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Stewart’s county contract

Stewart’s county contract NEXT STEP: Kent county cricket signing Grant Stewart sends one down for University against Newcastle City at Learmonth Park in December, 2014. Picture: Dean Osland
Nanjing Night Net

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“Back then, four years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be at this sort of stage.

“But I guess having a bit of time off cricket with an injury always makes you realise how much enjoy playing and how much you miss it.

“It gives you that little bit of hunger to get back and have a good crack.”

Withmultiple cartilage tears and ligament surgery long behind him, Stewartput pen to paper this week which means he could make his first class debut by the end of theEnglish summer.

“Hopefully I can get a crack,” Stewart said.

“I’m probably more preferred in red ball cricket and I guess that would be the first goal to make the four-day side.And then maybe over the next year or two I can become a consistent member of all three formats. That would be ideal.”

There are four, four-day matches remaining this County Championship season with Kent fifth in the 10-team second division competition and within a top-two finishplusmain-league promotion for2018.

All 18 county sides combine forone-day and T20s, which reach the finalsat Edgbaston on Saturday with former Newcastle first graders Michael Hogan (Glamorgan) and Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire) set to clash.

Stewart, who isn’t classed as an overseas player because of a European Union passport through his Italian mother, has performed the last few months with a joint-high 29 wickets for Kent second XI.

He also has 30 wickets, including 6-48 on Saturday, as well as seven half-centuries and a ton this year playing for third-placed Sandwich Town in theShepherd Neame Kent Premier League.

“I’ve had a couple of chats [with the Kent coach] throughout the seasonand I think they just see me as a different style of bowler to the other blokes they have on the roster,” Stewart said.

“Then Iwas just lucky enough to take a few poles.”

Raised on a turf farm Stewart played for Northern Suburbs in Maitland before joining University for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, includingNewcastle and NSW Country representative honours.

Previously a leg-spinner and wicket-keeper, theengineering graduate properly picked up pace bowling around five years ago.

He first traveled to England andplayed with HSBC Cricket Club indivision one of the Shepherd Neame Kent league last year.

In 2016-2017 he went to South Australia and joinedAdelaide University. Stewartwill return with the same sidefor half of the upcoming summer before embarking on his first full county campaign with Kent.

His contract takes him through until the end of the 2019 season.

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