O’Riordan ready for the challenge of 2023

Monday 3rd April 2023

Men’s Second Team

O’Riordan ready for the challenge of 2023

After missing the second half of last season with a shoulder injury Kent Men’s 25-year-old all-rounder Marcus O’Riordan is looking forward to the new campaign, and getting back out in the middle.

After an intensive winter rehabilitation programme, O’Riordan says he feels fit enough, if selected, to be available for the Second Eleven’s first match of the new season away to Sussex Seconds, starting on April 12.

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Kent Spitfires’ T20 opener for 2023 is against Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury on Wednesday 24 May – entry to all scheduled T20 home matches is included in Kent Cricket Memberships, on sale now.

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“I dived to field a ball in a match last season and fell heavily on my shoulder”, he says.

“It got worse and worse as the season progressed, especially when I tried to bowl, and I had to stop playing and get it fixed”.

Since last September, the right-hander has been working every day on his recovery and building up the strength back into his shoulder. He has also been practicing getting efficient at throwing the ball with his left arm.

The injury was diagnosed to be a torn labrum, which is the attachment site for the ligaments which support the shoulders ball and socket joint.

“I’m fine for batting at the moment but wont be able to bowl for a while yet or throw with the damaged shoulder. I am ahead of schedule with my recovery and am happy how the healing process is going.”

Marcus won’t know how his off-spin bowling will be affected by the operation until he gets back in the nets and starts to turn his arm again and see how much movement he can get. “It’s all a bit in the unknown until I start bowling again. I might even have to change my action, I just don’t know. We will have to wait and see.”

Meanwhile the former Tonbridge School student, who progressed through the Club’s Academy system. hopes to get plenty of runs on the board before he regains his all-rounder status again. He is happy playing both formats of the game but has excelled for the Second XI as a prolific run scorer in the Seconds’ T20 competition.

Once fully fit, he wants to challenge for a place in the First Team squad, although he accepts there is strong competition for places this season. He made his first class debut for Kent against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2019, and his highest score for the county was a maiden century, 102 not out, against Sri Lanka Development XI at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

In 2019 he was instrumental in the Second XI winning the Second XI Trophy, taking 4 for 43 in the victory over Durham. Kent are still the holders of the trophy as the competition is no longer part of the Second XI schedule.

He also scored a memorable 169 for the Second XI against Durham last season before his injury curtailed any more involvement for the county, or for his Kent League club, Tunbridge Wells.

At the 2020 Kent Cricket Awards Night, Marcus was named as the first ever  Men’s Emerging Player of the Year.

He has captained the Second XI on a number of occasions, something he enjoys: “It needs different skills and mindset between four-day cricket and the one-day or T20 matches. As skipper, you’re involved all the time and have an opportunity to help the young Academy players or trialists in the side.”

Marcus knows there is still plenty of hard work ahead to regain full fitness, but he is ready for the challenge.

He also enjoys another important role at the club as the Professional Cricketers Association players representative, a role that gives him another perspective and insight into the game.

By Peter Burrowes

2023 tickets now on sale

Tickets for all matches at Kent Cricket in the 2023 season, including the Vitality Blast, One-Day Cup & LV= Insurance County Championship are on sale now:

Buy tickets now

Kent Spitfires’ T20 opener for 2023 is against Gloucestershire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury on Wednesday 24 May – entry to all scheduled T20 home matches is included in Kent Cricket Memberships, on sale now.

Members do not need to pre-book their space at T20 matches as per last season – entry will be gained by scanning a valid 2023 Kent Cricket Membership card at the gate.