Shreck eager to please Canterbury Week crowds

Thursday 9th August 2012

Men’s First Team

Shreck eager to please Canterbury Week crowds

Sports Journalism Student, James Sloan interviews Charlie Shreck for the Kent Cricket website:

Kent head into Canterbury Week’s County Championship fixture against Essex, whilst in the hunt for promotion to Division One, and bowler Charlie Shreck is hoping for a victory.

The seamer has settled in well to his first season in the Garden of England and is now an integral part of the bowling attack. Speaking on the eve of the festival week, the 34-year-old strongly believes in the ability of his current team and their resurgent form this season: “We are confident against anyone of winning.”

‘Shrecky’ recently took nine wickets in the match against Derbyshire and commented on his performance and the final result: “Well I had to bowl a lot of overs to get those wickets and if it had been less then we might have won. I was happy with the way I bowled, but I’m in no way the finished article right now.

“It would have been nice to win the game, but it was our first loss (in the County Championship) this season. We’ve had an assessment of the game and we’ve got to learn and try and take 20 wickets against Essex, which we haven’t done enough so far.”

Following Kent’s agonising draw against Hampshire at the end of July, Shreck named the toughest batsman that he’s ever bowled to: “Well after last week, it would have to be Jimmy Adams!” after the Hampshire captain batted with every member of his team in a match-saving 85 not out at the Rose Bowl. The opener certainly caused a lot of frustration for the Kent attack.

As a youngster, Shreck idolised Malcolm Marshall, the West Indian fast bowler and despite his 6’7 “ frame, there was an appreciation of the height disadvantage that Marshall had in comparison to team mates such as Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose.

He had to wait until he was 25 to sign a long-term contract with Nottinghamshire and he didn’t always believe that he would make it as a professional cricketer. Talking about his post-teen years, Shreck revealed: “From the ages of about 18-21, I really wanted to become a professional cricketer, but I don’t think that I had the right attitude.

“I played minor Counties cricket for Cornwall and I played in New Zealand. I was travelling back and forth and just enjoying my youth. It was luck that helped me get into Notts as a friend of a friend saw me playing when I was in pretty good form.”

What if he hadn’t made it as a professional cricketer? “I may well have been in the tourist industry, as it’s very prominent back in Cornwall,” he explained. Outside of the boundary ropes, Charlie is a self-confessed ‘techie’ who also enjoys cooking and swimming.

The tremendously tall seamer joined Kent after eight seasons at Nottinghamshire, where he was unfortunately injured for large portions of their 2005 and 2010 Championship winning campaigns.

It has been a smooth transition into his new club and life in Kent. He added: “I’ve settled in nicely. There is a good age range of players here, from my age down to 17 and 18 year olds. There weren’t as many youngsters at Notts.

"My Gran actually lived in Kent and there have been so many other new signings that we’ve all been discovering parts of Canterbury together. It’s just like starting school.”

Despite several serious injuries, Shreck has taken over 300 first class wickets, which include a hat-trick at the home of cricket. Reflecting on the proudest part of his career so far, he explained: “The hat-trick at Lord’s was obviously nice. There have been lots of finer points in my career, but not too much stands out from the rest, making it hard to pick one moment.”

This will be the Cornish cricketer’s first Canterbury Week with Kent and he’s relishing the experience in prospect: “It sounds like it’s going to be interesting and a lot of fun with all the marquees and the beer. It’ll be like having a 12th man with the crowd behind us and hopefully the sun will stay out.”

In the reverse fixture at Chelmsford back in May, the elements played a decisive role in the final outcome of the game. Rain delays limited the first two days to just over 11 overs of cricket, but the forecast for this match is much more promising and some exciting cricket is in prospect for fans of this illustrious club.

This time last year, Kent were galvanised by a large home support in a win over Surrey at the St Lawrence Ground. The Invicta County patrons are in store for a treat against their neighbours from across the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. If the result is true to league form, then Canterbury may also be praising a victory in a derby match, to accompany the various celebrations of this great week.

James Sloan

Photo Sarah Ansell