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Kent to launch 150th anniversary year with a thanksgiving service at Canterbury Cathedral

Kent will launch their 150th anniversary year with a thanksgiving service at Canterbury Cathedral.

The programme for the year will also include a celebratory dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s, and an end-of-season awards night to be held in a marquee at the The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence.

Kent's players will wear a commemorative shirt for their championship games and the county are working on a book covering the club's first 150 years.

Kent Cricket chief executive Simon Storey
Kent Cricket chief executive Simon Storey

Other plans include an exhibition, entitled Your 150, which will be on show in The Lime Tree Café throughout the year, and a 150th party at a Vitality Blast match yet to confirmed.

Kent unveiled their plans at Ye Olde Beverlie public house in Canterbury on Friday in an event attended by past and present Kent stars plus chief executive Simon Storey, director of Kent Paul Downton, head coach Matt Walker and bowling coach Simon Cook.

The pub sits less than 100 yards from the site of the original Canterbury Cricket Week in 1842, and chief executive Mr Storey said there was no more appropriate venue for the unveiling.
He said: "This area, this pub is teeming with Kent Cricket history and the more we explore the story and the roots of Kent Cricket the more pride and the more interesting the story becomes.

"It was here that the very first Beverley Cricket Club played its cricket across the road.

"William Baker lived in the manor house and they first played cricket, as the cricket club over in the recreation ground here, in 1835,1836, this is really where Kent Cricket in Canterbury effectively was formed.

"It was not until 1870 which is why we're here today to celebrate 150 years.

"It was 150 years ago in another pub, the Bull in Rochester that Lord Harris said we need to come together as one and bring the Kent Cricket Club, who were playing over at The Mote Cricket Club in Maidstone with the Beverley Cricket Club, who were playing here in Canterbury, to form Kent County Cricket Club.

"So while the150th anniversary is what we're marking today as we go into our 150th year, actually the reason we're here, is, to some extent, to play respects to our forefathers who had the vision to establish cricket.

"One of the things I'm so passionate about is exploring what it is about Kent that not just makes this such a special county, but a special team.

"Not just because it's interesting for the last 150 years but that actually creates and helps us form another vision for the next 150 years.

"That's the theme for this year, is what can we do this year, as a catalyst, as we go into our 150th year, for the future.

"The power of the brand, we know that the secret of Kent Cricket is in the power of the story.

"When people discover what the brand story is it engages them and we can engage them much more if they understand the story.

"The brand story of us at Kent Cricket starts here and that's what we're here."

The opening event, the thanksgiving service at the cathedral, will take place on Wednesday, March 4 at 11am with 1,200 free places available.

Supporters will be able to apply via a ballot in the new year.

The Lord's event is planned for June and the Vitality Blast party the following month.

A total of 450 spaces will be made available for the 2020 Spitfire Kent Cricket Awards on Friday, October 2. Details of how to apply will be confirmed in the new year.

The commemorative playing shirt – which will feature the names of capped players – will be available to pre-order in the coming weeks and other 150th Year branded merchandise will be available.

The Your 150 exhibition will incorporate an interactive display which will enable supporters to add their own memories. The exhibition will be free to visit on non-matchdays.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent


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