Published: 16:30, 30 August 2017
Fast-bowling all-rounder Grant Stewart has signed his first professional contract for Kent.
The 23-year-old has made his mark as a regular for Kent 2nd XI this season, taking 29 competitive wickets with his pace bowling, with two four-wicket hauls in a Championship match against Essex at Polo Farm.
Australian-born Stewart is now qualified to play county cricket through his mother’s Italian ancestry and he received British citizenship this year.
A qualified civil engineer, New South Wales-raised Stewart is a close friend of Kent seamer Mitch Claydon having played grade cricket together Down Under.
He came to England last year and played in the Shepherd Neame Kent League for HSBC before switching to Sandwich this season, opening the bowling with Matt Hunn when the pair are not on county duty.
Stewart picked up his latest county scalp against Essex in a four-day friendly at the County Ground, Beckenham, on Monday, just two days after claiming 6-48 from 10 overs as Town’s Premier Division title hopes were hit by a 22-run home defeat to Blackheath.
A capable lower-order batsmen, he has also notched a century and seven 50s in his 700+ runs this season.
The seamer said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Kent and I’m delighted to get the opportunity to work with the first-team squad and coaches.
“Becoming a full-time professional means I can dedicate more time to developing my game and I hope I can contribute to some success for the club.”
2nd XI coach Min Patel said: “Grant is a talented all-rounder with a tremendous work ethic. He has bowled with great skill and consistency this summer and will provide an excellent addition to our bowling options.”