James Anyon Interview - Warwickshire After Promotion

Jimmy, are you looking forward to the season? Definitely, last year was a big disappointment so that lads are really looking forward to this one. With a few of the changes that have been made at the club, we really are looking to get back on track hopefully. Have you been training well over the winter, presumably a lot of time indoors? We started early this year, we actually got back together in November and did a lot of fitness work. Some guys were going down and playing five a-side football, the other were in the gym and really started the cricket in January, with March when it gets back to full intensity. It has been quite a busy winter and at the same time it has been very productive. With the different formats of the game coming into play during the year, how do you think that the guys will adapt and play in the shorter version of the game, such as the Twenty20? It is something that you have come to terms with now having been going on for the last few years. You must remember that the basics are still the same even though it’s a shorter match. We work on the shorter format techniques, for example we will have a one day net and look how to play spin in this and the bowlers have worked on how to bowl in a one day match. Really you need to have the discipline to switch between the different formats of the game during the summer. How do the coaches help you to switch between the different formats of the game? We are lucky at Warwickshire to have good coaches who can work with each and every player individually and specifically help them for games. We actually have a big squad so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team changing for the different formats with more specialist players now. Already the bowlers have started drawing up plans with the staff as to how to bowl in certain situations over the summer. Going into a game and knowing what you are going to do definitely makes it a lot easier. Obviously it is a long season, how important is it that the guys keep themselves fit and ready for the matches during the year? Well Gilo (Ashley Giles) has already highlighted that and said that we are going to be the fittest side in the country. He has had us running round athletic stadiums on snowy mornings but hopefully all of that will pay off in the long run. We have Simon Hollyhead who is the strength and conditioning coach so his job is to make sure everyone stays as fit as possible during the season. Everyone has plans as to what they will do to remain at their best and really the side who remains fit and strong throughout the season is more successful and can go all the way. What are Warwickshire’s team ambitions for the year? First of all we want to get promoted again and back into the first division where a club like Warwickshire belongs. It’s a big club and members and fans expect us to win things – last year was such a disappointment for us. With the likes of Ashley Giles and Allan Donald joining on the coaching staff then we should be doing well, we want promotion and to try and win the Friends Provident and the Twenty20 competitions. Do the likes of Ashley Giles and Allan Donald speak to you individually, giving you tips and ways to approach different situations? They do definitely, especially with Allan, he has been very good with me and not only that, he is one of the greatest fast bowlers who has ever lived so it’s good to learn off him. We have a lot of young seamers and he is providing very beneficial to the young attack. Then we have Gilo, who is basically the ultimate pro. He was England’s premier spinner for years and having that experience coming into the dressing room is brilliant. They deliver what they know in a fun way, which is making people enjoy themselves but at the same time we are learning and improving. Are they keeping all of you on your toes in the nets? Very much so, there is a lot of competition for places in the team this year so the nets really have become like a match with the same intensity. In the nets its not the friendly half volleys and bowling in little areas, people are getting bounced and those two are encouraging the bowlers to try and get the batsman out in nets also. We are trying to work the batsman over and they are trying to do the same to us, which will benefit all of us as players. Personally are you setting yourself any targets in different competitions? Well I think that every seamer wants to get 50 wickets in the Championship, which is something I really want to do. But the main thing for me is winnings games and contributing towards these. Before I think I got ahead of myself and set some certain targets and it hasn’t worked out so I really think about taking each day as it comes and trying to do your best every day.
Official Warwickshire CCC Website