Published: 00:00, 20 April 2018
| Updated: 07:29, 20 April 2018
From net bowler to first team squad member it’s been a remarkable couple of years for Grant Stewart.
The Australian-born all rounder first appeared on Kent’s radar in 2016, and by the end of the following summer he had been rewarded with a professional contract and his County Championship debut.
Stewart enhanced his reputation with some excellent performances in the West Indies Regional Super50 Cup over the winter and is now looking forward to seeing how much further he can develop.
The 24-year-old – who picked up a hamstring injury in Kent’s opening championship game against Gloucestershire – is desperate to make the most of the opportunity he’s been given and aims to tie down spots in all three formats of the game.
Reflecting on his rapid career transformation he said: “I first came in as just a net bowler two years ago, and it sort of progressed from there. The following year I got a few games in the 2nd XI and managed to do all right.
“I guess speaking to a couple of the senior players in Antigua (during the Super50 Cup) it has been a whirlwind couple of years. If you go back two years I wouldn’t have thought I’d be anywhere near where I am.
“I’m very lucky to be able to play for Kent, it’s been great to progress my cricket and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come.”
Seamer Stewart marked his List A debut with figures of 3-17 against Guyana and later hit 44 with the bat against the USA as Kent reached the last four in the Windies.
He believes his white ball skills have improved significantly and puts much of that down to assistant coach, Allan Donald.
Stewart – who has previously played in the Kent League for HSBC and Sandwich – added: “When I played for the 2nd XI (last season) I did fairly well in the red ball stuff (he was actually the county’s joint leading wicket taker across all formats) but probably not as well in white ball so I guess that became a bit of a focus.
“It was good to play that tournament and I felt as if I really improved on my white ball plans, there are a few aspects which you can always improve on, but for a start I was fairly happy.
“Allan Donald has been unbelievable so far, I guess with someone of his experience you’re always going to come out the better end of it. It’s been good, a few aspects in particular, game plans and knowing what to execute when, that’s been the main thing he’s done, giving you that confidence to back your ability. I’m looking forward to what else he can add to my game.”
Stewart hails from Western Australia but has an EU passport through his Italian mother. He describes himself these days as a bowling all-rounder but admits that hasn’t always been the case.
He explained: “It’s a bit of a funny one – at this stage I’m probably more of a bowling allrounder but I was probably more of a batter as a junior.
“I definitely have aspirations to bat higher up the order so hopefully a bit more hard work and I can be a genuine allrounder.”