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Kent sign New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne as overseas player

By Alex Hoad

Head coach Matt Walker couldn’t hide his excitement at the capture of ‘explosive world star’ and New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne for the second half of Kent’s season.

The 25-year-old is part of the Kiwi squad preparing for the ICC Champions Trophy which begins in England next week but will link up with Kent after his involvement in the competition comes to an end.

He could make his debut in Kent’s Championship game at Worcester on June 19 with their NatWest T20 Blast campaign beginning on July 9.

Matt Walker. Picture: Chris Davey
Matt Walker. Picture: Chris Davey

Walker said: “I’m really excited about this one. It’s something we identified, certainly in our T20, to get a bit more potency in our attack.

“The sort of plan we want to take forward in our T20 cricket (is an) explosive and really penetrative bowling attack up front and someone that can bowl pretty quickly at the death as well.”

Milne – who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year’s IPL – burst onto the scene with the New Zealand limited overs teams in 2010 but has been hampered by injury in the past two years, which prevented him taking on an overseas role at Essex last season.

Walker added: “He’s an exciting cricketer. He’s a bit of a world star. I know he’s been injured a little bit over recent years so we probably haven’t seen the best of him yet but he’ll be a great addition to our squad.

“Staying with us for the rest of the season gives us a high-class cricketer in championship games as well as T20. We’re very lucky and he’s looking forward to playing county cricket.

“In terms of exciting prospects it’s definitely right up there. He was meant to come over with Essex last year but it didn’t happen due to injury.

“I’d imagine it’s been a frustrating few years for him. He’s keen, ready to come and I hope we see the very best of him for Kent.”

For his part, Milne said: “I’m delighted to be joining Kent and working with such a talented squad pushing for promotion.

“The county championship is one of the best First-Class competitions in the world and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and taking wickets.

“I also can’t wait to experience the atmosphere at The Spitfire Ground in the NatWest T20 Blast.”

Walker said Milne’s arrival will give the club a timely boost and added: “When you have a world-class fast bowler that is going to come to your shores it will certainly give everone a lift.

“We saw with Kagiso Rabada last year and Wayne Parnell this year that adding a bit of quality to what we’ve already got gives us that extra confidence for T20 and the back end of the season.”

Kent's Chairman of cricket Graham Johnson added: “Adam is capable of bowling in excess of 90mph and will add even more penetration to our attack in red-ball and white-ball cricket.

“It’s a long season so we will need to rotate the bowlers and we hope Adam’s arrival will add impetus with the ball.”

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