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Kent Cricket fixtures for 2015 season reveal a return to Beckenham for two NatWest T20 Blast games and an LV= COunty Championship Division 2 match

By Alex Hoad

Kent will play two T20s and a Championship game at the revamped County Ground in Beckenham next season, it emerged when the 2015 fixtures were released on Friday morning.

The fixture list - released by the ECB 24 hours later than scheduled due to Thursday's passing of Australian batsman Phil Hughes - revealed Kent will host neighbours Surrey in a four-day game in late-May, with a Friday night T20 game against the same opponents to follow later that week.

It's the first of two consecutive Friday nights the Spitfires will play at Beckenham as Gloucestershire will visit on June 5.

Tunbridge Wells will host a Championship game with Essex in mid-July, while a T20 clash with Glamorgan could yet be added to the Festival schedule at the Nevill Ground, if financial support for additional seating can be found.

Kent chief executive Jamie Clifford said of the release of fixtures: "It's always an exciting time that any cricket fan looks forward to."

He claimed: "It's been a long haul, we've been involved at the ground at Beckenham for 12 years but we've had a bit of time away. In that time we've brought in 2,000 extra seats and a new indoor cricket school.

"We open up with two fantastic fixtures against Surrey and two T20s which is brilliant. It's fast becoming a professional cricket venue.

"With a proper spectator stand it's a quality facility and one which always attracts a good audience anyway - I'm sure we'll have some big crowds there."

He added: "We have the two Friday night T20s there but the Championship game is during the May half-term so I hope the whole week holds together very well and I'm sure we'll see big crowds."

Kent face a daunting start to the Championship season with a curtain-raiser against Essex at Chelmsford on Sunday, April 19, with their second game at Old Trafford against newly-relegated Lancashire the following Sunday.

Mr Clifford added: "We have some challenging fixtures first up which I think is good. We'll have to be at our best from day one of the season."

Kent's first action of the season at Canterbury comes on May 3 with the Championship visit of perennial strugglers Leicestershire.

They will complete their Division 2 campaign at home to Gloucestershire on September 14.

Canterbury will also host the Australian tourists' opening match of the Ashes summer from June 25-28 and the sole women's Ashes Test match during an extended Canterbury Cricket Week on August 11-14.

Mr Clifford added: "I couldn't hope for more from a season, really."

The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence Picture: Barry Goodwin
The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence Picture: Barry Goodwin

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