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Kent to use Potchefstroom high performance institute of sport in South Africa for pre-season training camp

Kent are heading back to South Africa as part of their build-up to the new domestic season.

The county, who spent time in Paarl last spring, will on this occasion travel to Potchefstroom in the North West Province for a training camp in March.

The players will be based at the city's high performance institute of sport, a venue head coach Matt Walker described as 'inspirational.'

Kent head coach Matt Walker
Kent head coach Matt Walker

He explained: "I've been there a couple of times with the England Lions fast bowling camp.

"It's great, it's quiet, there's not much happening there which is no bad thing.

"I think it's a really inspirational venue actually, you've got world class athletes training there.

"When I was there (with the Lions) you had Christine Ohuruogu (former women's Olympic and world 400m champion) training there.

"I remember her doing a couple of warm-ups with the England young bowlers which was great.

"She knew Raphael Brandon who was also out there, he was just starting as (the ECB's) head of sport science and medicine, he came out to get to know the group and he had worked with Christine before.

"He just chatted to her and got her to come and do a couple of sessions. It was great, she loved it, the boys loved it."

Kent – who worked out of Stellenbosch University last March – will spend 10 days at Potchefstroom, with the bowlers going out a bit earlier.

Walker added: "There's a really good athletics set up there, and then you've got this huge gym, provincial rugby boys train in there, even the university lads.

"It's high performance stuff, you're surrounded by eliteness, the facilities are brilliant, we're there for 10 days as the main group.

"The bowlers will go six, seven days before (with bowling coach Simon Cook) to get some work in their legs before everyone else comes and joins."

Kent don't intend playing any matches other than maybe an internal T20 but they will play three red ball warm-up games in England ahead of the Specsavers County Championship Division 1 opener against Lancashire at Old Trafford on April 12.

The first is against Middlesex at the Merchants' Taylor School, Hertfordshire. on March 26-67.

They then face Oxford MCCU at the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence on April 2-4 before hosting Hampshire, also at Canterbury, on April 7-8.

Walker added: "We've got three practice games essentially which I like, we've really made a conscious effort to try to get a few more competitive games leading up to the season.

"We'll have practised a lot, hit a lot of balls by the time we get back from Potchesfstroom through the winter here, overseas where players are playing and obviously through our pre-season at Canterbury so it will be important to have some competitive cricket leading up to that first match."

Meanwhile, Walker confirmed that Kent continue to monitor Adam Milne's fitness as the Kiwi fast bowler looks to recover from the ankle injury which cut short his T20 campaign at the club last summer.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent


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