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All-rounder Kemp previews Championship trip to Glamorgan

Monday 13th July 2009

KENT all-rounder Justin Kemp (pictured) is looking forward to getting straight back into action when they play Glamorgan, in Cardiff, starting tomorrow.

Kemp goes into the game on the back of a sparking 183, in the drawn LV County Championship match with Surrey at the Brit Oval, and cannot wait for the action to begin: “I guess it“s been quite a frustrating month for me because I“ve felt really good with the bat. Before my last knock, I was getting to 40 or 50 and then getting out. To my relief, it was pleasing to get some runs and go big on a typically good Oval pitch. Hopefully I will be able to do it some more between now and the end of the season and help us to some success in the Championship and the T20.”

The South African international is also looking forward to his first visit to the revamped SWALEC Stadium: “I watched parts of the England game on the television and the ground looks completely different from the last time I played there – around three years ago. It looks very nice on the TV but it will be tough to win down there. I expect the wicket to be pretty slow, they couldn“t get a result in the five-day Test, but it will be good if we can win and hopefully get a bit of a lead up at the top.”

Four of the top-six, including Kemp, scored centuries in the drawn match at Surrey. It enabled Kent to achieve maximum batting points – something they haven“t done nearly enough over the last couple of seasons: “No doubt about, it we haven“t scored the runs we should. We were guilty of it last season too. If our top six fires then we are capable of continually doing it. I know we got relegated from Division One last year but we were in with a shout of winning the title until the last couple of weeks of the season. We“ve got some quality players. I hope we can keep things going and go straight back up because our supporters deserve to watch top division cricket.”

This month, Kent will play in another three competitions with the reintroduction of the Nat West Pro40. So how tough will it be for Kemp and his team-mates; switching from competition to competition? “I think it is difficult – especially in the Pro40. It“s the last year of the competition and there is no promotion or relegation. I know there is prize money, to play for, but nothing beats the buzz of going for promotion. The other competitions look after themselves. The Twenty20 game is massive for us and we are going for promotion in the Championship so we will be fully fired up for both of those.”

Finally, Wayne Parnell has praised Kemp, and the fellow South Africans at Kent, for helping him to settle in to life in the UK. Kemp believes the 19-year-old will go on to become a top international player: “The guy is definitely something special. Let“s not forget that he is a 19-year-old kid. What he has come in and done is remarkable. He is a very confident young man. I didn“t know him before he came here but he brings a new dimension to the side. He is a left-armer, bowling at 90mph; you don“t see that too often. He is also talented with the bat too. I naturally wish him all the best and I“m pleased for Kent that he is playing here because he will learn lots in this environment. He has proved a tremendous find for South African cricket. He loves the game and has got plenty of confidence, which is obviously a good thing in a young player.”

Kent have named the following 12-man squad for the game. Key (C), Northeast, Denly, Jones (W), van Jaarsveld, Stevens, Kemp, Tredwell, Parnell, McLaren, Cook, Khan

Picture: Sarah Ansell