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Evison excited for new Kent season
Evison excited for new Kent season

With his first taste of life as a permanent Kent player scheduled for tomorrow after signing for the Club, Joey Evison tells us how he has settled into life at Canterbury and what we can look forward to from him this season.

“I’ve really enjoyed Canterbury since I moved down. I’ve not been here for long but I quite like how it’s similar to where I’m from back home. I’m from a town called Stamford, which has a similar look and feel to Canterbury, with a long High Street. The people of Canterbury seem to be really lovely and I’m really excited to be here.”

The 21-year-old all-rounder joined the Club midway through the 2022 season on loan from Nottinghamshire, with a view to make the deal permanent for 2023.

“The Spitfire Ground is different to Trent Bridge where I started my career, but there’s a really nice feel to the place. I played in the One-Day Cup here last year and it has a really nice atmosphere on matchdays.

“I’m excited to play some T20s here in front of a full house – it does have that unique atmosphere that I’m sure will amplify during matches under the lights!

“I’ve been told by the lads that one of our biggest rivals are Essex! I know it’s called the Battle of the Bridge. Obviously, it’s a big local rivalry so it’ll be good to play against them in both the Friendly here tomorrow and also in all three formats this season. Division One is going to be a tough league this year with a lot of good sides, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

His move to the South East wasn’t a complete unknown for the right-hander, having spent time at Notts. with Ben Compton and taking part in the U19 World Cup for England alongside Jordan Cox and Hamid Qadri back in 2019.

“I knew Coxy [Jordan Cox] Hamid [Qadri] and Compo [Ben Compton] before I came down here but everyone has quickly made me feel so welcome.

“Tawanda [Muyeye] and Nathan [Gilchrist] live together at the ground so they have always been around to chat to when I’m here, as well as Loges [James Logan] who also has a flat here. Those three are like the ambassadors for the Club for new guys coming down here and they’ve done a good job so far! But I’ve really got on well with all the lads since I arrived.

“Everyone is extremely talented here, but I’d say that Hamid is our most underrated player. He showed his class when I played with him for England U19s and he still has a lot of first team cricket ahead of him in his career. He’s a great bowler and his batting is really coming along.”

As for his personal aims for the season, Evison is under no illusions as to what he is aiming for in 2023.

“My goal this year is to play regular first team cricket for Kent in all formats, and to keep a consistent spot in the team. I don’t like to set myself targets based on stats and numbers – I just want to contribute towards match-winning performances with the bat and with the ball.”

Describing who he’d like to most emulate during his playing career, Joey cites one former great as a player in which he looks up to as a model of his game: “Jacques Kallis.”

“What he did as a player is quite self-explanatory, really. In my opinion he’s the best all-rounder to ever play the game, and being an all-rounder myself, it has to be him.”

When pressed for which trophy he’d like to win most this year, he takes a minute to think, before revealing with a wry smile: “The Vitality Blast, I think. I’ve already won the One-Day Cup as a Kent player, and of course I’d take winning the County Championship too!

“Performing well personally in a Championship game means more to me than in other formats. In my opinion scoring a hundred or taking lots of wickets in a Championship match requires a lot of skill and mental toughness.”

After taking on Essex in a scheduled three-day friendly at Canterbury, Evison and Kent will welcome Northamptonshire to The Spitfire Ground for their first LV= Insurance County Championship match of the season, beginning on Thursday 6th April.

Picture supplied by Freddie Entwistle.