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Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker talks about being in Australia with the England T20 squad

By Josh Fordham

Matt Walker believes that spending time with the England T20 squad in Australia will benefit both his development as a coach and the Kent team.

The head coach flew Down Under on Friday to join up with the national side ahead of the T20 Tri series with Australia and New Zealand, which begins on Friday.

Walker said it was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He said: “I jumped back and forth a bit about what was the right thing to do.

Matt Walker Picture: Barry Goodwin.
Matt Walker Picture: Barry Goodwin.

“It’s a great opportunity and one you can’t really say no to when it’s England.
“These offers don’t get thrown around that often and I’m flattered and humbled to have been asked.”

England begin the series with a match against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra and then face Australia and New Zealand twice before the final takes place on February 21.

Walker believes working with the team will mean both he and Kent can benefit in the long term.

He explained: “For me, on my learning and development, you don’t often get an opportunity to work at an elite level like that and see how it operates at that level not just on the England side but the Australian side and New Zealand side.

“To learn how they go about their business and how England go about their business over a competition will be great for me and hopefully great for the club moving forward.

“Lessons learnt I can hopefully bring back here and implement them back into our structure.”Walker joining up with the England squad means he will miss Kent’s pre-season tour matches in Antigua.

The squad flew out to the West Indies on Saturday with Min Patel and Allan Donald in charge of matters.

Joe Denly will captain the side as Sam Billings is also away on England duty in Australia.
Darren Stevens has been allowed to stay home.

Walker added: “It’s not ideal. I would have liked to be out in Antigua to be with the guys and see how they go about it.

“On the other hand, all the work has been done now. Really, when you get out to Antigua, it’s pure competition and it kind of takes care of itself.

“We will have Min (Patel) out there and Allan Donald so it will be taken care of well in their hands and it will give them an opportunity to be able to run that and especially for Allan to get to know the players well.”

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