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Jack Leaning to captain Kent Spitfires in Royal London Cup campaign

Jack Leaning will captain Kent Spitfires during their Royal London Cup campaign.

Spitfires, who host Durham in their first match at Beckenham on Thursday, are without a number of senior players who will feature in The Hundred over the next month.

Jack Leaning will lead Kent Spitfires in the Royal London Cup this summer. Picture: Barry Goodwin (48836124)
Jack Leaning will lead Kent Spitfires in the Royal London Cup this summer. Picture: Barry Goodwin (48836124)

The likes of Joe Denly, Sam Billings, Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell-Drummond are all part of the new competition while Jordan Cox and Fred Klaassen were late wildcard picks at the start of this month for Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals respectively.

That means Leaning, 27, will lead the Spitfires with wicket-keeper/batsman Ollie Robinson installed as his vice-captain. Heino Kuhn, who skippered Kent in the County Championship draw with Sussex at Canterbury last week following a positive Covid-19 test in the T20 squad, has also been named in a 16-man squad.

Head coach Matt Walker, who worked with the England set-up last summer, is an assistant coach with the Oval Invincibles so Simon Cook will take over as interim head coach.

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton said: "With a number of Kent players having earned the opportunity to play in The Hundred, this gives a great opportunity for some of our younger players and some new faces to impress wearing a Kent Spitfires shirt.

"This will be an exciting tournament that every county will feel that they have a chance of doing well in.

"We are really looking forward to playing our Royal London Cup games at Beckenham, a ground that has hosted some fantastic white-ball matches over the years."

Also included in the Kent squad are former Sussex batsman Harry Finch, Joe Gordon and George Munsey.

Finch helped Kent to a draw against Sussex with an excellent hundred against his former club last week.

Scotland international Munsey played in the final two T20 Blast fixtures and Gordon has been a regular in the 2nd XI this summer.

Kent squad: Jack Leaning (captain), Ollie Robinson (vice-captain), Harry Finch, Nathan Gilchrist, Joe Gordon, Heino Kuhn, James Logan, Matt Milnes, George Munsey, Tawanda Muyeye, Marcus O’Riordan, Harry Podmore, Hamid Qadri, Matt Quinn, Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart.

Kent's RLC fixtures: Thu Jul 22 v Durham (at Beckenham), Sun Jul 25 v Worcs (at New Road), Wed Jul 28 v Lancashire (at Beckenham), Fri Jul 30 v Sussex (at Hove), Sun Aug 1 v Essex (at Chelmsford), Fri Aug 6 v Middlesex (at Radlett CC), Sun Aug 8 v Hampshire (at Beckenham, Thu Aug 12 v Gloucs (at Beckenham).

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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