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Weather scuppers Khan's Rose Bowl comeback

Amjad Khan is looking forward to getting back out on the field with the first team
Amjad Khan is looking forward to getting back out on the field with the first team

Hampshire v Kent

Kent pace bowler Amjad Khan will have to wait another 24-hours before putting an end to his 18-month wait for a game of first-class cricket.

The Danish-born player is fit again and was available for Friday's scheduled start to Kent's LV Championship match against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl, but the weather had other ideas.

Khan and the visiting squad arrived at the Hedge End ground to find parts of the outfield and old wicket ends under water after recent heavy rain.

Match umpires John Holder and Jeremy Lloyds held inspections at 10 and 11am, but with no wind or sunshine to dry the surrounds there was no chance of play.

All of which was dreadfully frustrating for Khan who was last selected for a county four-day game on August 16, 2006; the fateful match in which he picked up a knee injury in an innocuous attempt at taking a catch when fielding at mid-off.

The injury worsened and eventually required reconstructive surgery to his right knee, but Khan's long road to recovery is now seemingly at an end.

The 27-year-old passed a fitness test on a slight stomach strain at the St Lawrence ground on Thursday morning and was looking forward to starting Kent's fifth game of their Championship campaign.

After being passed fit to play, Khan said: "I was a little bit nervous about this morning, but our excellent medical team have given me extensive treatment (on his stomach muscles) over the last couple of days and I'm feeling fine now.

"I'm just really looking forward to getting back out on the field with the first team again."

Khan, who took 7-35 in a 2nd XI game at the Rose Bowl Nursery ground only last week, added: "I've bowled alright there in the past because it normally does a bit for the bowlers.

"You never know what pitch they'll dish up down there, but with Shane Bond and Nantie Hayward in their side, I'm hopeful that they'll be tempted to prepare something with a bit of pace in it."

Despite his long road to recovery Khan already thinks he will be able to bowl more quickly than he did before his operation.

He added: "It seems to be coming out of the hand at a really good pace for the minimum of effort.

"I'm much stronger now all over, compared to how I was before the injury. Overall I'm 60 per cent stronger doing bench presses and leg pushes and that will all help me to bowl faster for longer."

Khan comes into the side to replace Martin Saggers, who suffered a disappointing Tunbridge Wells Festival game against Somerset, while Azhar Mahmood - fit again after dislocating a little finger - comes in for his former Pakistan team-mate Yasir Arafat, who is rested.

Kent have resisted changes to their batting line up, so James Tredwell will continue to bat at No3 in the order despite a double failure at The Nevill.

Kent side to play Hampshire: Key, Denly, Tredwell, van Jaarsveld, Stevens, Kemp, Jones, McLaren, Mahmood, Joseph, Khan.

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