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Matt Walker named as Kent Cricket's new head coach with Allan Donald as his No.2

Matt Walker has been named as Kent Cricket's new head coach with South African legend Allan Donald his assistant.

Walker, who turned 43 on Monday, was previously assistant to Jimmy Adams, and has been handed the job with former South African fast bowler Donald joining the county as his No.2, it was revealed on Thursday afternoon.

Left-hander Walker enjoyed 16 first-class playing seasons with Kent scoring more than 15,000 runs in all formats before switching to Essex at the back end of his career, but he returned to the Spitfire Ground St Lawrence to join the coaching staff in 2014 and says he is honoured to lead the club he loves.

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

The Gravesend born former batsman was part of the coaching team which helped Kent finish runners-up in Specsavers County Championship Division 2 last summer.

He steps up to the main job after Adams' five-year stay ended in October with the Jamaican citing family returns as a reason for wanting to return to the Caribbean.

The 48-year-old has since been appointed as the West Indies' new director of cricket.

It is claimed Kent offered the head coach post to another individual in November - believed to be former Glamorgan coach Matthew Mott - but were turned down.

Donald, 50, has most recently been mentoring Australia's fast bowlers but has previously worked with Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore.

He said: “I would like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity to work with this very talented group as the assistant coach.

“I look forward to working closely with Matt Walker and Sam Northeast in forming a very tight relationship as we plot our way through the season.

“There is no doubt that I'm pumped for the new season ahead and can’t wait to meet all the players and backroom staff.”

He has also had spells as a bowling coach with England and South Africa and last winter deputised for Nicky Boje as head coach at South African franchise the Knights.

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