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Kent assistant coach Matt Walker knows his side faces huge test from Gloucestershire

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Matt Walker was an honest cricketer in his playing days and he’s not about to change now he’s assistant coach at Kent.

Jimmy Adams’ right-hand man tells it as it is and he wasn’t about to mince his words ahead of Friday’s Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final against Gloucestershire at Canterbury.

The seven-wicket defeat against an already out-of-contention Middlesex in the final group game last Wednesday at the same venue was not acceptable as far as he and Adams were concerned.

Walker said: “It was by far the worst performance of the competition and by a long way.

Kent assistant coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent assistant coach Matt Walker. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“It may have been a dead rubber as we had already qualified for the quarter-finals but there was no excuse for a performance like that.

“We made poor decisions with the bat and getting dismissed in the 44th over of a 50-over game was criminal.

“We were then sloppy in the field and overall, our general play was not up to the standard it should have been.

“It needed addressing and it was. The players clearly now know what is expected of them.”

Gloucestershire, who also lost their final group game by 53 runs against Derbyshire, will be without their captain, Australian Michael Klinger, for the season.

The prolific opening batsman broke his arm after being hit by paceman Mark Footitt.

Walker said his absence would leave a huge hole to fill.

He said: “It’s sad for him to miss out but good for us because we all know how good he is.

“But saying that, they (Gloucestershire) will still provide a huge test for us because they are similar to us as a team.

“They are a side without superstars but are instead filled with good professionals who know the game well and work well together. They will be hard to break down.

“They have the ability to threaten us from anywhere with both bat and ball.

“We know we have to be switched on from the first ball until the last to get the result we want – and we will be.”

Kent will be without their leading wicket-taker in the competition, Aussie paceman Doug Bollinger, who took 15 wickets before heading home at the weekend.

Spinner James Tredwell, who is third on the wicket-taking list with eight, will also be on England duty.

The game starts at 2pm at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Kent are back in LV= County Championship Division 2 action on Sunday when they host Glamorgan as they look to return to winning ways after losing to Hampshire last time out in the competition.

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