Joey Evison joins Kent CCC on three year deal from Nottinghamshire
It’s been a while since the words “Kent” and “transfer coup” appeared in the same sentence, but there was barely supressed glee at Canterbury this week, when it was announced that Joey Evison would be joining on a three-year deal from Nottingham.
Kent’s attempts to disguise how pleased they were feeling were about as successful as Peter Moore’s attempts to mask his displeasure, but the player himself was remaining diplomatic, as he explained he’d been lured south by a combination of history and opportunity.
“I’ve had three brilliant years at Notts and everyone’s been really good to me,” he said. “I’ve been at the club since I was 14 years old, but for me now, I’ll be 21 next year and I haven’t quite had the opportunities to play regular first team cricket at Notts.
“I see myself as an all three-format cricketer and I didn’t see me getting into all those sides regularly enough. Kent were interested and I went down to meet the Head Coach (Matt Walker), Director of Cricket (Paul Downton) and Jack Leaning, the vice-captain and I had a really good feeling about it. It just felt like the best option for me moving forward.”
The terms of the deal meant Evison was loaned to Kent for the duration of the Royal London Cup and less than 24 hours after finalising the move, he was helping his new side to a 140-run warm-up win over Suffolk.
He scored a quickfire 15 from 12 balls down the order as Kent looked to pile on the runs and then took two for 23 as Suffolk tried and failed to chase 432.
It might be stretching things a little to describe a National County match as baptism of fire and Evison is aware there are sterner challenges ahead, but senior figures at Kent are delighted to have signed someone Joe Denly described as of the brightest young players in the country.
Evison, whose idols were Jacques Kallis and Ben Stokes, describes himself as: “A batting all-rounder, who bowls. My bowling’s come on a lot in the last two years, but I’m a genuine all-rounder, I try to score as many runs and take as many wickets as I can. I’m a top-order batter who bowls seam.”
Having been pitched straight into the Royal London Campaign he’s had little time to sort out the logistics of the move, but a number of familiar faces will ease the transition.
“I already know quite a lot of these players, like Billings, Cox and Bell-Drummond,” he said. “And I’m best mates with Jordan Cox at England Unider-19s, so I spoke to him a fair bit after I signed actually.”
The news, announced on Saturday morning, came as a boost to a fan base still digesting the news of Matt Milnes’ departure for Yorkshire and Evison was in little doubt that he’d made the right move.
“It just had a great feeling about the place. Hopefully they can stay up in Division 1 next year. It’s just a team with great history and I’m looking to thrive with the club in the next couple of years. I just see this as a new adventure really, a new chapter in my life. I’m really looking forward to next three years with Kent and I can’t wait to get going.”