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Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker looks ahead to the new season

By Josh Fordham

Matt Walker believes there is a fresh feel around Kent ahead of the start of the 2018 season.

With a new director of cricket, captain, chief executive and five signings joining their ranks there is a new look about the club.

Kent’s head coach is hoping this will help build a consistency to the team after an up and down season in 2017.

Kent head coach Matt Walker Picture: Andy Jones
Kent head coach Matt Walker Picture: Andy Jones

Walker said: “It’s a fresh captain with fresh ideas and it gives a nice newness to the season. Sam (Billings) is big on culture and on enjoyment and there’s a new feel amongst the group.

“Everyone is ready to go and I think it is an exciting time for us. We have some new players on board and some younger players over the winter have really kicked on.

“We haven’t just gone out and thought we need bodies in the room and picked the first five or six guys available.

“We have selected on ability but mainly on character and the culture they will bring to the dressing room. That’s important for us now and they are all of the right fibre knowing what they will bring to the dressing room as well as the park.

“The ambition for me is to make sure we create a culture that remains in place all year and all the standards we set ourselves and put in place day in day out.”

After a successful pre-season tour in Antigua training opportunities have been limited back home because of the weather. In their first real chance of cricket there have been successful signs with Heino Kuhn and Zak Crawley both getting hundreds against Surrey last week.

Walker said: “It has been a bit of a fragmented pre-season. It has been a bit disjointed at times due to the weather but the groundstaff have been outstanding.

“They deserve a huge amount of credit and worked tirelessly. All the good talk we have had in pre-season we hope will remain and off the back of that the performances will be strong.”

Walker now hopes the team can put this into practice when their first Specsavers County Championship match begins against Gloucestershire at the Spitfire Ground on Friday (11am).

Walker added: “We have real depth of quality. If we get it right and stick together as a team and do the right things well enough they will get the rewards.

“Last year we were super positive about being successful across all formats and it’s the same again this year.”

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