Shreck Has Fond Memories
Of His Years At Notts
Featured News | 22nd September 2011
It's a long way from home, but Nottingham has grown to feel that way for Cornishman Charlie Shreck.
When the Truro-born seamer left behind his local league to chance his arm at county level, little did he know it would change his life for good.
Since 2002, the 33-year-old has become a regular cog in a Notts side that has, by and large, been one of the most successful in county cricket.
And only after nine years of sterling service has he brought down the curtain on his spell at Trent Bridge.
Shreck still had a year left to run on his contract with the green and golds and was being lined up as the club's beneficiary for 2012.
Yet he has turned down that opportunity to take on a fresh challenge with Division Two side Kent, where he has signed a two-year deal to start next summer.
The 6ft 7ins gentle giant admits it was a tough decision to leave Notts, but it does not mean he is turning his back on Nottingham.
The city he has grown to love will remain his base, meaning long trips in the car down to Canterbury for matches and training are set to become the norm.
"I think the offer of a benefit year was a compliment. It shows how well the club think I have done over the last nine years," said Shreck.
"I felt slightly disloyal turning it down, given that it was they who gave me the opportunity in the first place.
"But given the situation with the cricket, where I have not regularly been first-choice, it was the right thing to do.
"There was no acrimony at all, it's just that I want to play more games.
"Hopefully, I can take some of the big-club mentality down with me to Kent. Take what I have learned here over the past few years and help them win a few games.
"It would be nice to come back here with Kent playing Notts, even if it would feel slightly strange being in the downstairs changing room rather than upstairs."
During his time on the Notts staff, which came to an end with an appearance in the club's final game of the season against Sussex in County Championship Division One last week, Shreck played 96 first-class matches, claiming 341 wickets at 30.51.
And though his limited batting and fielding ability restricted his one-day appearances, he still managed 52 list A matches, taking 63 wickets at 31.90 and 22 t20 games where he snared 23 victims at 25.95 each.
In the 2006 campaign, Shreck became something of a nemesis to Middlesex as he took 8-31 in their second innings at Trent Bridge, as the visitors were dismissed for 49 to lose by an innings.
Then in the return fixture, he took a hat-trick at Lord's the home of cricket, to help seal another Notts victory.
He finished the season with more than 50 wickets and managed that feat for a second time in 2008 when, taking 58 wickets at 28.67, the fourth best Division One haul of the season.
It helped Notts finish second behind Durham, only missing out on the title after losing their final match at home to Hampshire.
Shreck said: "As far as highlights go, I remember 2008 and that was possibly my best season.
"But more than anything it is having been able to play with some great cricketers. People like David Hussey, Stephen Fleming and Stuart MacGill.
"The whole thing has been a pleasure. When you start playing at 25, it's pretty much a dream come true to be playing with people of that standard.
"Notts is one of the best clubs in the country and apart from Lord's I think Trent Bridge is the best ground in the country. It is a fantastic set-up.
"I suppose the only downside is that I have not had more involvement in the two title-winning seasons.
"But at least in the second of the two I felt I had more of an influence in 2010. I was around bowling in the nets and being my grumpy self, even if I wasn't always in the team!"
Shreck acknowledges his route into the first-class game was more unusual than for most other players.
At an age when most other players would have been considering careers outside the game, the right-armer was being thrust into contention.
"There have been some good Cornish cricketers down the years but because we have played on reasonably slow wickets, and the geographical location, they maybe haven't always had chances at first-class level," said Shreck.
"I played minor counties cricket for six years before I got the chance and it came about because a friend of Chris Tolley's saw me playing – and I probably got him out a couple of times!
"He phoned Chris (Notts coach) and told him he should probably come down and have a look and he played against me without me knowing.
"On the strength of that he asked me to come up and play some second team cricket and Wayne Noon (then in charge of the second team) liked what he saw and recommended me to Mick Newell.
"I played a one-day game at the end of 2002 and managed to do well enough to start the 2003 season in the side and it has all gone from there.
"I couldn't have guessed back then that I would go on to play for Notts for nine seasons."
Down the years, Shreck has made many lifelong friends at Trent Bridge.
He said: "In the early years, Stuart MacGill took me under his wing, which I appreciated, and I was part of the young crowd along with the (Richard) Logans and so forth.
"Later on, I have become very good friends with Andre (Adams) but it has always been a good dressing room to be in and a lot of fun.
"Hopefully when I see them out and about in town now I won't get any aggro!"
As for the future without him, Shreck thinks the Notts bowling unit is looking as strong as ever.
Adams has signed a deal to remain at the club for the next two seasons and several other young bowlers are out to prove their worth.
"Some of the bowlers Notts have now are not the finished article, but there is a lot of talent in there," said Shreck.
"The good thing for them is that they are at a really good club who will give them every chance to develop.
"Fletcher, Carter and Gurney will be under people who care about the game and will be in an environment where there are excellent facilities.
"It's all set up for the club to keep moving forward."
And, despite his exit, Shreck would not want it any other way.
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