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Justin Kemp hopes century for Kent against Surrey will help silence critics

Justin Kemp
Justin Kemp

Justin Kemp hopes his first championship hundred in over a year will help silence his critics who claimed he wasn’t worth his place in the side.

The 32-year-old South African all-rounder, hampered by injury for most of last season, has been the subject of heavy criticism on the club’s website message board, and admitted: "I haven’t appreciated a lot of what has been said about me and Kolpak players and some of it has been downright disgusting.

"It was a tough time for me last season. I had a back injury but carried on playing and, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have done."

Kemp (pictured) who last reached three figures with 102 against Sussex at Canterbury last June, hit a county best 183 in Kent’s run-fest draw against Surrey at The Oval this week, as they moved top of the LV County Championship Division 2 table.

It was only five short of his career highest, 188 for Eastern Province against North West in 2000-2001.

His previous highest for the county, was 124 not out against Yorkshire at Canterbury in 2006 and 124 also against Surrey, at Guildford, the previous year.

Vice-captain Martin Van Jaarsveld was delighted with his fellow-countryman’s contribution.

He said: "I saw Justin batting in the nets before play and remarked to Geraint Jones that I thought he wasn’t far away from a big one.

"I am pleased for the big man, because things have been difficult for him. He has scored some big runs for us in the past but I would say this is there among his best."

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