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Kent Cricket Club release fixtures for 2020 season

Kent will start and finish their 2020 Specsavers County Championship Division 1 campaign against Lancashire, one of last season's promoted clubs.

The county, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2020, will travel to Old Trafford on Easter Sunday, April 12, with the return at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, starting on Tuesday, September 22.

Kent, fourth last season, will play three championship fixtures in April with their opening home game, against Gloucestershire – another promoted side – on Saturday April 25.

The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury

There will be four more championship fixtures in May and just two in June – due to the Vitality Blast T20 competition.

The Spitfires will launch their campaign in that tournament against Sussex Sharks at Hove on Thursday, May 28.

Their first home game is against Surrey, at Canterbury the following day, starting at 7pm.

Kent will also face Essex, Hampshire, Middlesex, Gloucestershire, Glamorgan and Somerset in the South Group.

The Royal London Cup has been re-structured, and Kent are in Group A alongside Essex, Worcestershire, Sussex, Middlesex, Durham, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Lancashire.

They open their schedule against Essex Eagles at Chelmsford on Sunday, July 19.

Kent will also travel to Copdock near Ipswich to face Suffolk on July 17 in a one-day National County match, the first time the counties have met competitively since 1966.

The 169th Canterbury Cricket Week will feature two matches against Somerset. The teams meet in the championship, starting on Sunday, June 28, with a Vitality Blast tie on Friday, July 3.

There is no championship game at Tunbridge Wells in 2020, but the Nevill will stage three Royal London Cup matches, against Hampshire (Sunday, July 26), Gloucestershire (Wednesday, July 29) and Durham (Friday, July 31).

The Nevill Ground
The Nevill Ground

The inaugural Hundred competition will be staged from mid-July to early September with Kent representation in both the Oval Invincibles and the London Spirit squads.

Beckenham will stage two matches in the women's tournament, between the Oval Invincibles and Birmingham Phoenix, on Sunday, August 2, and the Invincibles against Welsh Fire on Wednesday, August 12.

Kent's director of cricket Paul Downton explained: “The impact of The Hundred has meant that there is only one home County Championship match for us between 25th May and 23rd August.

“For that reason, it’s not been possible this year to schedule a Championship match at The Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells. However, it has instead presented us with an exciting opportunity to play three consecutive 50 over matches, in a new look Tunbridge Wells Festival at the end of July.

“With these three fixtures being played at the start of the school holidays, we are looking forward to the chance to welcome more people, including more families, to come and watch cricket at this historic venue and hopefully inspire the next generation.

“This year’s Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest festival week in County Cricket, will be brought forward to the end of June, when we will play Somerset in both a County Championship and Vitality Blast fixture.

“It will be a pivotal week during the season as we start the second half of our Championship campaign and approach the run-in to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast. It’s a week that all the players look forward to every year.

“I’d like to thank our members and supporters for their continued passionate support and we look forward to celebrating our 150th Year with you in 2020.”

Kent will play Oxford MCCU in a curtain-raiser to the new season at Canterbury, from April 2-4.

Kent supporters can look forward to17 weekend days of cricket next summer, more than doubling the eight weekend days in 2019.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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