During the recent victory for the Exiles against the Strollers on 22 August 2010, Exiles batsman John Tither brought up his first 1,000 runs for the club. The Exiles website caught up with John to ask his thoughts.
John, congratulations on bringing up 1,000 runs for the club – are you pleased with this achievement?
Yes definitely. My availability like most other Exiles is mixed but playing most Sundays for back half of past 2 seasons has helped my form. It was also good to reach the landmark against a club I nearly played for before being invited to join the Exiles. There were also some other more impressive landmarks that day.
What’s been your favourite innings to date?
The 98 (I won’t mention the 6 that was converted to a 4) against Surbiton Imperials in 2007 springs to mind. I hadn’t played much in previous 5 or so years. I enjoyed getting a big score again and chasing down 230 to win. Also, against the same opposition 83 not out last year chasing 115
someone flicked a switch that day. Anyone bored yet?
Which Exiles batters – if any – do you particularly enjoy batting with?
Anyone who rotates the strike and runs quick singles, then I remember how unfit I am and prefer anyone who hits boundaries. In no particular order and mainly because they are the batsmen I remember batting with most often, Q when he is hitting boundaries, just sit back at non strikers end and enjoy. Keith, a proper opening batsmen and good to build partnerships with. JPJ hits boundaries but also good at nudging and running, shows me up a little and despite my relative youth he just keeps running and puts me to shame.
What’s your favourite shot?
Probably cover drive and leg side pick up off pads when I’m playing well. I like to think I score all round the wicket depending on bowling but maybe some team statto will contest
Are there any bowlers over the years who you’ve found particular difficulty in facing?
Not especially, I think more about my batting than their bowling. I show all bowlers respect and have faced some very good and quick ones (remember Sanderstead away?) but try not to get too concerned about what bowlers do. Most teams don’t have 4 or 5 good bowlers so there is usually someone to cash in on.
Does it further put into context the magnitude of your achievement when you note that Martin Thomas has only scored 278 runs for the club?
Blimey I didn’t realise he was so close, I’d better get a move on. To be fair some of Martin’s runs this season and last have been scored at crucial times, I’m sure he will be happy to talk through with anyone who missed key moments.
How does playing for the Exiles compare with playing in the Durham Senior League? Presumably the standard is more-or-less the same?
Most Senior league clubs had professionals and some were current and past test cricketers. Although on a topical theme honesty and sportsmanship isn’t always apparent in the higher levels of the game. I wonder if Exiles games were scrutinised any match fixing would be apparent, I’m sure the ICC would be bewildered by Phil L’s best comedy fielding moment from last year. Exiles have some good players and a first choice 11 could be very useful.
What further ambitions do you hope to achieve whilst playing for the Exiles? You’ve already won the batting trophy once, whilst your seam bowling seems to’ve had a resurgence of late
Another 1,000 runs would be nice. I’m not sure I could bowl every week and the chief selector noted I needed to sort things out after my last spell
generally just to play as much as I can and win as many games as possible over the next few years.
John, thanks for your time and best of luck in your future Exiles career.
Interview by: Andy Wingfield, 28 Sept 2010