The Sydney Thunder are trumpeting the return of 'the prodigal son' after announcing the signing of 2008-09 Orange District Cricket Association player-of-the-year Chris Tremain on a three-year deal ahead of this summer's ninth edition of the KFC Big Bash League.
Tremain made his debut with the Thunder in 2012 and played three more summers in electric green before linking with the Melbourne Renegades after also shifting to Victoria, a move he made in a bid to cement himself as a First-Class quick.
He reaped the rewards of that shift and returns to the Thunder a far more well-rounded player and one with a world of experience and success under his belt, particularly last summer in terms of the latter.
I'd like to think in coming back I can play a more senior role and hopefully act as a bit of a sounding board for the younger players.Sydney Thunder quick Chris Tremain
Along with helping inspire Victoria's fourth Sheffield Shield title win in the last five summers, he also spurred the Bushrangers to a one-day triumph and starred in the back end of the Renegades' run to their maiden BBL championship.
He returns as an international player too, having made his One-Day debut for Australia against South Africa in 2016, and earned three more caps since.
"It's exciting, I'm looking forward to coming back. I've played a lot more cricket, experienced a lot more (since last playing for the Thunder) and I've failed a lot more. I've had a career, basically," Tremain, also the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield player-of-the-year, said.
"I don't necessarily think the way I play cricket has changed all that much, I've just learned a lot more about my game itself - where my strengths lie and how to play to them, that sort of thing. We're always learning though, especially in this form of the game.
"I'd like to think in coming back I can play a more senior role and hopefully act as a bit of a sounding board for the younger players, and the Thunder always have plenty of them."
Tremain, who plied his trade with Kinross in Orange, said 'playing a more senior role' weighed heavily on his decision to return to the Thunder, on the field as much as off it after often taking a back seat in the Renegades' star-studded squads of recent years.
"Fact is, if there's a game of cricket to be played I want to play in it but at the Renegades, I was effectively playing half a season," he said.
"I don't want that to sound like I'm kicking stones and saying 'oh I didn't get to play so I left' because that simply came down to the strength of the roster we had and workload management too, and that probably did help me in terms of Sheffield Shield cricket.
"I've got a great relationship with all the guys at the Renegades and I loved my time there but the challenge of potentially managing an entire campaign and playing that more senior role is a new one, and an exciting one."
Tremain joins the likes of big-hitting England bat Alex Hales, South African all-rounder Chris Morris and former Brisbane Heat bat Alex Ross as the new-look Thunder's boom recruits, and the announcement of his recruitment comes a week after Orange young gun Phoebe Litchfield linked with the franchise too.
"That's really exciting for Phoebe, I don't know her personally but it's great to see her doing well and I made sure to send her a text congratulating her after she signed. I know all about that pathway and it sounds like she's got a bright future," Tremain said of the 16-year-old, Kinross star-in-waiting.
Thunder coach Shane Bond explained the 28-year-old's recruitment was as much about providing his attack with a hard-nosed edge after they missed the finals last summer.
"We just wanted a good, serious, hardened pro and I think he showed his value for the Renegades last season opening the bowling through the back-end of the season," Bond said.
"He's just a solid performer day-in, day-out. He knows what he's doing, he's durable and he's a great guy around the team. He just brings that experience that we were missing a little bit last season."
Tremain's Thunder open their BBL09 campaign against the Heat, who recently announced the signing of South African phenom AB de Villiers, at the Gabba on December 17.
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