Kent Cricket’s Ivan Thomas will play for Western Suburbs in Sydney Grade cricket this Winter as the right-armer nears completion of his rehab from a knee injury sustained in 2018.
The 28-year-old missed the entirety of Kent’s 2019 season, and we catch up with Thomas as he looks to target a blistering return to form in 2020.
Firstly, how are you?
- I’m good! It has been an extremely long road to recovery, and I’ve had a lot of dark moments over the past 14 months, but I’m glad to be out the other side and playing again. It feels great to be back.
How have you kept yourself focussed in the lead up to returning to cricket?
- It’s not been easy. Unfortunately, I’ve been injured a lot in my career which takes real strength, both mentally and physically, to come back from. To be honest, the severity of this injury meant it was one of the hardest to recover from and I do feel that, had I not been as disciplined and hard working as I am, and not had the experience of overcoming injuries that I’ve had, it would’ve been really tough to bounce back from. I’m a totally committed player and not being able to work on my cricket meant that I had to focus on something else. I’ve managed to gain several qualifications whilst I was recovering and as soon as that energy could be focused back on cricket, I made sure that I was back to the best that I could be.
How does it feel to be back playing and bowling again?
- It’s great to be back out on the pitch. I’ve put a lot of hard graft to get to where I am, I’m not taking any game for granted and I’m enjoying every moment. I’m still working extremely hard to make sure that I remain on the pitch and spend no more time on the physio bed!
How have you adapted to conditions in Australia?
- It’s been tough adapting to Aussie conditions after not being able to get any game time over the 2019 season. The pitches are flat, the out fields are soft and sand based, so very tough on the legs, and it’s 30+ degrees so I’ve certainly been thrown in at the deep-end! However managing to get through 17 overs in my first game back was a huge positive and I took a lot of confidence from that.
What are your hopes for the coming season?
- After the last 14 months that I’ve had, I think being fit and available for selection is the bare minimum that I’m hoping for. Ideally, I’d like to be contributing regularly to the success of the team, but the boys had an amazing year last year, especially in the red ball, so I know that competition is very high.