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Kent head coach Matt Walker looking forward to the challenge of Division 1 cricket

By Josh Fordham

Matt Walker is looking forward to the challenge of playing four day cricket at several Test match grounds in Division 1 in 2019.

Next season’s schedule was released on Tuesday following Kent’s promotion from Division 2 in 2018.

Kent can also look forward to visits to Test match grounds Trent Bridge, the Ageas Bowl, the Kia Oval, Edgbaston and Headingley.

Matches that particularly stand out for Walker are the trips to Taunton and Headingley where they have not played four day games since 2010 and 2012 respectively.

Matt Walker. Picture: Andy Jones.
Matt Walker. Picture: Andy Jones.

Championship cricket will also return to Beckenham this season with Kent hosting reigning champions Surrey.

Head coach Walker said: “I think they all stand out in their own way. To use a cliché, there are no easy games but we deserve to be there as we have earned our right.

“For all of us it has been a long time since we played Championship cricket at Taunton and Headingley and those are two games we are looking forward to.

“Playing at the Test ground is always great. We do it in one day cricket regularly but in four day cricket it is a different challenge.

“They will be great venues to play some really hard four day cricket. It is extremely exciting to play these teams in Division 1.

“Kent v Surrey is always a competitive derby and always a game that creates a lot of interest.”

The 2019 season starts earlier than in 2018 with the first Championship match starting on April 5.

The one day cup has also been brought forward, due to next year’s Cricket World Cup in England, with the first match on April 17 and the final to be played on May 25.

Walker said: “It may be rain affected and there may be some tough conditions. It is very early this year but everyone will be in the same boat.

“The games come thick and fast in that early part of the season. Playing the one day cup in a block is nice as you get in that mindset and can focus on it.

“The season is broken up quite nicely as we have two Championship fixtures before the one day cup, then a nice block of four day cricket before the T20’s and then finishing off with the Championship.”

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