Martin Thomas – back at the crease

Back at the crease, an interview with Martin Thomas, May 2008

When Exiles stalwart Martin Thomas collapsed in agony attempting an expansive shot in the end-of-season club match in September 2006, little did anyone know at the time just how serious the injury would be. After missing the whole of the 2007 season, he finally returned to action last Sunday against the Strollers. The Energy Exiles website caught up with him to ask about how it felt to be back.

Martin, how did you feel after your comeback game?

Very well indeed, if not slightly disappointed to be left stranded not out with the bat.

How were the nerves when the skipper told you to get ready to come on to bowl?

From the start it all felt unusual and surreal. It did help getting into the action early with a decent catch at point. However, the nerves started to get to me when time was approaching for me to bowl. I tried to block everything out and hoped just to get the ball to the other end of the wicket without suffering from dartitis or the yips.

For professional sportsmen who suffer the dreaded cruciate, it often means they are back in action within 6 months; but how difficult was the recovery process for a “mere mortal”?

The whole affair has taken over a year and a half and I’m not 100% fit as yet. You really need to find a lot of time for the rehab process to be successful. From physio, to gym work, to running takes a lot of patience and discipline to make a full recovery and at times can be pretty depressing. I think you need to be an addicted amateur sportsman to get through this and playing last Sunday was exhilarating.

Have you set yourself any targets for this season? When realistically do you think you might be back to full cricket fitness/awareness?

Just hoping to play every available Sunday and will be looking to increase cricket activity on Saturdays as well. The important thing will be to ensure that batsmen have as difficult a time as possible to get runs of me and hopefully that will eventually lead to wickets. I should be back to full cricket fitness/awareness within a couple of months.

The injury was partly caused by an attempted Hilson-esque super stretch shot
I take it you won’t be trying that again when you next bat?

You probably saw that was exactly the shot I was playing against their (the Strollers) accurate left arm spinner on Sunday and it seemed to be effective. It’s an important shot when trying to smother the ball and if you get forward enough should negate the LBW possibility. However, I will be looking to play shots against poorer bowling and hope to be given a chance or two higher up the order.