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Jamie Clifford looking to get a bumper crowd for Kent Spitfires against Middlesex Panthers

Jamie Clifford
Jamie Clifford

Kent are hoping for a crowd of around 5,000 when the Spitfires face Middlesex Panthers in the first Friends Life t20 contest to be staged under the new permanent floodlights at the St Lawrence Ground on Saturday (7pm).

The new Spitfire Sweethearts cheerleaders will be there but apart from them, the county’s chief executive Jamie Clifford (pictured) is promising “no gimmicks or sideshows, just cricket.”

He said: “Results and the weather will be a big factor in how many we get through the gate but it’s a big night for the club and we are looking for a bumper crowd.

“Playing on a Saturday night is a bit of an unknown and an experiment. We’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out.”

The Spitfires were due to face Gloucestershire and former Sri Lankan favourite Muttiah Muralitharan at Beckenham on Wednesday, travel to Hove tomorrow (Friday) night to meet Sussex Sharks and former overseas star Wayne Parnell, before facing Middlesex Panthers and two other ex-players, skipper Neil Dexter and Ryan McLaren, 24 hours later.

Director of cricket Paul Farbrace isn’t a fan of back-to-back t20 matches but admitted: “I have moaned and whinged about the fixtures but we have to get on with it

“The players put so much into t20 games and it’s tough. We won’t be back from Hove until late, we play again in the evening and then travel to London immediately afterwards, ahead of the four-day LV= County Championship game against Middlesex. I am sure there will be a few tired bodies around come Sunday morning.”

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