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James Tredwell on the Season so Far

Thursday 21st June 2012

Men’s First Team

Kent Spitfires got their Friends Life t20 campaign off to the best possible start last Sunday, 17th Juneas they comprehensively outplayed Surrey Lions, at Beckenham, to seal an eight-wicket victory. To restrict the visitors to just 116 for seven was a sterling effort from Kent’s attack, and not for the first time their premier off-spinner was at his frugal best.

James Tredwell conceded just 18 runs from his four overs to further reinforce his stock as one of domestic t20’s most economical bowlers. Over a career that spans 92 t20 outings, the England man has an economy rate of just over seven runs per over; a fine effort for a spinner in the shortest form of the game. Add 79 wickets into the reckoning and it is understandable that Tredwell always likes this time of the year.

Do you always enjoy the Friends Life t20?

Yes, of course. I think most players do. It is the time of year when everyone looks forward to it. We’ve played virtually half of the season now, lots of cricket, and everyone is looking forward to the heightened expectation that t20 brings. The competition really puts you under pressure; both individually and collectively. With the added intensity, you need to increase your skill levels and step up to the plate. It was a shame that the Sussex game didn’t go ahead. We then faced a Surrey side with two wins from two and beat them so we have got off to a great start.

Kent were just edged out of a finals day place last season when they fell to Leicestershire at the quarter-final stages – this season they have aspirations to go a step further. 30 year-old Tredwell is very aware of the talent amongst the Spitfires squad and is confident the side can blossom in this competition.

What do you think Kent’s chances are in this year’s competition?

I think we have a very good chance. We obviously did well last year and have added to the squad. Azhar is back to complement the group and with someone like Darren Stevens you always have a chance. Stevo and Azhar are two big hitters while Matt Coles is proving that he can be a really effective death bowler. We certainly have the squad. Now, we have to continue our good start and have faith in our game plans.

A bumper Beckenham crowd, bathed in some much-needed sunshine, witnessed Kent outplay one of their oldest rivals at Beckenham, and with fans still flocking to watch t20 cricket Tredwell can see why the domestic tournament can attract such big cricketing names from around the world.

Why is the competition so special?

It brings in the crowds and the enjoyment factor is there. It is a fast game, full of energy. You see the best players in the world coming over to play. The likes of Murali, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne have all played in the English Premier League and it is great to play against them. I think the key is to try and keep the big hitters under control. If we can do that then we have a good chance again.

Kent have made a positive start to the season, however the weather has stopped them from pressing home winning positions in LV= CC cricket. Tredwell, who has played one Test match and five ODIs for his country, is pretty happy with their start to the season but that solitary defeat still grates on the slow bowler.

How would you assess the season so far?

I think we have done pretty well but we could improve on what we have achieved. Weather-wise, we have missed out on a couple of results. There are certainly some games that we could have turned into wins with more helpful weather. We also lost to the Unicorns but should’ve won that game. We batted poorly, on a decent wicket, and gave them a real chance – which they took. We were probably seventy-odd light with the bat. We needed to score more runs. We didn’t bowl badly but they weren’t chasing a big total and were always in the hunt. In the end, fair play to them.

Head Coach Jimmy Adams has encouraged a positive atmosphere around the St Lawrence Ground, after a couple of years of struggles on and off the field for the county. Tredwell believes that everyone is buying into those values and the players are reaping the rewards from such a distinguished character.

Has Jimmy Adams made the massive impact being reported?

Yes, I think so. He has been fantastic, a real breath of fresh air. He has improved our fortunes and we are playing some impressive cricket. He has taught us the values of showing discipline; with both bat and ball. I was expecting a chap with a real laid back approach, and to have some fun. We have had some good fun, along the way, but he is very serious about his cricket and wants everyone to work hard to achieve success.

The shocking early season weather has made it tough for spinners to make an impression in county cricket, and for Tredwell this is no different. Despite looking in decent form with the bat, having made 87 against Leicestershire last month, the Ashford born bowler hasn’t bowled the overs he would have hoped to at this stage of the season. However, with plenty of cricket left to play this summer, Tredwell knows his time to shine will come.

Personally, how well would you say you have played this year?

I think I’ve done okay but there is still plenty more to come. I haven’t been able to get a great deal of overs under my belt, because of the weather. Still, I’ve managed to come on and do the job required so I am happy in that respect. The weather has been pretty tough this year, for all sides. I’m staggered by the amount of rain that has fallen. It is frustrating when the rain is falling and you just want to be out there; trying to turn draws into wins. I was pleased with the 80-odd I got against Leicestershire. It helped set-up a win so it was very enjoyable. I would like to be a bit more consistent; both with bat and ball. It is important to have a bit of consistency, down the order, and I can provide that. I think I can definitely score more runs but I’m feeling good so hopefully things like that will look after themselves.

This season Kent have a more balanced squad than they have had for a couple of years. A raft of new signings mean the county haven’t had to rely totally on the youngsters, with a mix of senior players and youth making up a talented squad. Tredwell, having made 120 first class appearances for the county, certainly falls into the ‘senior player’ category. Despite this he is still willing to learn and improve further to play an important role in the side.

How are you enjoying being one of the senior players?

Well, I would like to think that I’ve been in that category for a while now but throughout your career you hope to try and cement a regular place in the side and I would like to think that I have done that now. You want to progress and improve, day-by-day. Again, I think this is happening. Jimmy Adams calls the senior players a ‘banker’. He feels he can rely on them fully as he knows what he is going to get from them.

Have the new players helped?

Definitely. We have only seen good things from them. We signed some quality, well known players. We knew they were good characters and they have come into the side and offered real experience to the team. It has proved vital and we now have a real good blend within the group.

Tredwell hasn’t played for his country for over a year now, with his last outing coming in the World Cup quarter-finals last May. The likeable bowler did however tour Sri Lanka three months ago to show he is still in the selectors thoughts, and more recently has called up for the final ODI in the three match series from the resting of Graeme Swann.

For more information on the England call up click here.