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Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker is happy to be working again after being asked to help prepare players in England's 55-man training group

Motivation has been tough admits Kent head coach Matt Walker.

Kent – who are celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2020 – should already be two months into their season but the domestic cricket season won’t start until August 1 at the earliest.

Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker Picture: Ady Kerry

Walker came off furlough at the start of this month to help prepare Kent’s England trio of Zak Crawley, Joe Denly and Sam Billings. They were named as part of a 55-man England training group.

While England are preparing for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies, there remains uncertainty about when the county side can resume. The ECB have told clubs there won’t be domestic action any time soon.

“There has been no light at the end of the tunnel at any stage and it has been difficult,” Walker admitted, while taking part in Kent’s Spitfire Sessions this week.

“The hardest thing is that there has been no target. All of us had pretty much been furloughed and that has been difficult. It has been difficult to do anything constructive.”

Walker does admit the break has had some positives, however.

“I am grateful for a little bit of time off,” said the 46-year-old.

“It has been a busy two years, with a lot of cricket, a busy winter and then all of a sudden it comes to a halt so in some ways it has been quite nice.

“There has been plenty going on behind the scenes, building up causally, but we can’t do anything serious because we have been furloughed. In terms of motivation it has been very difficult because there has been no definite word on when we are going to start. It has been a bit of a challenge.”

Zak Crawley is one of the Kent players back in training Picture: Ady Kerry
Zak Crawley is one of the Kent players back in training Picture: Ady Kerry

Walker knows his players will need time to prepare for a new season, if the green light is given for August.

He said: “The ECB have been extremely diligent in making sure everything is in place, in terms of four day cricket, there is a lot to go into it.

“Trying to get international cricket up and running first was a priority of the ECB and if that is a success I suspect that hopefully domestic cricket will follow quickly behind it.

“Things are starting to pick up pace and it will pick up even more pace. The football season isn’t far away, but I know how right the ECB want to get it, they don’t want to rush into anything.

“The problem we have had now is that we have had no cricket for so long, that we need a little time to make sure everyone is up and running. As fit as they are all the lads have been able to do is keep fit, there is a difference between fit and being cricket fit.

“There needs to be a bit of a period to now get us ready. We still don’t know for definite. August 1 is the latest but it is still not set in stone. If it is then probably July 1 we would get back training but that’s a short block, especially for bowlers, they have done nothing for three months and that is tough to get them up to speed.

“When you hear discussion with the ECB there is a lot they have to get right for a decision is made to go ahead.”

Kent Cricket's Spitfire Sessions are broadcast every Monday night through the club's social media platforms.

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