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Why Cricketer Aaron Finch Owes Everything To His Amazing Fiancée

"She made me think about what I'm doing [for a living]."

30/11/2016 3:39 PM AEDT | Updated 04/12/2016 9:29 AM AEDT
@AaronFinch5 Instagram
Cute couple.

Australian One Day opener Aaron Finch has a life many people would envy. The 30-year-old, who will open the batting in Sunday's first One Dayer against the Kiwis, has been playing professional cricket for a decade now.

Yet there were times recently when he just wasn't enjoying it all as much as he should have.

Finch has quite the record as a cricketer, and was an integral part of the Aussie One Day team that won the 2015 World Cup. More recently, he's also plied his trade in England and India. But despite his globe-trotting lifestyle, he has experienced periods of unhappiness -- some of them quite recently.

"There was a time when I was stressed out all the time. I would go home at night and be so stressed and take it out on people close to me," Finch told The Huffington Post Australia this week.

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Finch playing for Victoria earlier this year.

Things really came to a head earlier this year when Finch was in India playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's most lucrative Twenty20 competition.

He'd already been in India playing in the World T20, in which Australia performed relatively poorly. He then returned home to Australia for a mate's wedding before boarding a plane back to India a couple of days later for the IPL. His form was not so great, and he was recovering from injury. To Finch, it all seemed like a bit of a drag.

"I was going to amazing places around the world and there I was kicking cans. I was missing my family and friends my own bed and even simple pleasures like grabbing a coffee down the street," he said.

"My girlfriend, who's now my fiancée, came over to India and she was like 'I'm going to go home, you're not a lot of fun to be around at the moment'. She made me think about what I'm doing [for a living]."

Long story short, that was a bit of a watershed moment for Finch. Ahead of the three match Chappell Hadlee One Day series which starts Sunday, we sat down with him for a chat about his renewed positive perspective on life and cricket, and about his big dirty mo which he's finally shaved off. (Phew.)

@movember do you like my Mo? #movember

A photo posted by Aaron Finch (@aaronfinch5) on

Ant: Hi Aaron. We've been asking famous sportspeople this very silly question all year for no particularly good reason. Who would would win a fight between a kangaroo and an emu?
Aaron: A kangaroo. The're big, they're strong and their tail could tail do a lot of damage.

Ant: So you've shaved your mo, which I take it was a Movember thing.
Aaron: Yeah I'm a big supporter of the Movember cause. Sometimes as men you're too proud to actively go out and seek help. My old man has had some health issues in his time, so to raise awareness of men's health issues is so important. The fact Movember has raised $800 million over the last 14 years is absolutely extraordinary.

Ant: Did you see [Cricket Australia chief] James Sutherland's Movember mo? What a shocker.
Aaron: I didn't see it. Those are your words not mine. I still need a job!

Ant: And you've got an important job batting against the Kiwis this weekend.
Aaron: Yeah, hopefully I'll be in the 11. New Zealand are a quality side. There's a nice rivalry building up now that we've started playing them more regularly. There's lots of good honest banter between the two sides, nothing sinister or nasty, we're all just taking the piss. They're good blokes, the Kiwi guys, and play the game the right way.

Ant: And the Big Bash starts soon. You're captaining the Melbourne Renegades again. Excited about that?
Aaron: Every single player looks forward to this time of year. I was just saying before that I never thought I'd play in a game of domestic cricket where 83,000 people turn out at the MCG.

Ant: Yeah, it's so much fun for us viewers and spectators too. But as you've already told me, there was a time this year when you weren't really enjoying Twenty20 cricket in India. Then your amazing fiancée Amy kind of snapped you out of it. I take it she stuck around in India after that.
Aaron: Yeah she stuck around and she got proposed to.

Ant: Details please! Was it all very traditional?
Aaron: I rang her her father and asked for permission. And the proposal happened in Bangalore at the top of the Ritz Carlton hotel. We had a couple of glasses of champagne.

Ant: Nice. So let's talk about your cricketing future. You've still never played a Test match. It's not like you haven't had a great career playing the short forms of the game for Australia, but there's been a bit of talk about your baggy green ambitions lately.
Aaron: I've had 10 years of playing professional cricket which is brilliant. I could walk away from game right now and be very satisfied, but there would be a little hole inside me that's not quite filled if I didn't play a Test. It's still my number one goal in the game.

Ant: Well I hope it happens for you.
Aaron: The important thing is I just love playing, mate. I've come to the realisation that as soon as you start putting selection pressure on yourself, you don't enjoy it as much and the game almost becomes a job for you.

Ant: So even though it is actually your job the trick is to pretend it's not?
Aaron: Yeah it's a job, but it's something that you love. We're in a fortunate position as cricketers because not everyone loves the job that they do. I remember a conversation with [Kiwi batsman and Aaron's Yorkshire teammate] Kane Williamson when we were travelling on the motorway in England. He said the best advice he ever got was from [South African batsman] Hashim Amla. Amla said your headstone doesn't say how many hundreds you scored. It says who you are as a person.

Ant: Well I'm thrilled that you've come round to such a glass half full view of life, Aaron. Thanks for talking to The Huffington Post Australia and good luck this weekend.
Aaron: Pleasure, thanks Ant.

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