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Kent County Cricket Club spinner James Tredwell frustrated by his lack of regular action last summer

By Mark Stokes

James Tredwell admits he was frustrated not to play more during his testimonial season but remains as determined as ever to contribute at Kent.

The summer of 2016 was a landmark one for Tredwell as he claimed his 400th First-Class wicket but 12 months on, the off-spinner found his opportunities severely limited.

Of his six Championship starts, all but one came in the opening five matches although he failed to bowl in two of those and was only given five overs in another.

James Tredwell was disappointed with the number of Kent matches he played last season. Picture: Gary Browne
James Tredwell was disappointed with the number of Kent matches he played last season. Picture: Gary Browne

Tredwell signed a new deal with the county he made his debut for in 2000 last month and says his enthusiasm for the club and the game remains undiminished even if the lot of a spinner is getting increasingly hard.

The 35-year-old, who hopes to combine playing with coaching the county’s academy and age-group squads, said: “I didn’t play as much as I would have liked last season but I was always confident of getting a (new) deal.

“The messages I was getting from the coaching staff were always quite positive which was nice to hear. I didn’t write off going elsewhere but Kent is my home county and it was where I wanted to stay. I’ll be fighting as hard as I can to be in that first team (in 2018) and if I’m not playing, I am happy to help in whatever capacity I can.”

Tredwell bowled just 32.4 overs in those first five Championship games last summer but on his recall to the side against Northamptonshire at Beckenham in July, he toiled through 33.2 on his way to figures of 1-122 on a strip where only 20 wickets fell for a match aggregate of 1453 runs.

He said: “It was hard. I only bowled 30-odd overs in the first five matches and then I doubled that in the first innings against Northants.

“Whatever you bowl, you need to be getting in the overs to find your rhythm. The challenge as a spinner is that we play a lot of cricket in periods when the weather might be inclement or on pitches that aren’t ideally suited.

“We play less on outgrounds these days and the way people play spin has also changed. It’s no longer an opportunity for batsmen just to rest on their bat handle, now it’s the charge of the Light Brigade. They are always looking to score off you.”

Tredwell has 907 wickets across all formats including 78 international scalps and although he remains Kent’s leading all-time wicket taker in domestic T20 cricket (with 119 victims from 142 matches), he often saw 24-year-old Imran Qayyum picked ahead of him last season.

However, the one-time England man - who took 11 wickets in his two Tests, against Bangladesh and the West Indies - thinks the added competition can be beneficial, both to the players and the club.

He added: “Imran probably deserved a chance which came this year and I’m very open to that in terms of succession planning. Equally I still want to be playing, I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer.”

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