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Kent's seam bowling targets include domestic, overseas players and Kolpaks

By Mark Stokes

Jamie Clifford says strengthening the seam attack is Kent’s priority this winter but they will only sign players with the ‘right motivation’.

The county’s chief executive officer revealed that Kent already have ‘irons in the fire’ and suggested they may review their policy about the signing of Kolpak players.

Only three teams took fewer bowling bonus points than Kent in Specsavers County Championship Division 2 last season – one of them being bottom club Leicestershire – and there are berths to fill after the release of Charlie Hartley and Hugh Bernard, and the departure last month of Matt Coles, pictured, to Division 1 champions Essex.

Kent chief executive Jamie Clifford. Picture: Tony Flashman.
Kent chief executive Jamie Clifford. Picture: Tony Flashman.

Mr Clifford admitted as much, saying: “Seam bowling is top of the list (of priorities). There’s a long list (of potential targets), which includes domestic players, overseas players and Kolpaks.

“We’ve always shied away a bit from the latter but I think we’re accepting of the fact that the world is changing. It’s all very well taking the moral high ground but if you’re not coming out the right side performance wise then you probably do have to re-adjust your thoughts.

“With overseas players, there are lots of players on lots of lists, it’s about finding the right fit and we’ve talked about it before, getting players with the right motivation.

“It’s very easy for a player just to think about earning a few quid for three or four months but we want them to form an emotional attachment with us while they are here.”

Mr Clifford said he does not expect to announce any signings this side of Christmas and one player unlikely to return to Kent is seamer James Harris. The Middlesex man took 19 championship wickets in four matches on loan last season before being recalled by his parent county.

Mr Clifford explained: “We would have had James Harris on loan all season if we could, he bowled well, he’s a good guy and was a good influence around the club but quite clearly he is a Middlesex player, we can’t begrudge that because that’s how it is.

“Of course we are now in the same division as Middlesex (relegated from Division 1) and if he was available for loan I have a suspicion they would not let him come to us.”

Mr Clifford confirmed that former South African fast bowler Allan Donald remains on course to take up his position as Kent’s assistant coach in the new year and he did not rule out further additions to Matt Walker’s team if the head coach feels they are necessary.

He added: “Obviously Allan Donald arriving will be good but we’re happy just to make sure we’ve got the resource Matt feels he needs.”

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