Kent County Cricket Club
|One-day name:||Kent Spitfires|
|Home ground:||St Lawrence Ground|
|Chief executive:||Jamie Clifford|
|Championship wins:||7 (1 shared)|
|One Day Cup wins:||2|
|National League wins:||5|
|B&H Cup wins:||3|
|Twenty20 Cup wins:||1|
|Official website:||Official website|
Kent County Cricket Club is one of the eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Kent. The club was first founded in 1842 but teams representing the county have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century. Kent have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club's limited overs team is called the Kent Spitfires after the Supermarine Spitfire.
The club plays most of its home matches at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury which hosts Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest cricket festival in England. It also plays some home matches at the County Cricket Ground, Beckenham and the Nevill Ground, Royal Tunbridge Wells where they host Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week.
Kent also field a women's team in the Women's County Championship. The team has won the Championship a record seven times, most recently in 2016, and the Women's T20 title three times, most recently also in 2016. It has traditionally played matches at the Polo Farm in Canterbury, but as of 2016 has moved to be based mainly at Beckenham.
- 1 History
- 2 Grounds
- 3 Players
- 4 Records
- 5 Kent Women
- 6 Kent Cricket Academy
- 7 Honours
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Kent, jointly with Sussex, is believed to be the birthplace of cricket. It is widely held that cricket was invented by children living on the Weald in Saxon or Norman times. The game's earliest tentative reference, re creag in 1300, relates to Newenden in Kent.
The first definite mention of cricket in Kent concerned a match at Chevening c.1611 between teams from the Weald and the Downs. This is the world's earliest known organised match.
Cricket became established in Kent during the 17th century and the earliest village matches took place before the English Civil War. It is believed that the earliest county teams were formed in the aftermath of the Restoration in 1660. In 1705, West of Kent played Chatham at Malling. The first recorded inter-county match took place in 1709 between Kent and Surrey.
Kent had strong teams throughout the 18th century, often challenging All-England. The county had several famous patrons including Lord John Sackville, his son John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset and Sir Horatio Mann. In the latter half of the 18th century, Kent and Surrey were the only counties that could realistically challenge the power of Hambledon.
In the 1822 MCC versus Kent match at Lord’s, John Willes of Kent opened the bowling and was no-balled for using a roundarm action, a style he had attempted to introduce since 1807. Willes promptly withdrew from the match and refused to play again in any important fixture. His action proved the catalyst for the so-called "roundarm revolution".
In 1837 Kent was unofficially proclaimed the "champion county" and had the most successful team through most of the 1840s. Mainstays of the Kent team in those years included Alfred Mynn, Fuller Pilch, Nicholas Wanostrocht aka "Felix", Ned Wenman and William Hillyer. William Jeffrey Prowse wrote these famous lines about the Kent side, as part of his poem In Memoriam, Alfred Mynn:
- And with five such mighty cricketers, it was but natural to win,
- As Felix, Wenman, Hillyer, Fuller Pilch, and Alfred Mynn.
On 6 August 1842, the formation of the original Kent County Cricket Club took place in Canterbury when the Beverley Club was reconstituted as the Kent Cricket Club. The new Kent club played its initial first-class match against All-England at White Hart Field in Bromley on 25–27 August 1842. In 1847 the club began using the St Lawrence Ground, having moved from the Beverley Ground on the other side of Canterbury. On 1 March 1859 a second county club was formed in Maidstone to support the Canterbury-based club. The two clubs merged in 1870 to form the present day Kent County Cricket Club.
Kent enjoyed two periods of prolonged success: the first in the years before World War I, when in the space of eight seasons they were county champions four times beginning in 1906. The pavilion at Tunbridge Wells was burned down by Suffragettes in April 1913. Though valuable records were lost the Pavilion was rebuilt in 9 weeks, the funds raised by public subscription. The bowling of Colin Blythe and the captaincy of Cloudesley Marsham, and later Ted Dillon were key factors in Kent's decade of success. They remained highly consistent until the 1930s, with high-quality players such as Tich Freeman, Frank Woolley, Wally Hardinge and Les Ames all playing at the peak of their career. Kent ran up 803 for 4 dec against Essex CCC at Brentwood in 1934 with Bill Ashdown scoring 332, Ames 202* and Woolley 172. The total took seven hours, with 623 runs alone on the first day. Arthur Fagg scored two double centuries in the same match for Kent against Essex CCC at Colchester in 1938, while Woolley scored over 2,000 runs for Kent in 1935 aged 48. He retired in 1938 with 58,959 runs, 145 centuries, 2066 wickets and 1018 catches to his name. Doug Wright, who took over 2000 wickets with his brisk leg breaks and googlies between 1932 and 1957, took his 7th hat trick in 1949, the most ever.
