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Cremer: I was really scared when fans were banging on grill in my Test debut in Chittagong

  • Published at 08:32 pm February 1st, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:36 pm February 1st, 2018
Cremer: I was really scared when fans were banging on grill in my Test debut in Chittagong
Graeme Cremer has been a key member of the Zimbabwe cricket team for quite some time now. The 31-year old leg-spinner is not only reliable with the ball but is also a handy performer with the bat. Cremer gave an interview to Dhaka Tribune where he spoke in details about his career, the art of leg spin and Zimbabwe cricket, among other topics. Here are the excerpts: Why did you choose to be a leg-spinner while growing up? I bowled medium pace, and then I was messing around in the nets bowling offies and leggies one day. My school coach saw me bowl leg spin and told me that I should bowl that from now on. The only way you get better as a leg-spinner is through time, by bowling as much as possible. Is the role of leg-spinners changing in world cricket these days? I think leg-spinner has always been a wicket-taker. They are a big asset to a team. In T20s, spinners have definitely dominated over the seam bowlers. Giving the ball to a leg-spinner is about taking wickets, no matter how much run you give. Do you vary your pace while bowling leg-spin? It is quite hard to adjust to bowling probably a bit quicker and flatter in T20s. Rashid Khan and Samuel Badree bowls much quicker than myself or Yasir Shah. It is a big asset being a wrist spinner in any format. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gKdM5iZ_cc Have you talked about your trade with the other leg-spinners? I was fortunate enough to play in the same BPL team (Comilla Victorians) as Rashid Khan. He is very simple in the way he does things. It is a leap that most leg-spinners can take: keep it as simple as possible and take it from there. When you have a cloudy mind that’s when things can go wrong. Zimbabwe produced some renowned leg-spinners like Paul Strang and Adam Huckle. Did they inspire you? I grew up watching both of them. They were very inspirational. I tried to model my actions on Shane Warne and Anil Kumble. You made your Test match debut against Bangladesh in 2005. Any memories from that tour? I remember we were batting in the late evening in the Chittagong Test. We lost two wickets. Coach told me I had to go as a nightwatchman. I remember walking down the stairs and the fans were banging on the grill. I have never been so scared in my life. I ended up getting out to [Mohammad] Rafique. Following your debut in 2005, you have played only 19 Tests. Any regrets at not being able to play more Tests? It is difficult. You can probably compare yourselves with teams who play 15-20 Tests per year. We could potentially play more Tests in the next couple of years. But I wish it was different, looking back. You boast the record of facing the most number of balls as a No 8 batsman (351 in both innings). You made the record against Sri Lanka in Harare in 2016, surpassing Wasim Akram, who faced 363 deliveries. You also scored a century in that game. What is your take on that? It was a very important knock. When I walked in, we were under a bit of pressure. I felt this urge to dig in as I was the captain. I was batting with one of the in batsman. I needed to stick around for him. I had a decent partnership with PJ (Peter) Moore. Once he got out, I wanted to be the last man standing. It was career defining and to do it in front of family and home fans in Harare was awesome for me. Scoring a Test hundred as a lower order batsman is something special. I’d like to see myself as an all-rounder, because my batting has come along. It is never easy in the shorter format when you don’t have time to score the runs. I value 20-30 in an ODI that can help the team. I see myself as a bowling all-rounder. You left the game to become a professional golfer in 2013. You later returned to cricket in 2015. Why did you decide to opt for golf? From a young age, I played a lot of golf. I loved the game. I wanted to try an individual sport and see, if I fail, it is because of me. It is different in cricket. I wanted to see how well I could control myself as an individual. I did stop enjoying playing cricket. I had a few knee issues. I just started going to practice. I loved being on the field, but I hated training. I needed that break. But it was good for my cricket. How has your captaincy experience been so far? I get along very well with Heath [Streak], who has been a past captain. He helps me to express what I need to, to the team. It helps my own performance at the same time. I am really enjoying captaining the team. What is the biggest improvement Zimbabwe cricket has made in the last 18 months? Heath Streak has made a huge difference for us. We have given players the freedom, without the fear of being dropped. We have given guys the long run. They have become more positive now. We have tried to tell them to play freely.
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