Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Question And Answer Session With Jack Shantry Part One

Question And Answer Session With Jack Shantry Part One

Jack Shantry has continued the fine form he showed for Worcestershire last summer – with the ball and latterly the bat – for Greenvale Kangaroos in the Victorian Premier Firsts Bartercard Premier Division cricket this winter.

He will soon be leaving Australia with his other county colleagues to begin preparations for the new county season via the 10 day trip to Abu Dhabi in early March.

Here Jack reflects in part one of a two part Question and Answer session with the Worcestershire website on his time Down Under and his Ian Bothamesque performance to seal promotion against Surrey.

QUESTION: How difficult is it adjusting from playing maybe 5-7 days a week to having the one bowl and one knock most weekends – and maybe even longer in between sometimes?

ANSWER: "It's not that difficult. Everyone does it when they start their career, and we are on an even footing with every other player in the league.

"The season with Worcestershire was fantastic but it was intense, and we all needed a little bit of time to recover. Playing once a week is a great way to keep your body ticking over."

QUESTION: You and Ben Cox have made consistent contributions but why have Greenvale seemed to be struggling to attain the winning habit.

ANSWER: "We have a very young side and one that has struggled over the last couple of seasons.

"I see it as my role to help out the younger players and try and help win as many games as possible while we are here."

QUESTION: What is the standard of cricket like?

ANSWER: "It's the highest standard of club cricket in Melbourne. We have played against Brad Hodge, Clint McKay and Matthew Wade so far, who have all represented Australia.

"They play their cricket hard and I've copped a bit of sledging since I've been here, more than you probably get playing first class cricket."

QUESTION: You have played virtually every game this 2014 season. What made you want to keep playing this winter albeit only once a week – to keep in a rhythm and are you able to chill out in between.

ANSWER: "A bit of both, really. It's a great climate out here and that can make a big difference to your general well-being.

"I have been stayed at home the last two winters and I know what I need to do to make sure I am physically ready for a county season.

"I also see it as a way of getting in another season's worth of cricketing development, especially in regards to my batting."

QUESTION: Do you have a plan from Ross Dewar (county fitness and conditioning coach) to stick to like the boys back home at Malvern?

ANSWER: "Yes, everybody abroad for the winter has a gym programme from Ross which we stick to."

QUESTION: Now you've had four or five months to reflect, what are you feelings about those last two days against Surrey which sealed promotion?

ANSWER: "It was just an incredible match. There were so many points in the game where we thought we had lost it. The way the crowd reacted throughtout our second innings was remarkable.

"We had a lead of 37 with seven wickets down when I walked out and the crowd were very subdued and quiet. Then when Meaker came on and started bowling short I got a couple of cuts and pulls away and there were almost ironic cheers.

"Then as Leachy (Joe Leach) and I both started to score freely they became louder, but also different in tone as we started to build a bigger lead. When I got to 100 I've never had an ovation like it, and I doubt I will again.

"I have bowled as that before, but I've never hit the ball as sweetly as I did on the third afternoon. It was one of those matches where things went my way all of a sudden.

"To become the third player to get 10 wickets and 100 for Worcestershire, with one of the others being Imran Khan is something I'll be proud of for the rest of my life.

"I've also been told that I'm the first person to do it from number nine or lower in the history of cricket, which considering the amount of first class games played is something I can't quite believe.

"And to do it all in a match with such significance for Worcestershire and get promotion made it ten times as special.

"When Alexei Kervezee hit the stumps it was one of the best feelings in my life, and the next couple of minutes were a blur, I can just remember all of us jumping up and down in a huddle."

*Tune into the Worcestershire CCC website later in the week for part two of Jack Shantry's Q and A session.