2023 Kent Cricket League Preview

Friday 5th May 2023

2023 Kent Cricket League Preview

The newly expanded Kent Cricket League faces a massive challenge, both on and off the field, when the new season gets under way this Saturday, May 6, with 126 clubs, and 288 teams involved, with 2,500 league fixtures to be played, between now and the first week in September.

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In the most radical change in the history of the League, since its initial expansion in 1996, the Kent Cricket League, and the Kent Regional Cricket League have integrated into one single structure, and chairman, Chris Tarrant, is excited, and looking forward to seeing how the new set up operates in practice.

The changes have meant an extremely busy winter for the Management Committee, and especially League Administrator, Brian Smith, as they have had to wrestle with the complexities of the two organisations joining up as one.

It has meant the re-writing of the constitution, the merging of finances, the publication of playing conditions for each of the respective tiers, within a single League structure, and amendments to the disciplinary procedures.

Kent Cricket CEO, Simon Storey, said the County Club were pleased to see the new merged structure for recreational cricket in the county, and the new model had their full support. On the new Board of Non-Executive Directors of Kent Cricket, two members, Jamie Clifford, and Sonya Dey, have particular responsibility for Recreational Cricket Strategy in the county, and will be keen to support the new expanded League.

Jamie Clifford needs no introduction to followers of Kent cricket, having been CEO of the club for eight years, and ran the Kent Cricket Board, prior to that. Sonya Dey, is an ECB Level Two coach and an ECB Coach Development scholar.

When they are not playing for the county side, Kent’s contracted cricketers can play for their club sides in Kent League fixtures, and most of the top clubs, as in previous seasons, will also have registered overseas players in their squads.

In the opening round of matches in the Premier Division, the 2022 champions Hayes, who have Kent’s white-ball batter, Alex Blake in their ranks, entertain Sevenoaks Vine, whilst Bexley are at home to newly promoted St Lawrence and Highland Court, where we will see the former Kent all-rounder, Darren Stevens playing for them. Blackheath take on the other promoted side, Minster (Sheppey), at the Rectory Field, Sandwich play Holmesdale, and Tunbridge Wells are at home to Lordswood.

In the newly named Championship Division, Beckenham play The Mote, Canterbury entertain Bickley Park, at Polo Farm, Dartford host OD CUACO, Folkestone visit Linden Park and Whitstable entertain Bromley.

An exciting challenge ahead for the League, and the players in the new venture, with the prospect of some top class club cricket to watch during the summer months, in every part of the county, were recreational cricket is amongst the strongest and most successful in the whole country, and now one of the largest.

Kent Cricket will be reporting on the League throughout the coming season on the official Kent Cricket website.

By Peter Burrowes

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