to confine myself to just taking the first job that's out there. But sometimes you always have that luxury. 

- Alex Payne

I think that's more and more of a thing for our generation, that is that you will have to have multiple strings to your bow. You know, one career for your whole life, I don't think our generation will have that luxury of starting at 18 and leaving at 65. Your story is fascinating given the family and what you've achieved personally in the sports field and  the fact that you're heading into the media. The content creation and the photography as well - tell me a bit more about the exhibition that you did because you had some amazing coverage for it. 

- Nick Compton

Yeah. Was it was pretty special. Maddox gallery, a renowned contemporary art gallery that work with guys like David Yarrow who I was incredibly fortunate to go to Alaska with him last year in July to watch the salmon run and and photograph the grizzly bears. I think it came at a very good time for me because I was sort of in my retirement phase or year. I didn't play for Middlesex that year I was doing my testimonial year and to say it was tough would be an understatement because I was dealing saying goodbye to the game, did I want to carry on, did I want to go somewhere else. You know our bodies being put under a lot and I wasn't really enjoying it at that stage. So, I think to get an opportunity to grab a camera, to go overseas, to go to a place like Alaska which was just breathtaking and see these wild animals these grizzly bears and their habitat, roaming in these big Alaskan rivers with my camera just literally no one around - it doesn't get much more of a contrast than that. So that was amazing and David again is a pretty special character in himself. In terms of what he's achieved. You talk about character, going from one career to the next - you know he worked in the city and then suddenly did fairly well there and then decided to follow his passion and look what he's done with that. So I think if anyone was inspiring he is. Interesting to get his thoughts on how he photographs and what perspective he photographs from so I've always used my camera as a tool to get away from the changing room, so to speak, so I called it ‘out of the boundaries’ to sort of give a context of not being quite inside the cricketing domain but at the same time going to places like India, Sri Lanka and spending time with the likes of Ben Stokes etc. and photographing Kevin Pietersen.

- Alex Payne

You did quite a bit of this when you were playing?

- Nick Compton

I did, I had my camera on me. I got a bit of flak for it and the change room but I always reminded the guys, ‘listen you'll thank me in years to come... you'll go "Hey Nick, you know that that innings I played, hey I'd love to see that”...20 years later’, and i’ll say ‘yeah exactly and you took the piss out of me then’. There were times where I thought am I a cricketer or a photographer? I was almost more excited because I'd sit there and go 'this is a pretty iconic moment'. You know what I mean, like Kevin Pietersen has just hit 186 against India, we've beaten them in Mumbai. But outside of that on days off  instead of sitting in a hotel room playing PlayStation and FIFA, I wanted to see the country I was in. I've always been quite culturally interested, particularly growing up in South Africa which has a huge rich cultural diversity. Going to India and going through the streets and waking up early in the morning and seeing cricket, for example, what effect it had on people there. Everyone playing it from 7:00 in the morning. We get our little lemon gear on we go to the gym, we do a half an hour, get on a bike, we have a shower. They’re there playing cricket, that's their gym session and there's just hundreds of games and the light and the Indian sun that comes up... and so when I engaged with that kind of creativity it was definitely my reprieve from perhaps being inside that changing room -  and the pressures of international cricket.

- Alex Payne

Really interesting how you match and marry the two.

- Bronagh

How big a part do you think social media has played in this new phase of your life? Do you do you think that social media is a help or a hindrance when it comes to photography?

- Nick Compton

Great question. I don't really know how to answer that and I don't know if I fully grasped the use of social media. I think it's a two feet in or completely out kind of domain because, in many ways I think if you're going to do it, do it properly and use it for the opportunities that it provides - but that is a lot of work to do to use it for an influencing point or to build your profile and work out the demographic of people that you want to follow you. It's a full time job and I find it quite distracting. Is it healthy? How much time do I spend on Instagram? I would probably say the last year and a half two years it's probably been somewhat unhealthy at times because I've lost myself in it. You know there's no doubt I've used it to distract myself from the reality of what was happening. Exiting a game that I loved for 20 years and perhaps not exiting it the way that I envisaged. It was my way to distract myself. I think on the other hand I love the creativity behind it. I love following photographers and creative people, sportsmen, athletes and travel blogs and companies. It's great to see what people are doing out there - different places to go and explore. So there's a double side to it, I think there's a way of having a more healthy relationship with it. I think particularly as an individual who's kind of on his own for his own creative direction I think it's very useful.

