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‘I whacked Jimmy’ – Tremlett recalls breaking Anderson’s rib ahead of 2010/11 Ashes

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Chris Tremlett, speaking on The Cricket Podcast, recalled the time he left James Anderson with a broken rib ahead of the 2010/11 Ashes series in Australia.

The England squad went on a five-day boot camp to Germany as part of their preparation for the 2010/11 Ashes, which they ended up winning 3-1, and it was during one of their team-bonding sessions, which involved the England players sparring against one another, that Tremlett cracked one of Andeson’s ribs.

Luckily for England and everyone involved, Anderson was up and running before the start of the series five weeks later, and eventually finished the top wicket-taker with 24 scalps in five Tests to help Andrew Strauss’ side retain the urn.

“There is a film out called The Edge and they have a little bit of that – behind the scenes footage of that trip in Germany,” Tremlett said. “I actually got a lot out of that trip, it was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, three or four days away in Germany, we didn’t know where we were going … bricks over our head, doing press-ups in the middle of the night, it was minus five degrees, it was really tough, but it kind of brought us together, I think.

“Some people, like KP said, it was an absolute waste of time … he found that pretty difficult. But certainly being out of the side, for myself, I had been out of the squad for a couple of years, so coming in and being involved in everything, it certainly felt like I was back in the mix. Everyone being in their own comfortable environment brought a lot of people closer together.

“Joe Calzaghe, I think, was meant to come and do some boxing. For some reason, he couldn’t make it but we ended up doing this boxing thing anyway and I was paired up against Jimmy Anderson. [We] put our head guard on and just try and beat the shit out of each other. Your natural instinct when someone starts hitting you is to hit them back and I whacked Jimmy really, really hard in his ribs, and he cracked a rib. Actually I think I fought Andrew Strauss and Tim Bresnan maybe as well, and I actually had a bit of a dodgy rib.

“I’m not sure if it was the best idea, it was quite good fun at the time. I remember Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen were literally having a proper brawl, properly going at each other. I think Jimmy Anderson had a cracked rib for about four weeks, it was a bit touch and go by the first Test but luckily he was fine.”

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