Kiwi Neesham adds all-round power
Jimmy Neesham hopes his stint with Kent in the NatWest T20 Blast will help make the Spitfires a better team, writes Alex Hoad.
The New Zealand all-rounder – who describes himself as mercurial – says he hopes to have a positive impact on Kent’s South Group campaign after agreeing to join international team-mate Adam Milne as the Spitfires’ two overseas players this summer.
Neesham has played 12 Tests, 41 ODIs and 15 T20Is for the Black Caps and enjoyed a successful spell at Derbyshire last summer. He hopes his time with Kent will see him leave a lasting legacy.
He said: “It’s always a bit easier coming back to a tournament for the second time. You know what to expect and there’s not too many surprises coming round the corner. “At Derbyshire we made strides on where the team had been in previous seasons and that’s something you can take pride in as an overseas player – having improved the team a touch. I’ll be looking to do the same thing here at Kent.”
Neesham (pictured) said: “I was over here for the Champions Trophy and was keen to stay on and play some more cricket.
“Milney told me he was coming here and Tom Latham talked about last year and how he enjoyed it so I was more than happy to sign.”
Neesham has nearly 1,000 whiteball runs and 45 wickets and has also played for two sides in the Indian Premier League and Guyana in the Caribbean equivalent.
He said: “One of the things about being an all-rounder in the shortest form of the game is that you have that goal of contributing in all three facets of the game in every game – although that’s wishful thinking most of the time.
“The T20 competition in England is a more boutique version of the game compared to places like the IPL and CPL where you’ll see 45,000 people at a game but there’s no shortage of importance on it, whether you’re playing in front of 50 people or 50,000.”
He added: “We’ve got a pretty strong squad one to 11 looking at the guys on paper so if we can all make individual contributions and win one or two games individually, as a team that will set us up well to reach the quarter-finals.
“Hopefully, I’ll get the jetlag out of my system and have the chance to have a couple of bowls out in the middle and be raring to go for the first game.” KENT’S NEXT FIVE GAMES T20 July 9 Essex (Beckenham) .......... T20 July 18 Gloucs (Canterbury).........