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Kent leg-spinner Matt Parkinson praised by head coach Matt Walker ahead of early return to old club Lancashire in County Championship

Matt Parkinson makes a swift return to his former club when Kent visit Lancashire.

The 27-year-old made the move to Kent in the close season but gets an immediate chance to face his former colleagues at Old Trafford in the County Championship from tomorrow (Friday).

Matt Parkinson, right, and fellow bowler Wes Agar talk tactics at Essex last month. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Matt Parkinson, right, and fellow bowler Wes Agar talk tactics at Essex last month. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Leg-spinner Parkinson has already made a big impact at Kent, according to head coach Matt Walker.

“It feels like he has been here 25 years,” said Walker. “He’s enigmatic, he’s an incredible character. I think he’s been brilliant and an absolute delight.

“It’s always interesting when a player moves on from their home county and he had great success there.

“As a fresh start, it’s interesting to see how they make that transition work. In the winter he spent a lot of time working with the academy kids out of his own choice.

“He’s loud, full of beans and exactly what you want around the dressing room. He wants to do really well and cares about the team.”

With the Kookaburra ball used in the first two games of the season, Parkinson got through plenty of work. He’s already bowled more than 100 overs in the first three matches, taking 10 wickets at 52.60 apiece with a best of 5-177 against Surrey.

An economy rate of nearly five runs an over means he hasn’t had the control yet that Kent were hoping for, but Walker believes that will come.

“It’s been tough for him so far, he’s bowled in situations and on wickets that haven’t helped him,” added the Kent coach.

“He’s an attacking bowler and he wants runs on the board to create that pressure for him but we haven’t been able to do that yet. Hopefully, when that does happen, we’ll see the very best of him.

“I admired him hugely [against Surrey], he kept going. He’s got a lot of experience under his belt. His days will come as the season moves on. I’m really glad he’s come and he’s fitted in well.”

Parkinson may get more spin support at Old Trafford while the bowling attack will have a more familiar look to it.

Wes Agar and Nathan Gilchrist should both return after missing the Surrey clash while Grant Stewart is closing on a comeback from injury.

“We know that bowling attacks are so crucial in this division, you look around the counties and there are some really fine attacks,” added Walker.

“That will win you games of cricket and titles if you have attacks of a certain calibre. At the moment all we’ve really got is some fit bodies back in the room. We should have some options as we move forward.

“We’ve got some options, it may be a two-spinner wicket [at Lancashire]. I’m sure they’ll produce something that’s fairly dry. It’s a big mountain for those guys to climb against a side like Surrey but they’ll be better off for it and will learn a bit more.”

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