Tremlett: I'm back and ready to play
SURREY'S back-to-back defeats to Hampshire appear to have all but extinguished their hopes of reaching the last eight of this year's Friends Life t20, but at least Chris Tremlett is back and firing on all cylinders.
The 30-year-old Surrey and England fast bowler has played just two first-class matches since the end of July last year. But, after a back operation in February, followed by an extensive programme of rehabilitation, Tremlett is confident of spearheading Surrey's attack for the remainder of the season.
He said: "I just want to play every game I can. I'm really enjoying being back out there. It's best for me, when I bowl, getting overs in my legs. I've done a lot of stuff in the gym, but there's nothing like bowling.
"I've played a few Twenty20 games now and took a few wickets the other day. It's just a shame about our results."
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Tremlett has had to contend with a succession of injuries over the years, but this was the most serious.
He said: "Mentally it's tough coming back from rehab. When I was younger I had a lot of injuries. Obviously, I came to Surrey and had a good run, but this is probably the most serious injury I've had. It's the longest time I've ever had out of cricket, so, mentally, it's probably been the hardest thing I've had to deal with.
"But I'm mentally tough, I've done it before, I'm now back playing and I'm getting stronger. I'm definitely more confident with each game I play. But it certainly takes time. I played a second team game to get some miles into my legs.
"In the field, it's now great having the confidence to bend down, to dive around and to hit the crease. I know I can bowl fast. Sometimes when you have back surgery, you wonder if you're ever going to bowl at 90 miles an hour again, so it's nice."
Tremlett admitted that seeing Durham's Graham Onions back in the England fold has given him hope that, one day, he will proudly wear the three lions on his chest again.
Tremlett, who has taken 49 Test wickets at a creditable 26.75 runs apiece, said: "Graham Onions' back operation was even more serious than mine, so it's great to see him back and bowling at the same sort of pace.
"He's a great example, so if I can follow in his footsteps and I can get back to putting an England shirt on again that'll be great. I felt I just about cemented my place in the England team against Sri Lanka and India last year, after having a good Ashes, but unfortunately I haven't played cricket for a long time and the likes of Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan are bowling well.
"It's almost like you've fallen down the pecking order a little bit. But I've just got to prove to myself and everyone that I can bowl match after match and work my way back into the England side.
"There's a few bowlers ahead of me in the pecking order, by I'm not ready to give up."