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Stewart to play for Italy in T20 World Cup Qualifier

Wednesday 19th May 2021

Men’s First Team

The Club can confirm that Grant Stewart will play international cricket for Italy, after the Azzurri earned a berth in October’s European T20 World Cup Qualifier.

His new national side will compete in the ICC’s Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier, which has IT20 status, alongside Jersey, Germany, and Denmark. The tournament will be played in Spain from 15 – 21 October.

The top two teams from the Europe Qualifier will enter the final round of qualification for the Men’s T20 World Cup, to be played in early 2022.

Italy gained Associate member status of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1995, and as an Associate nation, playing for Italy does not alter Stewart’s registration as a domestic player for Kent.

Stewart qualifies to play for Italy through his Italian mother, née Tranchini, with his maternal family originating from the village of Lettopalena in the Province of Chieti, around two hours east of Rome.

Coached by Northamptonshire’s Gareth Berg, who also holds Italian ancestry, the Azzurri have also boasted the likes of Australian batter Michael Di Venuto in their ranks in the past.

The national side was granted full International T20 status by the ICC in April 2018. They won their first official IT20 match, beating Germany by seven wickets in just 8.4 overs with the bat, in May 2019.

On playing for the country of his maternal family’s heritage, Stewart said: “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to play competitive international cricket with Italy.

“I’m proud of my Italian heritage and I’m excited about the future of international T20 cricket.”

Kent’s Director of Cricket, Paul Downton, said: “We’re always keen to enable our players to gain experience of competitive T20 cricket around the world and we’re pleased that Grant has an opportunity to be playing at international level with Italy.”