During the recent victory for the Exiles against the Strollers on 22 August 2010, star all-rounder Martin Thomas brought up his century of wickets for the club. The Exiles website caught up with Martin during a recent book-signing for some comments:
Martin, many congratulations on taking 100 wickets for the Energy Exiles. How do you feel on reaching this landmark?
Over the moon to be sharing this landmark with the likes of Hilson, Scott, Thomas G, Bunton. Not sure if I’ve missed anyone.
Have you tried to model your classic bowling action on anyone in particular?
I’ve analysed the likes of Fraser, Gough, McGrath, Sidebottom but I think my self-taught action will remain unique. I have in the last couple of years tried to approach the crease like Freddie Flintoff.
Are there any spells of bowling that particularly stand-out in your mind that you’ve produced for the club so far?
I did enjoy my three wickets several years ago against a decent Agricola side. Scalps included Everett, Bradshaw and Thody, who even applauded my bowling.
Which have been your favourite wickets?
Probably the ones above.
Which batsmen do you feel have coped with your bowling best?
Almond and Krunic
Do you deliberately try to bowl reverse swing at 90mph or is it natural?
My natural length is a pretty full one, so if everything slips into place, I do take a lot of wickets with yorkers. Although they’re not 90mph it is satisfying to knock a batsmen of his feet like against the strollers.
Many people have commented on your grunting during delivery – does this concern you?
Sometimes striving for that extra bit of pace does lead to the odd grunt, but that’s just the effort involved and if it helps to take wickets great.
Considering you’re an all-rounder of such outstanding calibre, do you not find it surprising that given you’ve just brought up 100 wickets for the club, you’ve only scored 278 runs?
It is very difficult to score runs at 9,10 or 11. You’re always under pressure to get quick runs, survive or win the game. You’ll note that my record batting at 7 or above is much better.
Are you viewed in Poland as your country’s answer to Freddie Flintoff? If so, how do you handle such intense pressure?
These questions do get rather stupid, bit if you want an answer – It is difficult carrying a nation’s hope on one shoulders, but you have to clear your mind and focus on that correct line and length.
What cricketing ambitions do you have for the future – are there any targets you’re particularly keen to achieve?
150 wickets is the next target as well as hopefully adding some variety to my bowling. Hopefully I’ll get some more chances batting up the order.
Do you have any bowling tips for any youngsters keen to follow in your footsteps?
I would always try and bowl full and straight. Have a high left arm during delivery (if you’re right-handed) to help you place the ball where you would like. Don’t worry about pace, as it will come if the rest of your action is smooth.
Martin, many thanks for your time, and best of luck in your future Exiles career
Interview by: Andy Wingfield