Davies keen to lead Kent’s attack

Monday 2nd April 2012

Men’s First Team

Davies keen to lead Kent’s attack

Kent Cricket's latestsigning, Mark Davies is looking to remain injury free, whilst helping the county to a successful season.

The former Durham seamer put pen to paper last week, having impressed on trial over the past month.

The 31 year old missed the 2011 season due to an ankle injury, being restricted to just secondteam cricket for Durham, but the trip to Antigua with the Kent squad persuaded Kent Cricket to sign the seamer, who has taken over 250 first class wickets at an average of just over 22 runs per wicket.

Head Coach, Jimmy Adams commented; “Mark has shown us more than enough over the past couple of weeks what a talent he is and what he can offer us over the season.

“If we can keep him injury free, we’re going to have a top bowler that has shown with his statistics that he is more than capable of taking wickets.”

Having signed for Kent, Davies showed fans just what they can expect over the summer with figures of 2 for 18, in 12 overs against Glamorganlast week. Leading the attack with Charlie Shreck looks to be an exciting partnership for Kent and Davies can’t wait to get the season started, commenting: “It’s a massive thing for me being here and I’m really looking forward to the new season. It’s nice to get the deal done with as it’s a big move for me coming from Durham.

“The main aim for me is recovering from my injuries and getting back to bowling in the way I know I can. I don’t see why that can’t happen. I’m only 31 and have plenty of cricket still in me.

“I’ve been working really hard all winter, after having an operation back in October, which took a bit of recovering from. Since then I’ve worked hard on my rehab and without having played much cricket in the last few years, I’m keen to get going. I’m like a coiled spring and am desperate to get out there and take some wickets.”

Davies had a year left on his contract with Durham, butfound himself out of the picture was told that he could find himself a new county. Despite being sidelined by the club wherehe had spent the past twelve years, Davies admits he was glad they were honest with him and says that it was Jimmy Adams' approach that persuaded him to join Kent; “I was at Durham for the past twelve years and it is a little surreal not being there now. I’ve come here to do a job and I want to prove them wrong.

“It was good of them to be up front with me, even though I had a year left there. They didn’t want my career to peter out and told me if I wanted to play cricket elsewhere, I was more than welcome to do so.

“Jimmy was a massive pull for me. Out of the other clubs I spoke to, it was generally Chief Executives and people from behind the scenes that rang me, where as Jimmy rang me on my phone one night. We had a chat about cricket, where he put over his points and I was really impressed with what he had to say. That made the decision a lot easier for me. I also know Rob Key as he captained one of the England A tours I went on, so I know how he works and the style of cricket he likes, so that was another big pull as well.”

Davies joins Ben Harmison, Mike Powell and Charlie Shreck, who will livein Canterbury on a part-time basis, he will commute back home to the North East as and when time allows. Being away from home can be a problem for some cricketers, but Davies believes having familiar faces at the Club will help him to settle quickly; "It’s like going back to University! It’s going to be good fun as there are a lot of lads in the same boat. That will keep away the homesickness. Being away from home doesn’t bother me a great deal and having the others going through the same thing will be a huge help."

Once called up into an England squad in South Africa in 2009, Davies was close to making his Test debut. However, injuries in recent seasons may have put that thought on the back burner for the seamer; “I’ll take things one step at a time. I’ve never really focused on the England thing. That comes with bowling well, so for me it’s all about taking wickets. If I can get back to taking 50 wickets in a season, then who knows what will come, but my main goal is being successful for Kent."

Classed as more of an experienced pro now, Davies believes it is important that the likes of himself, Charlie Shreck and Azhar Mahmood act as role models to theyounger bowlers coming through the ranks: “It’s exciting times for the Club and it’s an exciting dressing room to be in at the moment. There is plenty of banter flying around and plenty of good young players. Some of the younger guys have really impressed me.

“It’s important that we all get on as a group as it makes it easier if you go out with ten of your mates. That’s the kind of culture we’re looking at having at Kent and if we can do just that little bit to move some of the younger guys in that direction then that’ll be great.”

Daviesis likely to be in the squad to face Yorkshire in the season opener at Headingleylater thisweek and is hoping to start 2012 with a bang, although he admits he isn’t one to set himself targets: “Hopefully we can hit the ground running with a win at Yorkshire and then get on a roll with the Championship games, with a good go at getting promoted.

“I’m not setting myself a target as that just sets me up for a fall. It’s game by game for me and I just want Kent to do well.”

Mark Davies was speaking to Steve Wolfe of KSN

Photo: Sarah Ansell SarahCanterbury.com