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Kent Cricket captain Rob Key says the club need a fast start if they are to win promotion from LV= County Championship Division 2

By Alex Hoad
Kent captain Rob Key. Picture: Barry Goodwin.
Kent captain Rob Key. Picture: Barry Goodwin.

Rob Key says Kent’s promotion fate this year will depend on them making a fast start to the LV= County Championship, Division 2 campaign.

Key returns to the helm for a second stint at Kent skipper this season, with hopes again high for a summer spent returning the club to the top-flight of domestic four-day cricket.

The 34-year-old says it’s “not a case of promotion or bust” this year but said he was hopeful of a competitive campaign, particularly if his players can make a quick start to the season, which gets underway at Worcester on Sunday.

Key said: “At this time of year the ambition is that we just want to play as well as we can in all competitions. If we play to our potential, we should be a big side but you never know what will happen.

“It’s important that you never look to focus on one thing or one competition. If you are not giving it everything in all tournaments, it can cost you.”

He added: “We want to start as well as we can. With Northants last year and Derby the year before, they got off to a (good) start and kept it going throughout the season.

“Cricket is essentially a simple game. If your players find form you’ll have a decent chance and we have got some fantastic players.” One of those leading lights is expected to be Aussie import Doug Bollinger, who Key expects to have a positive influence on young bowlers like Calum Haggett, Matt Hunn, Charlie Hartley and Ivan Thomas.

Key said: “We’ve got a few young bowlers. You don’t want to throw them in and ask too much of them. You want them to learn and find their feet in first class cricket.

“Having someone like Doug there offsets the youth with experience and gives them an international cricketer, someone bowling well, someone with that Aussie grit about them, to learn from. They are lucky to get to play with him.”

Key added: “Barring injury, we’re looking at hopefully picking from a number of bowlers. Whoever performs will get to play and a lot of people will get an opportunity.

“That has not always been the position here. At times it’s been about giving someone his debut and not being sure how they’re going to go.

“The bowlers and the options we have are more than we’ve had since my early stint as
captain. Hopefully, the bowlers will make me look good.”

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