The Investec Ashes June 26, 2013

Tremlett tells England: 'I'm ready for Ashes'


It has taken almost 18 months and a couple of operations, but Chris Tremlett finally feels he is ready to return for the Investec Ashes series.

England have yet to be entirely convinced that he can play a part. They have not named him in their squad to face Essex at Chelmsford, beginning on Sunday, preferring another tall fast bowler in Warwickshire's Boyd Rankin, but he remains of interest.

Even when he was struggling to get out of bed and wondering if his career was over, he received encouraging phone calls from Andy Flower to remind him that he was in England's plans. And now, at long last, he feels he is ready to return.

Tremlett played the last of his 11 Tests against Pakistan, in Dubai, in January 2012. He flew home shortly afterwards with a back problem which required surgery and, while he attempted to comeback in the subsequent English domestic season, managed only one Championship game before injury intervened again and he was forced to undergo knee surgery.

"If I was picked for a Test tomorrow I'd be confident," Tremlett told ESPNcricinfo. "If you had asked me that three games into the season, my honest answer would have been that I'm not ready to play Test cricket. But now I have some games under my belt, I have my confidence back. I feel I'm ready now. I've no doubt."

Tremlett admitted that he had struggled for rhythm in the first couple of months of the season but felt back to something approaching his best in Surrey's last Championship match against Yorkshire. While he only claimed two wickets, he delivered 48 overs at a sharp pace and, for the first time, felt he was back to the level that helped him earn 49 wickets in his first 10 Tests.

"My body found it tough for the first two or three games of the season," Tremlett said. "The first few games weren't that enjoyable as it was such hard work on my back and knees. I was still feeling it a bit.

"But I'm not far off my best now. Something clicked at Leeds. At Derby I took eight wickets and felt I bowled pretty well, but I felt better at Yorkshire. I ran in harder. I bowled 48 overs against Yorkshire and I was bowling as quickly in my last over as I was in my first. I've a lot my rhythm and a lot more trust in more body now."

Tremlett was a key part of England's Ashes victory in Australia during 2010-11, when he claimed 17 wickets in three matches but admitted that, while he would love to return to that level, he would consider it "a bonus" after all his injury troubles.

"I'd love to be back playing for England again," Tremlett said. "That's what motivates me when I train. It's hard to top being at that level and playing in the Ashes while you're in county cricket but it would be a bonus from the dark times I've had.

"I would look at it as a bonus if I played for England again. After lying in theatre rooms and being opened up by surgeons, I'm grateful to just come back and play cricket at all.

"I never thought it was over, but there were times when I thought I might struggle. There were times when I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't get out of bed. So it's nice to get through that, as other bowlers have, and it's great to be playing and enjoying it.

"I've been trying not to think about England too much. I'm trying to relax, play for Surrey and not think too far ahead. If I keep doing the right things for Surrey, I'll work my way back into the England team. But I do feel confident that I'm almost back to my best now."

Chris Tremlett was speaking at the launch of the 2013 Friends Life t20 competition. For match ticket information visit #FLt20

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anupam on June 28, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    Very good news are coming from POMS side- 1. Root as an opener, 2. Tremlett is fit (must replace Broad), 3. Australian team lost completely like Fear force them to change the LAW, Arthur is axed (he is a good coach, Clarke must be axed from captaincy), The worst ever middle order batsman becomes coach. 4. KP is fit. Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, Taylor/Compton, Prior, Swanny, Tremlett, Finn, Jimmy. Now Onion, Meaker, C.Wright is in 3rd bench.

  • Carl on June 27, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Has he been practicing carrying the drinks as I think that's all he'll do (bar for a large number of injuries).

    Shame as he has all the tools (although I'd play Onions before him).

  • Sean on June 27, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Tremlett v Hughes ahaha what a funny sight that would be

  • Ray on June 27, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 & @randyoz: How pleasant to see you both back after such a long absence which, by chance, seemed to coincide with (yet another) series of dismal Australian performances.

    Anyway, Tremlett: His figures from the last Ashes series: 3 matches; 17 wickets@23.35. (2 of those wickets being Clarke)... and he can't even get in our squad at the moment!

  • kieran on June 27, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, but Tremlett is much more heavily muscled than any tall bowler I've seen, he must be near 100kg!

  • sam on June 27, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Certainly Clarke can't wait for some easy pickings @ 80 mph from him . In any case can't be much worse -or better- than the rest of the lot like Anderson , Broad etc who M Clarke has set himself up for some Ashes doubles and 300 against his name.

  • michael on June 27, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    Dernbach and Woakes have never been considered test bowlers. Broad has hardly failed, he has nigh on 200 test wickets to his name. Bresnan has had injury issues so its hard to judge his true calibre at test level, he certainly looked good in Australia but that was against some pathetic batting after all. Onions hasn't played a test match for a long time but has been consistently brilliant for Durham for the last few years and would be a handful in English conditions. I think Tremlett realistically will play in the return series, unless England have a lot of injuries to front line bowlers.

  • John on June 27, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    @HatsforBats on (June 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT), Tremlett is 6'7", which is the same height as Steven Finn but Tremlett is probably a bit more solid. Joel Garner was 6'8" but, if you want someone more contemporary, watch a Pakistan game and check out Mohammad Irfan at 7'1". His bouncer and his yorker are the same delivery! ;-)

  • John on June 27, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Glad he's back and I love his attitude despite all the setbacks. The kind of guy that everyone should root for!

  • Kenso on June 27, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    As ive said in previous posts there are very few holes in this consistent Pommy line up but one weaknesses I thought might be exploited was the English bowling depth. Tremlett was in my estimations out of calculations but to find out they have him and an Rankin waiting in the wings should broad not perform is impressive. I do think however that Tremlett is a replacement for Finn only. If Broad/ bresnan fails rankin should get a crack just to ensure a well balanced bowling attack. My hope as an aussie is that anderson goes down cause he is irreplaceable.