Interview with the Captain…

On May 19 2013, Captain John Tither scored a club-record 140 runs – off 119 balls – in a tied thriller against Agricola, with his century off 98 balls. 

His century – the 5th in club history – usurped the efforts of Jon Taylor who hit 131 against Brixton Casuals on 20 July 2003. 

His partnership of 212 with Mark Bradshaw (67) also broke the club record for the highest ever partnership – for any wicket – beating the 171 between Bradshaw (84*) and Keith Roberts (61*) against Haud Magnum on 15 May 2005.

The Exiles website caught up with the clubs’ inspirational captain for a few words:

John, very well played, you must’ve been delighted to finally get your first Exiles century – especially after a couple of dramatic near-misses*?

I was starting to fear I wouldn’t get into 3 figures for the Exiles and the near misses were starting to rack up in an almost comedy fashion. A 6 was converted to a 4 by the umpire 3 overs after the shot was played and also being half congratulated only for the count back to show 2 runs short last season. I was very determined to get at least one more hundred before I get too old and frail. I can honestly say it was worth the wait and doing it against one of Exiles most friendly but also most fiercely competitive rivals was good.

When was your last century? And do you know roughly how many you’ve scored in your career?

From memory it was 1995 and to show how long ago that was I checked the No1 singles for that summer. Robson & Jerome were number one for 7 weeks with a double a-side including (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover (do itunes do double a-sides?). I even had hair although I know I will have to provide some photographic evidence to convince some. I think I scored 2 centuries the previous summer so this innings is my 4th and by far the highest.

With Exiles chasing such a big target, you really seemed to step up to the plate?

I wasn’t really in any form and aside from a very small hit the week before hadn’t held a bat since last season. But I decided in the field to take responsibility if the opposition got to 200 I would open the batting and try my best to chase down their total, which nearly worked!!!

A few words for Mark Bradshaw, who’s innings of 67 seemed to provide the perfect foil for you in your record partnership? 

Firstly it is great to have Mark back at the club and equally good that he has come back and started to score runs from the off. Batting with Mark just meant I didn’t have any worries or concerns on what was going on at the other end, I trusted him to get on with his job which he did exceptionally well and I got on trying to do what I wanted to do in chasing down the large total and we were right on track throughout our innings. I have been involved in at least one 200 partnership before but think this was highest. It is also good that some of the club records that have been in existence for some time are being broken which demonstrates Exiles cricket is still vibrant and we are moving forward collectively as a team.

But, despite your record-breaking antics, the must be some disappointment at the teams inability to quite get over the winning line?

I have absolutely no disappointment in the team as a whole. We went for a few runs in the field which was expected bowling at such a strong batting line up. We then chased down almost 6 an over in 40 overs, my disappointment is that I didn’t stay in to finish the job. It is an unfair expectation on the batsmen who have been sat around for 2 hours to come in and immediately score at 6 or 7 an over. I should have finished the job!!

Thoughts for the rest of the season?

We’ve had 3 games and 3 results Win, Loose and tie. Hopefully more of the wins to come with the entertainment factor of the tie, 470 runs on a Sunday isn’t bad.

John, many thanks for your time, and we’re looking forward to seeing plenty more runs from you this season!

* John made 98 against Surbiton Imperials in 2007 and 98no against Old Rutlishians in 2012.