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Kent head coach Matt Walker predicts bright England future for Zak Crawley

By Cameron Hogwood

Kent head coach Matt Walker has refused to rule out the possibility of Zak Crawley earning a call-up to England’s Ashes squad.

The opening batsman is due to make his England Lions debut after being named in the squad to face Australia A in Canterbury from Sunday.

Crawley currently sits as Kent's leading County Championship scorer with 708 runs at an average of 41.65, including two centuries.

Kent's Zak Crawley collects a boundary against Yorkshire. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Zak Crawley collects a boundary against Yorkshire. Picture: Ady Kerry

Walker said: “I think you have to remember it’s only his second full season, he’s still learning the game but funny things happen.

“If Zak keeps playing really well for us and plays well for the Lions, you just don’t know. What I will say is that it wouldn’t faze him. Whether it’s too soon for him, who knows?

“I suspect they’ve got a squad in mind, there may be a few question marks over certain positions and possibly at the top of the order which may help Zak’s case.

“I don’t think there has to be any rush, he’ll get there in the end, I have no doubt about that and sometimes timing is everything.

“When the time does come for Zak Crawley to go on and play for England he’ll be ready and won’t let himself down.

“We had a conversation at the start of the year about his ambitions of playing for England. He said it himself and I’m glad I heard it, he just said ‘one game at a time, score runs for Kent and what will be will be’.

“That’s a lovely way to do it. Some people do look too far ahead of themselves and worry about what others are doing around the country, he doesn’t do that. He just looks to score runs and it’s a great message for young players.”

Kent's Zak Crawley in action against Surrey earlier this season. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Zak Crawley in action against Surrey earlier this season. Picture: Ady Kerry

Crawley’s involvement with England means he is set to be absent for Kent when they travel to Hampshire on Saturday.

Walker added. “You miss your best players and Zak has become one of our best players, but it’s all good news.

“When anybody goes to play for England at any level it makes you very proud.

“It's absolutely deserved, in my opinion he's one of the best young batsman in the country and he's shown that all year from the first ball, he's played beautifully.

“I would have thought he'd be the first on the team-sheet possibly, he's maturing very quickly and becoming a fine young player.

“He's hard working, humble, grounded, he's getting rewards now. I suspect it's the start of something very exciting for Zak.

“Knowing Zak he'll treat it like he treats most games, he's not fazed by much and this will be an opportunity for him to show people what he can do again.”

Read more: All the latest Kent sport news

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