Stewart facing it head on
Stewart facing it head on

On the eve of Kent’s first game back in Division One of the County Championship, all-rounder Grant Stewart has faced his first test of the campaign.

The 25 year old hit some questions head on as Kent prepare for their season opener against Somerset at Taunton beginning on Friday morning.

YOU HAD AN UNUSUAL ROUTE TO PRO CRICKET?

“Yes, it was a little bit different to the norm but it’s good to get
there in the end.

“It was always an ambition to play professional cricket and I’m glad
Kent gave me the opportunity and I will hopefully stay there for the
long term.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
“I grew up in Australia and came over to England to play club cricket
and was involved with Kent through being able to net bowl with them
for a year.

“The following year I managed to work my way into the second team and
do pretty well and I got signed on the back of that.

“My mother is Italian so that qualifies me to play here through the
European links.

WHERE DID YOU PLAY BACK HOME?

“I grew up in Newcastle and Maitland in Australia, that’s where my
junior cricket progressed.

“Then I moved up the ranks to Newcastle and then moved to Adelaide to
pursue cricket.

“I played first-grade cricket there for a couple of years and then I
was steadily progressing but things seemed to progress quicker when I
came to England.

WERE YOU WORKING TOO?

“I was an University for four years straight after school, I studied
civil engineering and managed to get a job in my last year of Uni.

“I worked for a year as an engineer and then had to make a decision
which path I wanted to take.

“I got offered a full-time job by the company I was with, mainly
working in railways and divisions, in Newcastle.

“But the first year in England was the turning point. I had to choose
whether I wanted to pursue cricket or continue my engineering career
and I guess it’s worked out pretty well that I chose cricket.

“I’ll hopefully have a long career.

WHICH CLUB DID YOU PLAY FOR IN ENGLAND?

“First year I played for HSBC, who are based in Beckenham in the Kent
League in Division One.

“The following year I went to Sandwich Town in the Premier Division.

“One of my good mates plays for Kent, Mitch Claydon.

“I played with him in Australia and that was my connection to get over
here and play club cricket in England.

MORE SUCCESS IN RED-BALL CRICKET SO FAR?

“Definitely. I have played plenty of one-day cricket but I was
disappointed last year that I had a few problems with my hamstring and
got ruled out of the whole one-day competition.

“Progressing further I would like to work mostly on my white-ball
stuff to get into the T20 side.

“But the format I’m most effective in at the moment is four-day,
red-ball cricket.

“This winter I have worked a lot on my pace-off variations to nail
them and get a few more tricks.

“But having played more red-ball cricket I’ve probably got more red-ball nous.

“I haven’t played a hell of a lot of T20 so it’s something that comes
with a bit more experience so I will hopefully play a bit more as the
years go on.

WHO WERE YOUR HEROES?

“I was a big fan of Steve Waugh because I was more of a batsman when I
was younger.

“My bowling developed a bit later.

“I was actually a wicketkeeper-batsman. It’s funny how things work out.

“I didn’t start bowling pace properly until I was 16 or 17.

“Andrew Symonds was always up there and he’s a former Kent player as well.

“He was always pretty dynamic.

“I will probably cop a bit of stick for this from my Aussie friends,
but I’ve always been a fan of Jimmy Anderson.

“I consider myself a swing bowler and he’s a pretty remarkable bowler.

“If I can half emulate what he’s done I’ll be pretty happy.”


 
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