Matt Milnes can’t wait to make his return from injury in front of a crowd as Kent Spitfires get their T20 Blast campaign under way this evening.
Spitfires host Hampshire at Canterbury from 7pm and spectators will be back to watch white-ball cricket for the first time in two years.
Matt Milnes is happy to have the fans back at Canterbury
Milnes, who has not featured for Kent since the end of April, knows how important spectators are to the game, especially in the shorter format.
“Fans being back makes T20 cricket even more of a spectacle for the players,” he said.
“I’ve not done it yet because I’ve been injured but I’ve been around the red ball stuff and having 400 or 500 people made such a difference.
“That first morning when Ollie Robinson and Jordan Cox walked out to bat there was a roar and that felt amazing. Even the ripple when you hit a boundary or get a wicket, it just adds a bit of atmosphere and takes the game up a notch.
“There’s nothing better than having the adrenaline rush of taking a wicket followed by that crowd noise and in the Blast that is heightened even more. It’s a really exciting time and everyone is buzzing to get going.”
Kent are yet to taste victory in the County Championship but T20 gives them the chance to start again.
“It’s a very exciting time,” added Milnes. “A lot of the lads look forward to this part of the season because it’s a chance for a bit of a fresh start and to have a bit of fun.
“It hasn’t gone to plan in the first part of the season in red-ball cricket but this is a chance to start afresh and really stamp our authority on the competition.
“What’s been has gone and you can’t change that now, it’s about how we’re going to win this competition and put ourselves in the best place possible to start well and go as far as we can.”
Kent will be without any overseas player for the first two matches, with Afghanistan leg-spinner Qais Ahmad set to make his debut on Sunday.
New Zealander Adam Milne doesn’t arrive until later in the competition but Milnes has confidence in the current squad.
“They are two world class signings but it’s unfortunate they can’t be here for every game,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are looking good in the nets and the practices.
“I’m more than confident that we’ve got enough in the tank to win the first couple without them. We all know what Milney is capable of, he is very quick and experienced in this format. Ahmad from what I’ve seen is a talented leg spinner, he is something different and an X-factor.”
A limited number of tickets are available for tonight's clash with Hampshire, but they must be purchased online before 3pm.