Kent did not become successful again until the 1970s, when they claimed ten domestic trophies, including the County Championship title in 1970, 1978 and a shared title in 1977. They also claimed the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1973, 1976, 1978, and the Gillette Cup in 1974. Their success was this time due to the batting of Brian Luckhurst, Asif Iqbal and Colin Cowdrey.
In the 2006 season, Kent finished fifth in Division One of the County Championship and fifth in the NatWest Pro40 League Division Two. On 4 August 2007, Kent won the Twenty20 Cup for the first time, defeating Sussex in the semi-finals, with captain Rob Key scoring 68 not out. In the final they defeated Gloucestershire in a see-saw game where in the final over, chasing 148, they required 13 runs, winning with three balls to spare. Matthew Walker top scored for Kent in the final with 45 runs while Darren Stevens scored 30 not out from 21 balls, including hitting the winning runs. Earlier in the final, Ryan McLaren took a hat-trick.
In September 2008, Kent were relegated from the First to the Second Division of the County Championship for the first time. They won the Second Division in the 2009 season to be promoted before being relegated again at the end of the 2010 season. They have played in the Second Division since 2010, with a best finish of second in 2016, failing to be promoted only due to a restructuring of the divisional system meaning that only the Division Two champions, Essex, were promoted during that season.
Kent's main ground is the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury. This ground has been used by the club since 1847 and Kent have played over 500 first-class matches at the ground. It is famous for having a tree, the St Lawrence Lime, on the playing field. The original tree, around which the ground was built, was broken in two by high winds in January 2005 and replaced by a smaller replacement lime tree later in the same year. The ground hosts the annual Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest cricket festival in the world. This dates from 1842 and has been held at the ground since the club moved there.
Kent played their first official match at White Hart Field in Bromley in August 1842 and since then have used 29 different grounds within the historic county. Some of these grounds, although still in the historic county of Kent are now also within the Greater London area. Two outgrounds remain in regular use, the redeveloped County Cricket Ground, Beckenham and the Nevill Ground in Royal Tunbridge Wells. The latter ground hosts the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week and has seen over 200 Kent home matches played on it. Former venues include Mote Park in Maidstone, which was used until 2005 and has been the venue for over 200 Kent first-class matches, as well as grounds in Gravesend, Tonbridge, Dover and Folkestone, all of which have had more than 100 home matches played on them.
The county's main offices are based at the St Lawrence Ground. Indoor cricket schools are in place at both this ground and at Beckenham which acts as a centre of excellence for player development in the west of the county.
Kent's most notable former players include Colin Cowdrey, the first man to play 100 Test matches, Frank Woolley, Derek Underwood and wicketkeepers Les Ames and Alan Knott. All five men played Test cricket for England, making at least 40 Test match appearances. They are the only players to have stands named after them at the St Lawrence Ground, Kent's home ground in Canterbury.
Other particularly notable former players include spin bowlers Colin Blythe and Tich Freeman. Blythe was a major force in the four County Championship wins in the years leading up to World War I and took 100 wickets in every season from 1902 to 1914. He played 17 Tests for England but was killed in action during World War I. A memorial at the St Lawrence Ground is dedicated to him. Freeman played in the period after World War I and took over 150 wickets in a season for Kent 14 times. He is the only bowler to take more than 300 wickets in an English season, a feat he achieved in 1928, and the only man to have taken all ten wickets in an innings three times. Fast bowler Graham Dilley represented England in 41 Test matches in the 1980s, whilst all-rounder Mark Ealham played in 64 one-day internationals in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Other than Ames and Knott, Kent has produced a number of other top class wicketkeepers. Fred Huish, who never played for England, is considered as the "first of a line of exceptional Kent wicket-keepers" which have included Godfrey Evans, who played 91 Tests for England, Geraint Jones, with 34 Test and 49 ODI appearances, as well as Edward Tylecote, George Wood and Hopper Levett all of whom were capped by the country. Paul Downton started his career at Kent as part of this line of players and the teams' current wicketkeeper, Sam Billings, has made one-day appearances for England.
Overseas players who have made a significant contribution to Kent cricket include West Indians John Shepherd, Eldine Baptiste, Bernard Julien and Carl Hooper and Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal all of whom played multiple seasons for the county. South Africans Martin van Jaarsveld, Justin Kemp and Andrew Hall have done the same, as has Australian Andrew Symonds. Other great world cricketers to have played for the county for single seasons include Sri Lankans Aravinda de Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan, India's Rahul Dravid and Australia's former Test captain Steve Waugh.
