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Kent Cricket Festival: Director of cricket Paul Downton discusses Tunbridge Wells tradition

By Cameron Hogwood

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton is keen to see improvements continue to be made at Tunbridge Wells in order to preserve a tradition stretching beyond a century.

The county’s only trip to The Nevill Ground this summer sees them host Nottinghamshire in the County Championship from Monday.

It marks the return of the annual Kent Cricket Festival in which the team plays at the outground.

Kent director of cricket Paul Downton
Kent director of cricket Paul Downton

Downton said: “The festival has been going for over 100 years and has very much been a part of Kent tradition. As a team, Kent really enjoy playing at Tunbridge Wells and over the years we’ve had some very good games there.

“It is one of the prettiest, if not the prettiest, grounds on the circuit and is exactly what playing in an outground should be like.

“The thing for both Kent Cricket and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is that we need to keep investing in the ground to ensure that it is able to host first-class cricket in the modern game.

“The preparation of the wicket has gone smoothly so far this year and we played a successful Kent 2nd XI match there at the end of April. We’re looking forward to a good game against a good team in Nottinghamshire.”

The game sees Matt Milnes face his former team, having left Notts in September. He took 16 wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup and already has 29 wickets in Division 1.

Downton added: “Matt Milnes has settled in extremely well and has really taken his opportunity of playing every match in his stride and is improving rapidly to become a top class seamer.”

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