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Kent Spitfires face testing start to 2018 NatWest T20 Blast schedule

By Mark Stokes

Kent will open their 2018 NatWest T20 Blast campaign with three successive away games.

The Spitfires play Surrey at the Kia Oval on Friday, July 6, Somerset at Taunton on Sunday, July 8, and Gloucestershire at Bristol on Wednesday, July 11.

They launch their home programme with successive Friday night games, hosting Hampshire at The County Ground, Beckenham on Friday, July 13, and Surrey at the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence a week later (July 20).

Kent will host five of their seven 2018 South Group home matches at Canterbury Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent will host five of their seven 2018 South Group home matches at Canterbury Picture: Barry Goodwin

Sussex Sharks will visit Canterbury on Friday, July 27, and Kent will play Glamorgan at the Swalec Stadium (Sunday, July 29) before the Battle of the Bridge derby against Essex Eagles at Canterbury on Thursday, August 2.

Sam Northeast’s side travel to the Ageas Bowl a day later to face Hampshire and then host Gloucestershire at Canterbury (August 5) in the first of two Sunday afternoon fixtures at the start of the school summer holidays.

The other is against Middlesex at Beckenham (Sunday, August 12) and in between they face Sussex at Hove (Friday, August 10).

Kent’s final home clash of the South Group stage is against Somerset at Canterbury on Thursday, August 16, and they finish their qualifying programme against Essex at Chelmsford a day later.

The quarter-finals will take place over August 23-26 with Finals Day at Edgbaston on September 15.

Spitfires skipper Northeast said: “The squad is already excited by the new season and the challenges that await us.

“The fixtures look tough and there are some tough sides out there but we believe we can challenge for trophies.

“We look forward to playing in front of some packed crowds at Canterbury and Beckenham.”

Early Bird T20 matchday tickets go on sale in January (price £22 for adults and £5 children until 30 June 2018).

Kent will return to the West Indies for a second successive year on the pre-season FGS Plant Tour.

The Aylesford-based plant hire firm will sponsor the tour with Smile Group Travel organising the tour for the squad and supporters.

The Spitfires will play in the West Indies Super50 one-day competition which is set to start in late February with fixtures to be confirmed next month.

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