Kent cricket legends' walkway
As part of the redevelopment of Kent's home ground, the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, the county planned to develop a "legends walkway" at the entrance to the ground. A public vote was held to select 12 former players of the club to honour in the walkway. The 12 players were named in June 2011. They included Alfred Mynn, who played for the county in the 19th century, Les Ames, Colin Blythe, Tich Freeman and Frank Woolley from the first half of the 20th century, Godfrey Evans and Doug Wright from the 1930s–50s era, Colin Cowdrey and Alan Knott, Brian Luckhurst, John Shepherd and Derek Underwood from the teams of the 1960s and 70s. The first bricks were produced for the walkway in April 2012.
As of 2016 the current club captain of Kent is Sam Northeast who was appointed in September 2015 after Rob Key resigned. In total 32 men have been appointed as club captain, beginning with Lord Harris in 1875. Colin Cowdrey captained the side for the longest span in the County Championship era, serving as captain between 1957 and 1971. Ted Dillon led the county to the County Championship title three times as captain, the only man to captain Kent to more than one championship title. Mike Denness' side of the early 1970s won six one-day titles in his five years as captain.
- As of 24 October 2016
Of the players in the current squad, James Tredwell has played Test matches for England and Sam Billings and Joe Denly have appeared in ODIs. South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was at Kent for a short period in the summer of 2016, with New Zealand international Tom Latham also having played for the team as an overseas player from May to July 2016. Nottinghamshire all-rounder Will Gidman was signed on a one-month loan in July 2016 after injuries side-lined Fabian Cowdrey and Calum Haggett. On 19 August, Kent announced the signing of South Africa international fast-bowler Hardus Viljoen as their overseas player for the final four County Championship matches of the season, with the club citing a number of injuries to bowlers over the course the season as the reason for the signing.
- No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
- denotes players with international caps.
- county cap. denotes a player who has been awarded a
|No.||Name||Nationality||Birth date||Batting Style||Bowling Style||Notes|
|6||Joe Denly*||England||16 March 1986||Right-handed||Right arm leg break||Nine ODI and two T20I appearances for England, England Under-19s 2004-05|
|10||Alex Blake||England||25 January 1989||Left-handed||Right arm medium-fast||England Under 19, 2006/07|
|16||Zak Crawley||England||3 February 1998||Right-handed||Right arm medium|
|17||Sam Northeast*||England||16 October 1989||Right-handed||Right arm off break||2016 captain, England Under 19, 2006–09|
|23||Daniel Bell-Drummond*||England||3 August 1993||Right-handed||Right arm medium||England Lions and England Performance Programme squads, 2015/16, England Under 19, 2010–12|
|58||Sean Dickson||South Africa||2 September 1991||Right-handed||Right arm medium||UK passport holder|
|3||Darren Stevens*||England||30 April 1976||Right-handed||Right arm medium|
|24||Adam Ball||England||1 March 1993||Right-handed||Left arm fast-medium||England Under 19, 2009–12|
|25||Calum Haggett||England||30 October 1990||Left-handed||Right arm medium-fast||England Under 19, 2009–10|
|26||Matt Coles*||England||26 May 1990||Left-handed||Right arm fast-medium||England Lions, 2012/13|
|30||Fabian Cowdrey||England||30 January 1993||Right-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|42||Will Gidman||England||14 February 1985||Left-handed||Right arm medium|
|7||Sam Billings*||England||15 June 1991||Right-handed||—||Five ODI and seven T20I appearances for England. England Lions squad, 2014–16, England Under 19, 2009–10|
|12||Adam Rouse||England||30 June 1992||Right-handed||—||England Under 19, 2010|
|5||Ivan Thomas||England||25 September 1991||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|8||Mitchell Claydon*||England||25 November 1982||Left-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|11||Imran Qayyum||England||23 May 1993||Right-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|14||Matt Hunn||England||22 March 1994||Right-handed||Right arm fast-medium|
|15||James Tredwell*||England||27 February 1982||Left-handed||Right arm off break||Two Test, 45 ODI and two T20I appearances for England, England Under 19s 2001. Former club captain.|
|22||Charlie Hartley||England||4 January 1994||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast|
|27||Hugh Bernard||England||14 September 1996||Right-handed||Right arm medium-fast||England Under 19, Winter 2015|
|33||Adam Riley||England||23 March 1992||Right-handed||Right arm off break||England Lions 4-day squad, 2014-15|
Frank Woolley, who played for Kent between 1906 and 1938, holds the record for the most appearances, most career runs and most runs in a season for the county. He is the only man to score more than 100 centuries for Kent with 122 and is the county's fifth leading wicket taker. Bill Ashdown holds the record for the highest score for the county with 332 runs against Essex in 1934. He is the only man to have scored a triple-century for the Kent, with two to his name.
