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Simon Cook to replace retiring Paul Downton as Kent’s director of cricket from October

Kent’s new director of cricket has been named - and it’s someone already part of their coaching staff.

Bowling coach Simon Cook is to replace Paul Downton, due to retire at the end of the season, in the role from October 1.

Simon Cook – will become Kent’s director of cricket from October, replacing retiring Paul Downton. Picture: Keith Gillard
Simon Cook – will become Kent’s director of cricket from October, replacing retiring Paul Downton. Picture: Keith Gillard

The former Kent seam bowler originally joined as a player in 2005 and made more than 200 appearances as a Kent player over seven years and won two trophies before he re-joined as bowling coach in 2019.

Cook, 46, also took on the role of interim head coach in Kent Spitfires’ victorious 2022 One-Day Cup campaign and performed the same role this year as they were knocked out in the group stages.

He has previously served as national head coach and high-performance manager for Hong Kong’s international side.

Upon the news being announced on Tuesday morning, Kent chairman Simon Philip said: “Simon was the outstanding candidate throughout the very rigorous selection process.

“He provided a compelling and clear vision of how he wants the club to move forward from the pathway to the First XI, allied to a very strong view of the brand of cricket that he wants the club to play.

“His existing knowledge as player and coach will prove invaluable in delivering his vision.

“I’m sure that all members and supporters will welcome Simon to his new role.”

England managing director Rob Key, one of Cook’s team-mates at Kent, wrote on social media: “Good luck Simon Cook.

“One of the great lads.”

Since returning to Kent as lead bowling coach, Cook - capped player number 202 for the county - has overseen the development of the specialist fast bowling programme for Kent’s County Age Group and Academy squads.

Second-bottom Kent resume their fight to avoid County Championship Division 1 relegation against Nottinghamshire in Canterbury from Sunday.

They then take on Somerset at Taunton from September 19 and finish their red-ball campaign against Lancashire back at Canterbury from September 26.

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