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Joe Denly gives Kent team-mate Zak Crawley England cap ahead of Test debut against New Zealand

Zak Crawley has been hailed an inspiration for the next generation of cricketers by his England team-mate Joe Denly.

The Kent pair featured in the drawn second Test match against New Zealand in Hamilton this week, although both missed out with the bat.

Kent's Zak Crawley made his England debut at the age of 21 against New Zealand. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Zak Crawley made his England debut at the age of 21 against New Zealand. Picture: Ady Kerry

It was a 10th Test appearance for Denly, who was given the honour of handing his Kent team-mate his first cap before play got under way.

Denly said: "Last night when I got asked to do this I was incredibly nervous, but today very excited.

"I remember not so long ago when I got my cap. Outside of my family, this was the most special day of my life.

"Today Zak, that's your day. Not only special for you but special for your family. I know your mum and dad, Terry and Lisa, and your sister India will be watching all through the night back home.

"And I think the biggest compliment I could give you, being a parent myself, is how proud I would be watching how you conduct yourself on and off the field.

"Incredibly well mannered, a great laugh to be around, incredibly hard-working, but most importantly incredibly humble as well.

"At the age of 21 I think you are already an inspiration for the younger generation of aspiring sportsmen.

"So today mate, I wish you all the luck in the world. And for the rest of your international career. Good luck."

Crawley made only one on his debut before nicking paceman Neil Wagner behind, while Denly was removed by Kent team-mate Matt Henry for just four.

Crawley made his Kent debut in May 2017 against Essex in the Royal London One-Day Cup and he averaged just over 34 in the County Championship last summer.

Read more: All the latest Kent sports news

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