Find out more about Ivan Thomas, our new Academy recruit

Thursday 20th January 2011

Today the Club website talks to Kent County Cricket Club“s newest recruit as we grab a word with Ivan Thomas, the seam bowler who joined the county“s highly-respected Academy earlier in the month.

The 19 year-old currently plays for Blackheath in the Kent League and will be a part of the Kent Academy for the 2011 senior programme. After impressing last season, capturing more than thirty victims for his club side, Thomas will be given the chance to shine under the watchful eye of the Kent coaching staff.

Read on as Ivan tells us all about his delight at joining Kent and the similarities he has with a certain Ashes hero:

Ivan, how pleased are you to join the Kent Academy?

I“m delighted. I started playing cricket when I was 12, after watching Kent play South Africa at Canterbury, and have always aspired to one day play for the county side. After having some time out through injury, I am still fairly inexperienced so I am so chuffed to have been given the opportunity to achieve that.

Tell us about yourself, what type of player are you?

I’m a tall seam bowler. This helps me get good bounce when I bowl, which can cause trouble for batsmen. I bowl at decent pace and with an improving run up that I am working on over the winter. Hopefully by the summer I will have gained a few yards in pace.

You bowl from a great height – just how tall are you?

I currently stand at 6’ 4" or thereabouts, but am hoping that I have a few years left to grow and another couple of inches would only help my bowling.

Is there a bit of Chris Tremlett in you?

I’m not quite as tall or as quick as Tremlett, yet! But we do both seem to do well when we are able to get steep bounce from a high action. If I turn out to be able to bowl like him then I will be very pleased, as he bowled so well in the recent Ashes Test matches in Australia.

What are your hopes and aims at Kent?

Without a shadow of a doubt my end goal is to be able to play professionally for Kent. This is probably the most important summer of cricket that I will have so far. I’m 19 and this will be my last chance to play for the Academy so I need to have a strong summer and prove myself as a quality bowler. I’m looking to impress in pre-season and then to perform throughout the summer.

Blackheath have played a big part in your development – how much do you enjoy playing for them?

Blackheath is where I fell in love with cricket and I will always enjoy representing them. They have a great team spirit and some really good players. I am looking forward to getting the chance of representing the first team in the Premier League this summer.

Which coaches have been instrumental in your development?

Without doubt, I don“t think that I would be with Kent if it hadn’t been for the backing of everyone at Blackheath. Chris Swadkin has helped me from the under 13s to now playing for the second team. Without his abilities as a coach I don’t think I would have got the opportunities that I have now. Also all the coaching staff at Kent; particularly Phil Relf, Simon Willis, Paul Farbrace and Simon Cook. They have given me the drive and valuable knowledge to improve my game and perform at my best.

How easy do you think it will be to balance school life with life on the Kent Academy?

I don’t think it will be easy at all. But Kent have made it clear that education is just as important as my cricket so we will work together to come up with a schedule that fits in with developing my cricket and achieving the grades I need for university.