- Bronagh

Yes, I can imagine for photographers it can be frustrating because now anyone can pick up a camera and have something effectively commissioned.

- Alex Payne

And edited...

- Nick Compton

Absolutely, David Yarrow said the same thing, that everyone's a photographer now so what defines you from everyone with their iPhone?  I think photography is an interesting one. I've always believed in my eye to see a shot or to create something and I think that's what you have to trust first and foremost. I think it's a bit like playing sport you've got a talent or a propensity for something and then it's about how you develop that. David had a particular angle of getting very low and photographing wild animals from a different perspective to give this idea of of the enormity and the sheer size and beauty of these animals. Anyone can sit you know in a game reserve with a long lens and take a picture of a lion. So, what is different about your perspective and what differentiates you? I think that's what's exciting about it.

- Bronagh

Yeah, I think people underestimate the power of it - because I've looked through your photography and it's about capturing a moment. And I guess the social media you also capture of particular moment, but there is just something much deeper about the way a photographer...

- Alex Payne

I like the shot you took yesterday in Trafalgar Square of the big bearded character.

- Nick Compton

The Indian man.

- Alex Payne

Yes, it was just an extraordinary sort of microcosm of the chaos and carnage around, it was brilliant.

- Nick Compton

Thanks, I appreciate that. Without being too clichéd - because look, I can draw a lot of similarities between that and cricket, but I'm not going to. I don't see it as being clichéd, I see it as there are some similarities you know for me playing cricket, particularly as an opening batsman - you had one ball at a time, as soon as you got ahead of yourself you potentially didn't play the ball in front of you as well as you can, and we know with cricket it's one opportunity and that's the end of your day. And I think when I was in Alaska, for example, you could be sitting in that river for two hours you know it's tiring, it's hard work, you've got big camera equipment and suddenly the bear does something and you've got to be ready. If you missed that moment, that's that. That was the shot, that was the chance gone. There's no doubt that when you do get that shot, when you see Alex sitting the way he is now and I think 'I'd love to photograph him', when you do see that moment and you capture it and you look at your camera... or you get back that night there's an excitement. There are times where I feel the same excitement when I've played a pure cover shot, that cover drive through the covers, and you hear the crowd roar. There's that engagement and that's what photography probably has done for me - that when you're behind the lens and you're in those moments it's just you and the camera and it drowns everything else out around you. I definitely see a similarity with it. I just want to capture more good moments because I think that's what's quite exciting. What I also love about it is putting yourself out there - that's what sport represented for me. I think you look at the guys yesterday in front of thousands, millions around the world watching this moment on free to air TV. It's pretty scary. For any other normal person sitting there or on their couch, to go out there and just play your game and express yourself isn't easy. I think that they've put themselves out there for criticism but also to reap the rewards like they did yesterday. You get the highs and lows and I think photography, to get those shots to go and put yourself out there, is what's exciting. To go into rural areas of India, Sri Lanka and jump over that wall... or go and take that shot that might be near that lion - potentially it's 50/50. That's the adrenaline rush. That's what photography is about for me. I have been very lucky.

- Alex Payne

I'm conscious of your time. A couple of quick fires?

- Bronagh

What sort of role will sport play in your life moving forward?

 - Nick Compton

I'd like to keep in touch with it. It's one of those where I think it's also important and healthy to have a slight separation from it. Having been so ingrained in it for a number of years. I hope it continues to have a huge part of my life. I've just been asked to be on the selection panel with England, as a as a scout selector. So that's quite nice, It's not a huge commitment but it's a case of going to see certain players that have been identified and I think the opportunity of being around some of the thought leaders in English cricket - Andy Flowers, Ed Smith, chairman of selectors, Andrew Strauss, Ashley Giles. I think to be in some of those cricketing conversations and to have a view that may or may not be listened to... but hey, it's something I'm passionate about. I think talent identification and working out strategy for England cricket going forward, to have a little part in that perhaps is something that does keep me involved in the game. Likewise it's important that you have other interests outside of it as well because otherwise sport becomes too important. I mean there's no way of getting away from that. But I think there are other areas now when you come up for air so to speak and you go ‘hey, there's a lot of other things going on the world. Cricket isn't everything and you're little world isn't that significant anymore.’ I think I'm gradually realising that you know so yeah hopefully we'll have an important part. How big a part, I'm not sure.

- Bronagh

For any young boy or girl who's watching the weekend decides that cricket is the future for them, what piece of advice would you give?

