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Gilchrist keen to stay among the wickets
Gilchrist keen to stay among the wickets

Nathan Gilchrist was Kent’s leading wicket taker last summer and is looking to do something similar in 2023 as he’s been telling KSN.

The Zimbabwean pace man who arrived at Canterbury via Cape Town and Taunton told us, “It was definitely a steep learning curve last year being in the top division,” he admitted to us at the recent media day.

“Playing against historically Division Two sides, you can sometimes get away with not bowling your best and still taking wickets. But I think last year early in the season particularly, we played some really good sides in Division One and it was definitely a challenge.”

“I didn’t think that I bowled my best, but it was nice to be able to take wickets and make an impact in that opening six weeks.”

Gilchrist arrived in this country as part of a cricketing scholarship between his college in Cape Town and one in Taunton before being signed by Somerset where he stayed for two years before a chance conversation saw him head for Canterbury.

“A conversation that I had with a former team mate, Tim De Groenewald – and he told me that Kent were interested in me. He knew I was in my last year at Somerset and he asked if I’d talk to the club.”

“I was unsure what my future was there so I spoke to Paul (Downton) and very quickly got offered a three year contract here and at that point of my career I just needed some stability and backing so that I could just focus on the cricket side of things and not be worried about contracts year on year.”

“Tim must have put a good word in for me, at the time I’d only played against Kent once in a second team game, but thankfully they’d seen enough.”

“I’ve worked as hard as I can during the winter so that I can be as successful as I can during the summer for Kent. It was my first major injury last summer being out for two months and it really wasn’t very nice being sat on the side-lines in the middle of summer when all your team mates are playing. I came back trying to build on the wickets that I had already taken.”

“The One Day competition undoubtedly helped us as a team as we won a few games on the bounce and took that into the last two games of the Championship season and we managed to finish with two important wins.”

“I was injured for the whole of the T20 last season and didn’t get a chance to play a game, so hopefully it’ll be different this year as I definitely want to be a three format player.”

“I think the way that it’s panned out so far is that the Championship has been my number one and strongest format, but that said, it was great to contribute in the winning of the One Day Cup last year. But this year, I definitely want to get into the T20 team!”

“It’s been a good couple of years winning white ball trophies, hopefully we might be able to get close in the Championship now…”