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Kent hope to keep Matt Henry for County Championship games later in summer

By Josh Fordham

Kent head coach Matt Walker hopes the club can keep Matt Henry beyond his initial short-term contract at the club.

The New Zealand fast bowler has taken a phenomenal 37 wickets in the opening four Specsavers County Championship matches.

The wickets, taken at an average of 9.59, have helped fire Kent up to second in Division 2 and he is the top wicket-taker in the country.

Kent's Matt Henry celebrates bowling Ishant Sharma to clinch victory over Sussex at Canterbry. Picture: Paul Allen
Kent's Matt Henry celebrates bowling Ishant Sharma to clinch victory over Sussex at Canterbry. Picture: Paul Allen

Walker said: “I hope our chances of keeping him are very good. The great thing for us is that he has really enjoyed his time with us and fitted in like an absolute dream.

“We will have to see how it fits into his schedule with New Zealand cricket. When you find someone like that and wants to be here and part of the team and group moving forward it is exciting.

“You know you are going to get the best out of those guys because they are not just here for their own agenda.

“When you stumble across people like that you want to keep them. Fingers crossed it all works out and into the future as well.

“He’s just one of the boys and loving life with us and hopefully there will be an opportunity to extend that after the T20s for the last five Championship games.”

Listen to reaction from Matt Henry on the latest Kent Cricket Podcast:

Henry took match figures of 10-122 as Kent beat Sussex by 58 runs at The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence.

His half-century with the bat in the second innings also would prove decisive to getting Kent up to a 269 run lead.

Walker said: “I can’t remember in my time an overseas player making a bigger impact. There has been some very fine overseas players who have done some very fine things.

“In terms of making an impact of day one I can’t remember anyone like that.

“It is exceptional. 37 wickets at nine is mind-blowing. The skills he has are just exceptional. You know when he has the ball in his hand you have a feeling something is going to happen.”

The head coach also said Henry is a popular figure in the dressing room and has settled quickly with the rest of the team.

He added: “When we sign players, it’s not just about the ability, it’s just as important to have someone who will fit into the dynamic of the dressing room.

“You aren’t treading on eggshells around a precious overseas, which can happen sometimes.

“Matt has turned up wanting to play cricket and has really found his feet at Canterbury and the boys love him and I think they love him.”

Henry is available for all of Kent’s Royal London One-Day Cup matches and the next three County Championship games.

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