Reeve Evitts happy to be flexible to aid Staffordshire’s cause

Staffordshire County Cricket Club all-rounder Reeve Evitts
Reeve Evitts is determined to shine for Staffordshire to help to rekindle his first-class ambitions.

The 19-year-old all-rounder made his Staffordshire NCCA debut in the Twenty20 Cup games against Northumberland at Burslem earlier in the season.

That was a belated bow for the Lichfield-born youngster, who was in line to play last summer before circumstances prevented him from featuring.

He has since been sidelined by injury, but is back in the squad for this weekend’s finals day at Chester Boughton Hall.

He’s now eager to make his mark and push his claims for a return to the professional ranks.

Evitts joined Worcestershire’s Academy at the age of 13 and went on to play one List A match for the county.

His solitary appearance was in a Royal London Cup defeat by Lancashire – a match which saw him play against new Staffs team-mate Liam Hurt.

Evitts departed Worcestershire at the end of the 2023 season, but has since been trialing in his comeback bid.

“I had a short-term deal with Worcestershire the season before last and played one match,” said Evitts, who plays his club cricket for Kenilworth Wardens.

“It was disappointing not to be given a new contract, but I did understand. I didn’t play loads last season because of injuries, but I really enjoyed my time there.

“I’ve trialed back there and am looking for other opportunities as well. But I’m not trying to put too much pressure on myself.

“I’m only young, so there’s still time to get back to first-class level.”

‘Familiar faces’

Evitts played under former Staffordshire players Alan Richardson and Kadeer Ali at New Road.

Richardson is Worcestershire’s head coach, with Ali his assistant.

Evitts says that working with the pair has made him even more eager to sample like as a pro once again.

“Richo and Kaddy were brilliant with me,” added Evitts. “I made my second-team debut under Kad and Richo gave me my first-team debut at 17.

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“They are good guys and it’s given me a taste to get back to that level.”

Evitts is looking for a chance to follow the lead of Staffordshire team-mate Zen Malik.

Malik churned out back-to-back hundreds in Glamorgan’s Second XI Championship draw with Warwickshire recently.

“I know Zen is a high-class player and I’ve played against him for a few years,” he explained.

“Zen’s gone to Glamorgan and produced. I spoke to him and he said he was going to play with freedom.

“He’s certainly shown that.”

‘Time to shine’

For Evitts, it’s now about delivering for Staffordshire to potential pique the interest of first-class counties.

The right-handed batsman and right-arm seamer says he’s settled in quickly.

“I’ve loved it. I played my first game and also trained with the lads over the winter,” he said. “It was good to get going. I was meant to play a few games last season, but injuries and other matches didn’t permit it.

“I wanted to get involved with NCCA cricket and with Staffordshire being my home county, it suited.

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“My career started playing age group for Staffs at nine until the age of 13, which is when I joined the academy at Worcestershire.

“There’s high-quality players at Staffs and I’m looking forward to performing and testing myself.”

‘Mr Versatile’

Evitts says he’s happy to undertake any role asked of him by head coach Andy Carr and captain James Kettleborough.

And he hopes to be a fixture in the side when the red-ball Championship games come around.

“I’m happy to bat wherever and do whatever role they want from me. I like to try to push myself as far up the order as I can. But I’m still new to the team,” he admitted.

“The 50-over stuff shows off a lot of different skills and it’s not just smashing it like T20 can be, I also enjoy playing the red-ball format as well.

“I want to play in as many games as I can, perform for Staffs and hopefully get my name out there.”

Main image: Reeve Evitts is in the Staffordshire squad for this weekend’s NCCA Twenty20 Cup finals day. Picture: Pete Stonier

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