- Nick Compton

Well it's a good question. I'm not going to give the standard advice of enjoy it and have fun.

- Alex Payne

You've got to work bloody hard at it, get out there and keep going!

- Nick Compton

You do, I'm going to be frank with you, it ain't always fun and it is a job. It's a way of living. Of course you have to enjoy it, you have to. But fundamentally for me it was always about perseverance. If you want to play cricket and you're serious about it, persevere. I always felt when I got to the England stage I looked back at my career and some of the Middlesex youth teams I played with England youth teams and thought 'where are they?'. And it's not because they had less talent or ability but perhaps I just persevered. And suddenly one falls off the shelf and suddenly you're the lone man up there and you've managed to be in a career for 19 years. So for me it's about having that dream, and if you really have it you'll find a way, but you've got to persevere. It's gonna be tough, it's gonna be hard. And if you don't enjoy it, stay with it, stay in that dark tunnel, as I say, it gets gray and eventually the light comes at the other end... but you've got to be in it to win it.

- Alex Payne

Good metaphor. Who are the most influential people in your life and who do you look at now and think 'I find what they do inspirational'? You mentioned David, obviously... who was your mentor as a cricketer?

- Nick Compton

I had a guy call Neil Burns who has been a bit of a thought leader in his own right. He was a cricketer player for Somerset and Essex, even Leicestershire for 16 years he had a good career, county career. But again he's been very much on the front foot in terms of leadership, in terms of looking at development. I think the most important thing he said to me, and I and I think this is a great lesson for anyone, he said 'where are you right now?'. And I was 21 and my head was in the clouds. I thought I should be playing for England or at least dominating county cricket and that's what I wanted to do. The harsh reality is - I was an okay second team cricketer playing for Middlesex and I didn't like that. My ego didn't like that. When I realised that that's actually where I was now, whether I wanted to be, whether I liked it, is irrelevant. That's where I was. And it was only then that you can then make the next step because otherwise you're going on to the next step which is still five steps ahead. So, for anyone out there I sort of felt that that lesson for me is 'where are you right now?' and 'what's the next stage?'. Yes, you've got to have an ultimate goal but it's about the steps to get there and you can only get onto the first step first.  Then we went on the journey to plot a way forward. So he was a he was a huge, huge influence. I think you need those kind of figures in your life. Some find them, some don't, but sport is incredibly individual at times. It's lonely. It involves a lot of sacrifice and it's uncomfortable. And I think it's been a fascinating journey and one that I think will take time to to to process properly. But he was a huge impact. Then of course some of my heroes growing up, Muhammed Ali, although I didn't see a lot of him, it was my Dad's hero and so I used to watch a lot of videos of him late at night and I think a lot of the people I looked up to Brian Lara, he was probably my favourite cricketer and as for South African cricket, Jacques Kallis probably epitomized the type of player that was closer to me as a player. So he was my example of what I wanted to bat like. And who I dreamed about being, with Brian Lara and Muhammed Ali - they had personality, they had character, they wore their heart on their sleeve and they went out there and entertained. I think that's where my individuality comes from and I always wanted to keep that part of me there. But it's trying to fit that into a society that often doesn't like individuals so it can be tough. But that's who I am and I think it would be sad to lose that.

- Bronagh

Where can we see your photography? Will you be doing any more exhibitions?

- Nick Compton

I will be, I've got some more photography trips coming up. @nickcomptonphotography on Instagram or @nick.compton on Instagram, but @nickcomptonphotography is my photography account. I've got a website which is nickcomptonphotography.com. So please have a look, there are some prints for sale but it's something that I'm really hoping to you know try to advance sort of as the years go on and have more opportunities to travel and get some more content. So I'm looking forward to doing that.

- Alex Payne

Obviously it's early days for the podcast, but I think we will struggle to find someone with as many strings to their bow as you have right now. It's a remarkable story and we're both so grateful to you for giving us your time. It's perfect timing given what happened yesterday. It's a fascinating story given the family. It's very exciting what you've achieved and it's very exciting what you're going to achieve.

- Nick Compton

Well let's hope so.

- Alex Payne

Let's hope so. Nick thank you so much for your time.

- Nick Compton

Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

- Bronagh

Thank you so much for listening to The Influence Room podcast. If you want to learn more about the site you can follow us on Instagram @theinfluenceroom and check out our website and become a member, if you're not already. We are really excited to hear about what you're doing, what you're passionate about, the stories you want to tell and become part of the contra economy.

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