New South Wales rookie hits the Path to Formby
Wednesday 8th February 2012
Chris Tremain had a blistering start to his Sydney Grade Cricket career with the University of New South Wales before injuring his back in November 2010. Opening the season in the second grade, he took 7-43 against Sydney in his first match. He then took 4-40 against Hawkesbury and 4-46 against Sydney University in his next two matches.
"I took a seven for and two four fors in my first three games and then I got bumped up to the firsts," said Tremain. But the talented quick didn't fare as well in first grade.
"The first game I played in first grade I got pumped. Absolutely pumped," he said, referring to his efforts of 1-33 off five overs against Parramatta and 0-20 off three overs against Blacktown.
"You're just bowling to good players all of the time. The best way I can describe it is if you were bowling to one of the Waugh twins, say Steve, and then you conceded a single, you're then bowling to Mark. The batting used to fall away as you got further down the order in Orange but nearlyeveryone can bat in Sydney."
Chris Tremain receives his UNSW cap from Geoff Lawson
Tremain did regroup to be UNSW's best bowler in their 176 run demolition of Gordon in round six, taking 3-32 from 11 overs, but he hurt his back leading into the Christmas break and missed the club's remaining games, putting a dampener on his festive cheer.
Tremain admitted he probably went too hard, too early.
"I had a year off after last season and I am just a bit weaker than usual," he said in January 2011. "Through my core it's a little bit weak and I just lacked that bit of match fitness. I'm just concentrating on getting fitter and stronger now and I'll be back after the Christmas break. That's the goal over the second part of the season."
Tremain is undoubtedly one of the most talented bowlers to come through the Kinross system. He is now under the guidance of former Australian Test match bowler and UNSW stalwart Geoff Lawson - a move which could take him to the next level.
"Geoff Lawson has spent a lot of time with me, which has been great," he said. "He just analyses everything through his eyes and it’s really helped my development."
Tremain believed his first year in the tough Sydney competition had been a success and he is looking forward to continuing that success for many years.
"Going to Sydney and playing grade cricket is a long term move. The goal is to be contracted. If I have to move interstate to achieve that then I will," he said.
"I treated the season as a warm up one. I played out the rest of the year injury free then I was happy. I didn't have any expectations going into second grade but now I've made first grade it's just about getting fitter and stronger and going from there."
Chris Tremain capped off a stellar début season in the Sydney Grade Cricket first grade competition with University of NSW, winning the club's 2010-11 Rookie of the Year award. In his first year in the toughest club cricket competition in Australia, Tremain took 22 first grade wickets at an average of 17.7, with best figures of 5-33. He also had a batting average of 25.3 with a highest score of 26.
The 19 year old fast bowler was thrilled to have won the award, despite playing just half the first grade season thanks to an ongoing shoulder problem.
"It was one of the things I really wanted to do next year but someone told me that it only goes to players in their first year at the club," said Tremain, who received the award off former Australian fast bowler and UNSW great Geoff Lawson.
"Then we were sitting there at the table with a few mates and someone said, 'you might win this'. That sort of took the buzz out of it a bit. I was still shocked, though."
The honours for the 2009-10 Orange District Cricket Association cricketer of the year didn't stop there. He also won the club's second grade bowler of the year gong.
"That was a bit surprising. I only played three games but I think that was based on statistics," he said, referring to his 15 wickets at just 8.5, including best figures of 7-41 on début for the club. "I was actually hoping to get a decent shot at the first grade bowler of the year but I'll have to have another crack at that next year."
The Yeoval product also finished second in the overall first grade player of the year points count.
"That was the biggest surprise. I don't know how the points work but I was second to David Dawson and he is an ex Tasmanian Sheffield Shield player. I'd still like to go one better next year," he said. "I only played half the season in first grade and only three games in second grade. Everything was a surprise."
Understandably, Tremain couldn't wait for his next season. After a slow start in Sydney last year, he began work to strengthen his core and bowling action for season 2011-12. He is also looking to study criminology at UNSW.
"I was a bit rattled when I first went down there, I didn't know what to expect," he said. "But after I had a chat to a couple of people and Geoff Lawson and 'Dawso' said I had the raw material, I just needed to get my head straight, I was fine. I was absolutely distraught when the season ended because I was really finding my feet."
Earlier this week, Chris Tremain stepped out onto the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground, his eyes gleaming. There is potential for something special. The fast bowler is training with the state team.
"It would obviously be a dream of mine to play Sheffield Shield and of course Tests and one dayers would be the apple at the top of the tree but now I'm just happy to get the opportunities I have," he said as he prepares to hit the nets.
The Wellington right arm quickie plays for the University of NSW, who are on top of the Sydney first grade cricket championship. His form has caught the eyes of selectors.
"I grabbed four for 49 last week against Sutherland and I aiming in the final rounds and the semis to get a fiver," he said. "It's really good to be on top of the competition and to open the bowling. I am taking the new ball and after my shoulder reconstruction, it only took three games to make the first grade so I am lucky."
He considers former Test bowling great Geoff Lawson his biggest influence to date. "He changed my action slightly," Tremain said. "My hand goes back another six inches and I can swing the ball more now. Geoff is a very helpful person and of course is highly regarded at the uni and I also enjoy bonding with Bathurst's Trent Copeland who has played test matches, he offers friendship and advice all the time."
The young player spent his early years at the Wellington Fields, and now has a chance to play at Formby during the Australian winter.
Chris's father Peter Tremain is obviously very proud of his son.
"He was recently chosen in the NSW Future League team (under 23 years) to play ACT," he said. "This follows on from his success in gaining a scholarship though NSW Cricket to play the off season in England. Yes, I am very proud of him."
The Future side is captained by former Test opener Phil Jacques (he played at Northern in 1999) and Tremain said experienced players like that are assisting his workload.
He also recognises that Australia's current crop of fast bowlers will make it hard for him to break into the top representative sides, but for now he's comfortable where his sport is at.
"It's wonderful to be playing the game I like and getting all the chances to work at the top level," he said.
Right arm fast bowler Chris Tremain is the latest player to represent Formby on a New South Wales scholarship as the Cricket Path side push for promotion to the ECB Premier League.
Tremain is no mug with the bat. In November he hit at unbeaten 81 at number 11 and added an unbroken 188 for the last wicket with his captain Dave Dawson who finished with an unbeaten 200 against Western Suburbs. scorecard
Formby are also looking to add a couple more players before the start of the season. One of them is a quick bowler who may not be a total stranger to Competition batsmen, and they are also in discussions with an English qualified wicketkeeper batsman who will be a direct replacement for Mark Baker.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that Mark will play a few games when his school commitments in Nottingham permit and Lawrence Amstrong will be playing a full season.