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All-rounder Joey Evison says he developed as a bowler during winter spell in Australia ahead of his first full season at Kent

All-rounder Joey Evison feels he developed as a bowler over the winter as he looks ahead to his first full season at Kent.

Evison didn’t take long to find his feet last term with his new side, playing a big role in their Royal London One-Day Cup Final triumph over Lancashire.

Kent all-rounder Joey Evison. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent all-rounder Joey Evison. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The 21-year-old was then on loan from Nottinghamshire and struck 97 and took 2-34 at Trent Bridge - his old stomping ground.

He will now begin a three-year deal with Matt Walker’s men this summer and played grade cricket Down Under ahead of the English summer while continuing to develop his game.

Evison said: “I was on the Gold Coast in Australia for four months, just playing grade cricket.

“It was nice to be in the sunshine, playing more cricket because I missed two months through injury in the first two months of last season.

“I didn’t have a full season so it was nice to play out there. I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a player.

“It’s just different, playing in different conditions. You have to adapt to the wickets and the different types of balls and you have to nail down different skills.

“I’ve improved my bowling, adding skills that I didn’t have last season, so it was really good.”

Evison could hardly have asked for a better loan spell.

But he insists he always felt signing for Kent was the right move for him.

He explained: “It was always a no-brainer to come to Kent.

"I feel like there’s a role for me in this team.

“I can bat anywhere. I usually bat in the middle order but, with a couple of injuries, I got asked to take the role as the opening batsman [in last year’s One-Day Cup success] and I felt I thrived in it.

“I’ve been loving every minute.”

Evison sees himself as an all-format all-rounder.

He knows competition for places will be fierce, however, and he’ll need to impress in pre-season to earn his place.

“It’s a strong squad and a hard team to get into in all three formats, which I’m hoping to do,” he noted.

“Hopefully, this pre-season block is a period which allows me to impress all the coaches, really, and all the senior players.

"That’s what I’m planning to do.”

For now, though, Kent’s focus is on getting a fast start to their County Championship campaign as they look to improve on their fifth-placed finish in 2022.

He said: “The first six weeks of Championship Cricket is a great starting block.

“If you start well, then you have got a good chance of finishing higher in the table.

"We came fifth last year and, hopefully, we can finish a couple of places higher - if not win the championship."

Evison admits Kent’s greatest strength at present is their batting.

He is keen to work with Indian bowler Arshdeep Singh and veteran Michael Hogan on his bowling this summer, too, though.

“We’ve got a really strong team at the minute,” he said.

“Our batting depth is probably our greatest asset.

“But it’s been nice to get Arshdeep signed - I’ll try and pick his brains as much as I can, as well as Michael Hogan’s brain.

"That'll be really good.”

Kent are due to play a three-day friendly at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, against Essex from today.

Ex-Warwickshire seamer Ryan Sidebottom has been training with Kent and is selected as part of their 12-man squad.

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