PERSONAL milestones might be the cherries on the cake for Middlesex skipper Chris Rogers – but they are no good without the cake.
Rogers goes into tomorrow’s final four-day match of the campaign just five runs short of 1000 Championship runs for the season – a remarkable feat for a man who missed four matches playing for Australia in the recent Ashes Series.
The magic four figures has long been viewed as the benchmark for top class batsmen over an English summer.
However, while Rogers admits the target was a motivation in his younger days, Now 36 he measures success by the number of trophies in his team’s cabinet.
He said: “Getting to 1000 runs probably doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to.
“As you get older you tend to look at other things like winning titles and that becomes a lot more important.
“You can be a little bit introverted when you are younger but as you get older it is the wins you remember and that is probably what I am looking at.
“To get 1000 runs that is a nice little stat but there are other things I’m more worried about.”
Rogers admits returning to Middlesex post Ashes at a time when many of England’s main combatants had hung up their boots for the year ready for the next instalment this winter has been one of his biggest mental challenges.
The opener reported back to Middlesex for last month’s game against Somerset just two days after the last of the five Test matches in cricket’s oldest international rivalry.
Perhaps understandably he suffered a rare double failure as the Lord’s tenants lost by an innings, effectively ending the county’s hopes of a first County Championship title in 20 years.
However, Rogers has no complaints above his tough schedule this summer stressing he is still very much in love with the game.
He added: “It has been tough mentally coming out of an Ashes series back into a continuous County Championship season.
“It is not a situation I’ve encountered before. The first game back against Somerset I probably did not have much to give it mentally in many respects having only had two days’ rest, so that was probably as challenging as it has been.
“The hardest thing is digging deep when things are going tough and I’ve found that a little bit more difficult than normal, but it is my job and I love it.
“There are so many things to enjoy about what I do so I love being back out here again.”