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Kent wicketkeeper Adam Rouse handed contract extension

By Alex Hoad

Adam Rouse’s good week has been capped by a contract extension.

The 24-year-old has committed his future to the club after impressing with the gloves and the bat since he joined the county as cover for England gloveman Sam Billings last season.

The former England under-19 player achieved a career-best 95 not out in the 169-run win against Derbyshire on Sunday having topped the batting averages on the FGS Plant Tour to the West Indies in pre-season.

Adam Rouse in action against Derbyshire. Picture: Gary Browne
Adam Rouse in action against Derbyshire. Picture: Gary Browne

Rouse said: “I’m really happy to have committed my future to Kent, and delighted that the club have shown faith in me.

“I’m enjoying my role right now and with Sam Billings away it’s given me a nice opportunity to figure out my game and develop as a player.

“The coaches and I spoke a lot in the winter about my targets, and my main aim now is to push for a regular 1st team spot in all formats; whether that is with the gloves or just with the bat.”

Head coach Matt Walker said: “He’s kept brilliantly and scored some vital runs since he joined the club.

“Adam worked very hard this winter and has never had a full pre-season preparation so far in his career. The training and the tour gave him the opportunity to learn his own game, develop his skills and attack the season.

“He has shown some great signs in the last 18 months and he is a very popular character in our dressing room. There’s a lot more to come from him and with Sam Billings away on England duty, he will play a lot of cricket.”

Rouse claimed five catches and hit an unbeaten 95 to help Kent claim their third thumping win from three Specsavers County Championship Division 2 games so far at Canterbury.

Rouse admitted the players were ‘delighted’ with their start and added: “We worked hard in the winter and the preparation has been fantastic.

“We knew the boys were in a good place, there’s a nice team spirit going on and the bowlers are doing a fantastic job - taking 40 wickets in each game makes it a little bit easier for us.

“I think we’re looking to improve every game. There have been a few things we’ve talked about as a bowling unit, we want to hitting lines and lengths and we have been doing that.

“There’s a lot of support for our bowlers too, we have a team unit there and when we make changes there is no real let off. Obviously Darren Stevens is doing his thing, a bit of a magician.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better start but for now we need to park that and look forward to some one-day cricket.”

Despite coming into the game on the back of back-to-back ducks and just 13 runs in three innings this season, though he weighed-in with 29 useful runs in the first innings against Derbyshire before his unbeaten career best 95 from 121 balls featuring 17 fours.

He admitted: “I was feeling a little bit of pressure, I didn’t get off to the start I had hoped for. I had worked hard over the winter and had a nice Antigua trip where I scored some runs.

“I felt in a good place and if you keep working hard and doing the right things it will come. The coaching staff have been fantastic instilling the belief back into me and the players - that’s what’s nice about our unit, I really felt backed, I was able to go out and express myself.”

He added: “It’s nice to get some runs and feature a bit. I’ve worked hard on technique and staying solid and even though I’ve mot been scoring runs I’ve felt good at the crease and spent a bit of time out there.

“This was a nice reminder to myself of how I play and what I can do.”

Rouse said he bore no grudge against James Tredwell who holed-out for nine, leaving Rouse stranded five runs short of his maiden century, adding: “It happens. I was just happy to get some runs under my belt. It’s a target for me to improve on. the fire is still there and hopefully I can go on and get that 100 this season.”

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