Published: 11:57, 18 January 2018
Hampshire Cricket have confirmed their interest in signing Kent’s former captain Sam Northeast.
Kent Cricket announced yesterday that Sam Billings would be taking over as captain of the club and Northeast would be allowed to speak to other counties.
The former captain is in the last year of his contract at the club and did not wish to extend his deal.
There is expected to be a huge amount of interest in the 28-year-old from Division 1 clubs as he looks to play his cricket elsewhere.
Director of cricket at Hampshire, Giles White, told the Daily Echo that he would like to bring the batsman to his county.
He told the paper: “Sam Northeast is a player of quality; he’s proved to be a good leader over the years and is pushing for an England spot.
“We would definitely be interested in a player like that.”
There has also been an outcry from fans of other county teams hoping their club sign Northeast now that he could sign for another team.
He has spoken of his ambitions of playing for England and that may only come at a Division 1 team.
Across all formats he has scored 6,000 runs over the last three seasons making him an attractive prospect for potential suitors.
There has been a mixed reaction to Kent Cricket’s announcement yesterday Billings has been appointed captain with Sam Northeast allowed to speak to other counties.
Most have congratulated Billings on his appointment and expressed their sadness at the real possibility of Northeast leaving the club.
Criticism has been aimed at the club by some on the KentOnline website and also on social media.
Richthegill wrote: “I have absolutely no problem with Billings but this makes no sense. Away at the IPL at the beginning of the season, away with England after that. Absolute joke of a county.”
Kentish said: “Kent really are a shambles. First Cowdrey walked out, then Coles, now Northeast.
“More than a year after Allan Donald was appointed we still don’t know when or even if he’s going to arrive.
“Both the new captain and the head coach Matt Walker are opting out of the pre-season tour.
“And if the boy Billings is so “incredibly proud and honoured to have been offered the Kent captaincy”, why is he not taking up the role until the end of May when he gets back from the IPL? By then Kent will already be bottom of the championship.”
Some have been more positive about the news with Paul Downton recently being announced as director of cricket.
Downton, if appointed, will be responsible for the long term vision of the club and both on and off field matters.