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Justin Kemp: Friends Provident Trophy Q&A

Kent batsman Justin Kemp is looking forward to playing at Lord's
Kent batsman Justin Kemp is looking forward to playing at Lord's

What are your thoughts on playing at Lord’s in front of a sell-out crowd for Saturday’s Friends Provident Trophy final against Essex?

I can’t wait to play because it’s a huge occasion and it’s never easy getting through to these finals in the first place.

We’ve showed in Twenty20, that this Kent side is up there with the best one-day sides in the country and feel we have good enough players to adapt to any form of the game and against any opposition.

We have some fantastic one-day cricketers who have done well all season and I just hope we can finish things off with a win in the final.

You’ve been struggling with back problems of late, will you be fit and well for Saturday’s big occasion?

It’s been a bit of a long road getting it better but I’m feeling a lot better having missed the match up at Durham and having had a few days away from the game.

I needed to take this time to try and get it right and several days of massage and stretching exercises have helped even though it’s intensive treatment.

Do you have any friends or family flying in from overseas to watch you play in the final?

My mum and dad, John and Jean, will be here as will my sister, Nicola, so it will be a family affair and a special day for us.

I also managed to get a ticket for my wife of course (South African supermodel, Brigid Osborne). My family have never been to Lord’s and the home of cricket before so yes, it’s a special day for me as a ‘foreign cricketer’ so to speak to play there.

Do you use the same bats for power hitting in one-day cricket as you would for an innings during a four-day championship innings?

I sometimes use a heavier bat in one-day cricket but generally I tend to go by the proviso that if I get a good bat I use it in all forms of the game.

The bat I’ll be using on Saturday will be about 2lb 12oz which is quite a big bat in this day and age, but then I’m quite a big guy, I guess.

Who are your sporting heroes?

My cricketing hero was Daryll Cullinan, who went to the same school as me. He played Test cricket and was always someone I looked up to when I was growing up.

My sporting hero is Tiger Woods. It’s unbelievable that after getting to the top he keeps motivated to stay at the top.

What are you favourite things?

My favourite pop group are the American pop trio Green Day and you can’t beat listening to them while tucking into some food at a traditional South African braai (barbecue).

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