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Overseas batsman Tom Latham from New Zealand reveals what he will bring to Kent Cricket

Although he intends to go about his work quietly, Kent’s overseas signing Tom Latham hopes his performances will make some noise in county cricket this summer.

The 24-year-old New Zealand batsman arrived at Canterbury ‘fresh’ from a 24-hour flight from his home town of Canterbury last week ready for a couple of months which he hopes will help him gain valuable experience and Kent gain valuable Specsavers County Championship points.

He made an immediate impact with half-centuries in each innings - the first Kent batsman to achieve the feat on debut - to help Kent to a 10-wicket win against Glamorgan on Wednesday, finishing the game with 132 runs.

Tom Latham. Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom Latham. Picture: Ady Kerry

Latham’s arrival was delayed by off-season ankle surgery but now he’s here, he can’t wait to get stuck in.

He said: “I’m excited to be here. It’s been a long time since I found out I was coming over and I am looking forward to the opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to getting into that team environment and seeing how these guys tick. Most teams are all a good bunch of blokes, I value a good team environment and I’m sure Kent has the same.

“I’m certainly not a joker or anything like that. I’ll go quietly about my business to start and then go from there.

“I’ll let the jokers do the jokes and I’ll take a backward step.”

Latham is looking forward to playing all formats for Kent and is used to chopping and changing formats on almost a daily basis through his Black Caps career, although he hoped to focus on his batting and leave wicket-keeping duties to Adam Rouse and Sam Billings on his return from the IPL.

Tom Latham enjoying his new surroundings. Picture: Ruth Cuerden
Tom Latham enjoying his new surroundings. Picture: Ruth Cuerden

When Latham played for New Zealand in the first Test against England at Lord’s last summer, he ended up behind the stumps, although he added: “I guess it’s something me and Jimmy Adams need to talk about but the last couple of years I have been focusing on the batting. It’s something I have enjoyed.

“I can keep if it’s a one-off game here or there but we’ll sit down and look at those finer details.

“Playing at Lord’s last year was a pretty special moment and growing up I’ve always wanted to come here and give it a crack. County cricket attracts a lot of world-class players.

“My role is more of a batsman and I’ve always wanted to come over and play county cricket to push my experiences of playing. I’m here for two and a half months and play nine first class games, whereas back home we play 10 throughout the whole season. I’m excited.”

He added: “Hopefully, I can grind out some scores. I’m not too extravagant – I go about my work quietly and try to bat long periods of time.

“My philosophy is team first and while coming here is to build my experiences, I want to win games for Kent as well.

“I’ll put the team first. If we all do that, then those wins will take care of themselves.”

As for run-scoring in his nine-game stint, he added: “You have your goals (but) I haven’t put a number on it.”

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