Published: 06:00, 02 October 2019
Head coach Matt Walker has backed Kent to win a T20 title within the next three years after falling short in this season’s Blast.
Three successive defeats to finish the group stages saw the Spitfires fail to qualify for the quarter-finals having started the competition with a five-game winning streak.
A 10-run loss against eventual winners Essex proved the final nail in the coffin after Kent had also been beaten by Gloucestershire and Surrey, the latter winning by just one run.
Kent had also won just two of their eight games in the Royal London One-Day Cup – a season on from losing to Hampshire in the final at Lord’s.
“It was a failure, I think that’s fair to say, especially the T20 because we had set our sights on winning it,” admitted Walker at Kent’s end-of-season awards.
“At the start of the year looking at our squad and the acquisitions, we said we’d go and win that competition.
“We had a great start and then had three games to get through with a point and we didn’t.
“We had moments in all those games that we should have clinched.
“Sometimes at the end of those competitions you sit and scratch your head and over-analyse it, sometimes it’s an over, sometimes it’s a moment or a single that costs you a game of cricket.
“This group will win a T20 in the next two or three years, I guarantee it.
“We’ve got to learn from those mistakes and key moments because it’s ruthless, T20.
“Essex showed it coming up on the blind side, they had no form in the first half and did it the other way around and went into that finals day with great momentum and won it and I believe we’re a better side than them.
“That’s the game with T20 sometimes, you can’t overthink it.”
Kent responded admirably to their white-ball heartbreak to earn fourth place in their first season back in Specsavers County Championship Division 1 since 2010.
Walker added: “I didn’t have any doubt that this group would stand up to the challenge.
“We’ve made some mistakes that I knew would happen, but they’ve learned very quickly from them.
“Albeit for a few poor sessions, it could have been a very different story this year and we could have really been pushing for the title.
“This group will get there in the end because its good enough. It’s just about learning and making sure we take our opportunities.
“That’s what Division 1 cricket is about, if you don’t take those moments you lose games or draw games you should win. It’s been great in lots of ways.
“A lot has been made about staying up, I knew we would stay up but we had high expectations of finishing top half, to finish fourth is a really proud achievement.”
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More by this authorCameron Hogwood