Hartley & Hunn: Kent’s young pacemen

Monday 8th September 2014

Men’s First XI

Hartley & Hunn: Kent’s young pacemen

Two of Kent’s most promising young fast bowlers, Matt Hunn and Charlie Hartley, can both have exciting futures in the game, according to those who have worked with them this season as the pair continue to build their experience levels and conditioning for the job.

Although the two 20-year-olds have made only a handful of first-class appearances between them, Kent’s head coach Jimmy Adams has already seen enough to be impressed.

Adams, who won 54 Test caps for the West Indies, said: “We think a lot of Charlie and Matt. There is obvious ability, but the bigger picture here is that we’re trying to develop a squad capable of performing across all formats and I want good characters to play a role in that.

“These two have a willingness to learn, as well as the right character, and they’ve shown enough already to make me believe that the club will reap a return in the future on the investment that we have already made on them. We value them both very highly and we want them to be involved with the Kent squad as we go forward.”

Adams added: “Hartley is more of a swing bowler whereas Hunn, while he can also swing it, tends to be that little bit quicker and more of a hit-the-deck type of bowler. They are by no means similar, which isn’t a bad thing because we want a bit of diversity in the attack moving forward.

"The big point, given time, planning, hard work and a lot of support, is that they can both become key players in a good bowling unit.

“I’d also like to put on record how pleased I am with role Suffolk has played in Matt’s development and, as a minor county, they have every right to be proud of their part in his becoming a first-class player.”

Hartley, who played against Sri Lanka and in the LV= County Championship clash with Surrey at Guildford in July, hails from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire but, like Calum Haggett, honed his rookie bowling skills at Millfield School in Taunton.

Hartley said: “I took confidence from winning a six-month development contract last September. Getting into the first team and then playing against the tourists made me realise I actually could play a part this year.

"To claim Mahela Jayawardene as my maiden first team wicket was pretty special. It wasn’t an ideal ‘nick off to slip’ dismissal, but it was still an amazing moment all the same.

“I know I’m still learning my trade. I’m playing well in the Second XI and if I can keep doing that I’d like to think, in years to come, that I can set myself up for a good career and as a major contributor to success at Kent.”

After a surprise championship debut against Lancashire at the end of the 2013 campaign, Hunn has enjoyed a low key summer learning his trade in the county second string.

Originally from Colchester, he played for Essex seconds before being recommended by Suffolk to Kent’s high performance director Simon Willis.

Hunn has since struggled with back and ankle injuries, but is looking forward to the immediate future and extending his cricketing apprenticeship.

He said: “It feels like a long time ago since I made my debut, but I knew with the bowlers we had on the staff that I wouldn’t be featuring at the start of 2014.

"Then I picked up a back niggle at the back end of pre-season which didn’t help at all. Thankfully that’s all behind me now, the ball is starting to come out well and I’m picking up wickets again for the seconds.”

Hunn, who went to school at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, was also keen to praise the role Suffolk has played in his cricketing education. He added: “I spoke recently with Bobby Flack, the Suffolk manager and coach, and Tom Huggins and Justin Bishop, who helped me out in club cricket, and they are all delighted by my progress. That’s really pleasing for me to know.”