Kent’s winter signing Charlie Shreck is looking forward to putting in the hard yards for his new county after deciding against a Nottinghamshire benefit or opting to gently wind down his career at Trent Bridge.
The 34-year-old Cornish-born fast bowler is four games short of his 100th first-class appearance, yet already has 341 wickets to his name at a creditable average of 30. Shreck wants nothing more now than to set new milestones wearing Kent colours.
Explaining his decision to leave Trent Bridge after almost a decade, Shreck said: “I had other offers or could simply have stayed with Notts. I had a benefit in place there, and could have quite easily ridden out my time until the end of my contract.
“But I couldn’t take another year of playing six or seven games. My mentality as a bowler is slightly sadistic and I need the pain of bowling lots of overs to know that I’m going through it and that I’m contributing fully.
“I needed to find a club where I felt I could make an impact, a place where I could play cricket again, rather than act as a ‘fill in’ or stay and waste away the final years of my career. And Kent was that club.”
The 6ft 7in England Lions bowler is already enjoying the buzz of Kent’s dressing room and being part of the new-look set up for 2012.
“I came to Kent on loan for just one game last season and got a taste of how things run here,” he added. “I liked the way Rob Key had control over the team and liked the fact that he had different ideas as a captain.
“At that time Paul Farbrace was coach and he told me much of what I wanted to hear, in that Kent had quite a few young bowlers who needed someone to lead them, a senior bowler who they could follow, and they made me believe I could be that man.
“The dressing room here was really quiet then. It might offend a few people by me saying this, but it felt like going back to club cricket. You had the captain and the coach doing everything, while everyone else just sat around with their heads down, basically seeing out each day.
“The atmosphere is completely different now. There’s an edge to it, and people are enjoying their cricket. The ground is looking beautiful and Kent have aspirations to be a big club again. We’ve made seven new signings and together those new guys can share the burden of bringing the younger lads though.
“I’ve played at the St Lawrence Ground quite a few times and enjoyed some success down the years, but the slopes do take some getting used to. Mark Davies and I have already spoken about our favoured ends. He fancies coming down the slope from Nackington Road, so I’ll be doing the hard yards up the hill and carrying him around for a while!
“I’ve also enjoyed doing some work in pre-season with Mark Ealham, my old team-mate from Notts, and it was good to see him again. He was in my ear at Trent Bridge for six years or so, and it’s almost comforting to have him around. Plus, he keeps the coaching very simple, which is how I like it.”