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Kent head coach Matt Walker discusses potential Adam Milne return in 2020

Kent head coach Matt Walker has welcomed the prospect of working with Adam Milne for a fourth time, in 2020.

The New Zealand fast-bowler took 10 wickets in nine games during his third successive spell for the Spitfires in the T20 Blast this year.

His tournament came to an abrupt end in August when he was forced to undergo surgery on his ankle, his absence later proving a key factor in Kent’s failure to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Adam Milne seals victory for Kent against Somerset in the T20 Blast with the wicket of Max Waller. Picture: Ady Kerry
Adam Milne seals victory for Kent against Somerset in the T20 Blast with the wicket of Max Waller. Picture: Ady Kerry

Walker said: “He’s just come off an injury and we’ll have to wait to see how he comes through. We capped him, we think what he offers us is huge. That’s why we keep asking him back.

“Nothing has really changed in my mind, he’s an extremely fine cricketer in this format.

“For me he’s one of the best around with the way he plays.”

Kent had been unable to find a replacement bowler for the injured Milne, who missed the final three South group games against Surrey, Gloucestershire and Essex.

Walker added: “If you were to try and replace somebody like Adam Milne, who would you go for? There are only a handful of players you could look at.

“To me he is somebody I’d always look to have back. His performances have been brilliant.

“He wasn’t quite right after those first couple of games with his ankle but he ploughed on and it became very evident that it was more than just a niggle.

“As I say, I think he’s somebody who gives us incredible skill and experience and if he’s fit and well next year we’d obviously look to have him back.”

Adam Milne at the crease during Kent's T20 meeting with Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry
Adam Milne at the crease during Kent's T20 meeting with Essex. Picture: Ady Kerry

While Kent failed to acquire another seamer, they did recruit the experienced South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis.

Having produced a score of 60 against Gloucestershire, the 35-year-old may now be in line to feature for Kent in the closing stages of their Division 1 campaign.

Du Plessis appears to be in contention to face either Yorkshire or Hampshire, with Kent having not explored the option of bringing in another overseas at such late notice.

“Hopefully Faf will still be around, there is potential for him to still be around for maybe one, possibly two championship games,” explained Walker.

“If Faf is available, that’s great and will give us a real lift. I think the guys if nothing will be hugely motivated to finish off the season with a real push.”

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