Tich Freeman is the county's leading wicket taker with 3,340 wickets. Freeman took more than 150 wickets for the county 14 times and holds the record for the most wickets in a season. Fellow spin bowler Colin Blythe has the best bowling figures in Kent's history taking 10/30 against Northamptonshire in 1907, with 17/48 in the match. Freeman took ten wickets in a match 128 times with Blythe achieving the same feat 64 times.
The Kent Women's cricket team represents the county in the Women's County Championship and Women's Twenty20 Cup. The first recorded match by a Kent Women's team was in May 1935, with the team first appearing in the Women's Area Championship in 1980.
The side features a number of international players and is captained by former England captain Charlotte Edwards. They have won the County Championship a record seven times since it was established in 1997, most recently in 2016, and the Women's Twenty20 Cup three times, most recently in 2016. The team play the majority of their home matches at the County Cricket Ground, Beckenham.
Kent Cricket Academy
Kent established an academy in 2003 with the aim of developing future first-class cricketers. The academy is based at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury and makes use of the Ames-Levett Sports Centre at the ground. It has produced over 25 first-term players for the county, including current club captain Sam Northeast and senior England internationals Tammy Beaumont, Sam Billings, Joe Denly, Natasha Farrant, Lydia Greenway and Jo Watts. The leading academy scholar is awarded the John Aiken Gray trophy each year. Past winners have included county First XI players Daniel Bell-Drummond, Adam Ball, Alex Blake and Hugh Bernard.
The academy was established by former wicket-keeper Simon Willis. Paul Farbrace and Philip Relf held lead coaching roles within the scheme until Willis was appointed as high performance director in 2011, serving in the role until May 2016 when he was appointed the high performance manager of Sri Lanka Cricket. Former Kent and England spin bowler Min Patel took over the running of the academy on an interim basis following Willis' departure.
Kent have won the County Championship seven times, including one shared title. Four of their wins came in the years before World War I between 1906 and 1913, Ted Dillon captaining the side to three of their titles. The county had to wait until the 1970s to win their other Championship titles, winning outright in 1970 and 1978 and sharing the title with Middlesex in 1977. Kent have finished as runner-up in the Championship on 12 occasions, most recently in 2004. The County Championship Second Division title was won by the county in 2009.
The county First XI also won a number of limited overs competition trophies. Eight trophies were won between 1967 and 1978, six times by teams led by Mike Denness. Three more trophies have followed in 1995, 2001 and, most recently, the 2007 Twenty20 Cup. They finished runners-up in the 2008 T20 competition and in the 2008 Friends Provident Trophy.
The Second XI Championship title has been won nine times by the county, including one shared win in 1987. As of 2016 this represents a record number of victories in the competition. Four of the victories have occurred in the 21st century, with the most recent in 2012. The Second XI Trophy one-day competition was won in 2002 and the county won the Minor Counties Championship twice in the 1950s when first-class Second XI's entered the competition.
Kent's women have won the Women's County Championship a record seven times, most recently in 2016, and have been runners-up five times since the competition was established in 1997. The women's side has also won the Twenty20 Championship three times, in 2011, 2013 and 2016.
First XI honours
- County Championship (6) – 1906, 1909, 1910, 1913, 1970, 1978; shared (1) – 1977
Runners-up (12): 1988, 1908, 1911, 1919, 1928, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1988, 1992, 1997, 2004
- County Championship Division 2 (1) – 2009
- One Day Cup[note 1] (2) – 1967, 1974
Runners-up (4): 1971, 1983, 1984, 2008
- National League [note 2] (5) – 1972, 1973, 1976, 1995, 2001
Runners-up (4): 1970, 1979, 1993, 1997
- Benson & Hedges Cup (3) – 1973, 1976, 1978
Runners-up (5): 1977, 1986, 1992, 1995, 1997
- Twenty20 Cup [note 3] (1) – 2007
Runners-up (1): 2008
Second XI honours
- Minor Counties Championship (2) – 1951, 1956
- Second XI Championship (8) – 1961, 1969, 1970, 1976, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012; shared (1) – 1987
- Second XI Trophy (1) – 2002
- Women's County Championship winners (7) – 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016
Runners-up (5) – 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015
- Women's County Twenty20 Championship winners (3) – 2011, 2013, 2016
- Known as the Gillette Cup (1963–1980), NatWest Trophy (1981–2000) and C&G Trophy (2001–2006), Friends Provident Trophy (2007–2009) and ECB 40 (2010–2013)
- Formerly known as the Sunday League (1969–1998). Ran until 2009 season.
- Names have included the Twenty20 Cup (2003-2009), Friends Life t20 (2010-2013) and NatWest t20 Blast (2014 onwards).
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