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Kent head coach Matt Walker on signing an overseas player in 2019

By Josh Fordham

Matt Walker expects it to be a challenge to sign an overseas player for the 2019 season.

The Cricket World Cup being played in England next year from May 30 leading to the final on July 14.

This will mean the top international players will not be available for the first half of the season with the 18 counties likely to be left scrapping over those not involved in the World Cup.

Head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Andy Jones.
Head coach Matt Walker. Picture: Andy Jones.

Kent head coach Walker said: “It will be a tough decision to work out who we will sign as an overseas player.

“Before the World Cup countries will not allow it at all but there could be the possibility after. You never know what might happen with people getting injured and then someone you sign gets called up.

“It is going to be a challenge but it will be for every club as there will be a much small pool of players at the moment to choose from.”

Many Kent fans want Matt Henry to return to the club following a successful 2018 season at the county.

He took 75 County Championship wickets to fire Kent to promotion in Division 2 and was the leading wicket-taker in the country.

The 26-year-old is on the fringes of the New Zealand one day international squad and featured in the third, and final, ODI against Pakistan in November.

Competition for places is fierce with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme and Henry all competing for the starting 11.

Walker said: “When it comes to Matt Henry we just do not know what his situation will be. He is on the fringes of the New Zealand side and could well get a spot in their side.

“It is a question of do we take a punt on him being available or not and that is a decision we will have to make at some stage.

“If it was Trent Boult then it is a different story because you know he would be picked.”

Not only is the task of signing an overseas player going to be tough, Kent may also lose players to international duty.

Walker added: “We might be affected by it ourselves as Sam Billings and Joe Denly are both definitely in the mix for a place. It is always great when there is a World Cup on in this country and it will be a great spectacle.”

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