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Kent Cricket's new interim CEO Ben Green believes fans can be optimistic ahead of new season

By Josh Fordham

Kent’s interim chief executive believes there is cause for optimism for supporters ahead of the 2018 season.

Ben Green took over duties on Monday after Jamie Clifford left the club on Friday to join the MCC.

Mr Green is stepping up from his role as operations director, which he started in August 2017.

He has 17 years’ experience in sports administration with operations roles at Surrey and the ECB and worked for the All England Lawn Tennis Club for two Wimbledon Championships before joining Kent.

Interim chief executive of Kent Cricket Ben Green. Picture Gary Browne

Interim chief executive of Kent Cricket Ben Green. Picture: Gary Browne

And the 41-year-old believes things are looking promising for the club both on and off the pitch. He said: “I’m fortunate that we have a director of cricket, so that allows the whole cricket side of the business to be managed by Paul Downton.

“That allows me to step into the chief executive role and continue my focus on the operational side.

“There is cause for optimism. We have appointed a director of cricket and he is enthusiastic about what he has seen so far.

“The appointment is key to the success of the club. We are looking to strengthen the squad but we are not rushing to make lots of signings just for the sake of making signings.”

With Mr Downton on board, Mr Green will look at the business side of the club and how Kent can be a sustainable county moving forward.

Part of this will be how Kent use the money that will filter down from the ECB after 2020 following the negotiation of a record-breaking £1.1billion media-rights deal.

Paul Downton receiving his celebratory county cap in 2004

Paul Downton receiving his celebratory county cap in 2004

Mr Green said: “In my time here as operations director, we’ve started to look at the facilities and what we would try and do.

“At the moment there is not a set clear plan for development. It’s important we get through the next two years until this new broadcast deal starts.

“Then we can start to look at the long-term plan in terms of development. We are doing a lot of work behind the scenes, for instance the Colin Cowdrey stand has just had a new boiler.

“We are looking at other areas of the business ahead of this season, improving accessibility in key areas of the ground for wheelchair users and possibly renovating the
scoreboard.”

Mr Green believes the club need to keep finding ways to be sustainable 365 days a year.

He said: “Jamie (Clifford), the previous chairman and treasurer have done a fantastic job in guiding the club through some troubled times through its lowest level. 

"There was a perception many, many years ago that once you got to September you locked up and shut the keys away and said ‘see you in April’.

“It’s key to find a sustainable way forward – particularly with competitions around the world – and make sure we are relevant.”

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