Two seasons in the UK have sharpened Josh Freestone into an even more dangerous prospect than before.
The man of the match in South Launceston’s 2016-17 final win, Freestone spent 18 months plying his trade for Bewdley Cricket Club in Worcestershire, England, before returning home for the 2018-19 season.
His homecoming came at a good time for the Knights, who boast an almost entirely revamped bowling attack from last season.
“It’s good to be back,” the paceman said.
“I missed it while I was away so it’s really good to be back and playing with the good group of lads we have.
“I played two seasons (with Bewdley), the first season we came second and the second season we won the league so that was pretty decent, but the whole time I was keen to come back and join back up with South - especially when they won the premiership last year.
“The first season I got there I was just trying to bowl as fast as I could which I found out quite quickly didn’t work over there, you have to adapt to different conditions which I think I’ve done since I’ve been back.”
Freestone’s improvement has translated to wickets, with the 21-year-old collecting 18 wickets in his first six matches to lead the Cricket North bowling charts.
A 5-43 against Westbury remains his best haul for the season to date, but it was his 4-25 off nine against Sheffield last weekend that saw him take home his first player of the round award.
Freestone also took the catch that dismissed star Mountaineer and half-century maker Alex King, who looked the most likely to tear the game away from the Knights.
“It’s been the best start I’ve had,” Freestone said of his first six matches.
“I hurt my quad in the first game so I haven’t really trained that much, but I’ve been nursing it through just because I’ve still been going alright.
“I’m trying to get through til Christmas - they’ve still been coming out alright so I’ve kept playing.”
PLAYER OF THE ROUND
- Round 1: Dane Anderson (Westbury)
- Round 2: Tom Garwood (Riverside)
- Round 3: Tom Garwood (Riverside)
- Round 4: Cooper Anthes (Riverside)
- Round 5: Will Donald (Westbury)
- Round 6: Nathan Philip (South Launceston)
- Round 7: Tom Garwood (Riverside)
- Round 8: Nathan Philip (South Launceston)
- Round 9: Josh Freestone (South Launceston)