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Joe Denly: Kent vice-captain reflects on IPL experience and welcomes The Hundred competition

Joe Denly admits the chance to play in the IPL was too good to refuse despite only making one appearance for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Kent vice-captain missed his side’s opening two Specsavers County Championship matches and the first three Royal London One-Day Cup games during his time away.

Having returned to England in April, he then suffered a back spasm against Gloucestershire before missing the next six matches due to injury and England duty.

Joe Denly in action against Warwickshire. Picture: Ady Kerry
Joe Denly in action against Warwickshire. Picture: Ady Kerry

Denly said: “It was a long time in India sitting on my backside, carrying drinks in the IPL. It was an interesting one.

“The IPL is obviously a massive tournament and it’s hard to turn down.

“I think in hindsight, with the winter I had, I could have maybe had that off and had a bit of time to refresh and re-charge the batteries and get going with Kent. But I just think it’s too good an opportunity to turn down.

“I went out there expecting to not start but I could have got a run of games and done really well, you just never know. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be.

“It was a great experience to play in the IPL, for everybody playing cricket worldwide that would be on the list of things to do. Having done that, I’m very proud and it was a good experience.”

With regards to modern ventures in cricket such as the IPL, Denly has also shown an interest in the divisive Hundred tournament, which will see Kent unite with Surrey to create a team based out of the Oval.

He admitted: “I was a little bit sceptical when they announced it but I think now it’s going to go ahead I’m very excited to see what it brings.

“It’s the unknown for everyone so it’s going to be an interesting year for sure.

“As a player, I’m certainly very keen to get involved and see how good it is and what kind of crowds it attracts.

“I’ll certainly be in that players’ draft for sure and hopefully taking part.”

The players’ draft for the 100-ball format is due to take place on October 20, with the competition itself scheduled to last for five weeks from July 2020.

A delayed start to his county campaign with Kent seemingly played its part as Denly found himself short of runs amid a tricky spell.

But his unbeaten 167 against Nottinghamshire has boosted Denly’s County Championship average to nearly 40 ahead of this week’s game at Surrey, which started on Sunday.

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