Podmore glad to be back
Podmore glad to be back

Kent bowler Harry Podmore admitted it’s “good to be back” playing cricket ahead of the start of the 2020 season on Saturday.

Podmore took two wickets for 41 runs from 11 overs against Essex on Tuesday in Kent’s final practice game before their opening fixture this weekend, and he was buzzing and grateful to be back playing the game.

“It’s been a long wait” said Podmore, sporting his new silver hairstyle.

“We had an squad game last week, and now Essex, and it finally feels like it is the start of the season, even though it is almost August. It is just good to get back out there again with the boys playing cricket.

“I think it is good to be out there playing a team like Essex as well. They have got some high-quality performers.”

Kent’s last competitive game was in late September last year, and this season is starting much later than planned because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Podmore is expecting a rusty start to the season from a lot of players following the long lay-off.

“I think a lot of the bowlers will be rusty, same as the batters” he said.

“But everyone is in the same position. It is not an ideal situation, but we have trained – the bowlers have been back a little bit longer than the batters – so we can only make the most of what we have got at the time.

“I think you will see a lot of interesting dismissals, but it will be good fun and a good test to see how quickly we can get back to our normal ways.

“We are just grateful to be back playing some sort of cricket. To moan would be slightly ungrateful.”

Podmore had a successful season in Division One for Kent last year, taking 52 wickets from 14 games at 26.53 apiece.

He has kicked on in his career since signing for the club in 2018, and is ready to go again, despite the late start, targeting more success.

“I felt in quite good rhythm [against Essex]” said the 26-year-old.

“I have had a while back bowling now and I am just starting to feel 100% comfortable again. But that only comes with bowling overs.

“Speaking to the bowling coach, he thinks were 40-50 overs short on what we would be in a normal pre-season. I am just grateful to be out there.

“But what can be better preparation than playing against the best team I the country? Sir Alastair Cook; his record speaks for itself. And Nick Browne is a very good opening batter – I find it quite hard to bowl at him sometimes. So, the practice of bowling against the best team in the country is second to none.”

Both of Podmore’s wickets against Essex came in the first over of the second day, as he dismissed openers Nick Browne and Sir Alastair Cook, catching the latter off his own bowling.

He’ll be hoping for similar on Saturday.

“They were two strange dismissals actually” said Podmore.

“I didn’t feel in that good rhythm in my first spell, it was more my second spell that I felt better, but hopefully having one up on the openers now will give them a sleepless night before Saturday.

“Sometimes I try not to look at them as player – I just do my thing. I know if I am sticking to the basics and doing what I do well then I will be alright. It is not necessarily about the other team – if I am doing what I need to do it should be good enough for anyone.”

“But I don’t think Alastair Cook is too worried about me right now!”

If Kent can make it to the final of the competition, a Lord’s final awaits.

That’s a long way away right now, but Podmore is aiming high.

“I think when you play in any final it is exciting” he said.

“A final at Lord’s in a four-day competition would be great. Turning up at Lord’s is always exciting – it is a great place to play and does spur people on that little bit more.

“Preparation has been as good as it could have been. Even in training sessions, Kent have made it work well with every protocol they have had to put in place, so, yeah, we’re in a good place.”