It was a busy week at the St Lawrence Ground last week. There was much excitement about the arrival of the new floodlights. They came to Canterbury on the back of a lorry from Nottingham, and probably caused a few double takes on the motorway. By the end of the week they had been moved into position and now stand tall at the Nackington Road end of the ground. The head frames are yet to be mounted, but will be up shortly – as will the remaining columns.
I had a very enjoyable evening with Sandwich Rotary last Wednesday having been asked to speak at one of their dinners. I talked about the things that make Kent cricket special: The history and traditions of the Club, the strength of recreational cricket in the county and the success of our teams and players over the years. It was well received but I was challenged afterwards about my suggestion that Kent was the cradle of the game. Hambledon seems to be commonly held as the birthplace of the game. I made the case for the shepherds of the Weald, but not all were convinced so work to do on that!
Cricket in Kent is special, which is why it is always good to see young Kentish cricketers (and cricketers of Kent) commit their future to the county. Last week we announced that Alex Blake would be with the Club for the next three years. He joined Matt Coles and several other Academy graduates in having agreed new contracts recently. It is encouraging to know too that we have talent identification and development systems in place to ensure that they will be joined in the near future by others raised in the county.
The week ended with the 'start' of the ICC World Cup, although the World Cup doesn't really get going until the last eight are confirmed – still some way off. I am particularly looking forward to the great atmosphere of the Indian stadiums – nowhere like it in world cricket. It will be interesting to see how England go in the competition having struggled post Ashes. I obviously hope that James Tredwell gets an opportunity at some point and that his inclusion in the squad brings success again as it did at the T20 World Cup.
Finally, thank you very much for all the positive feedback we have received about the new look website, it really is appreciated. We will keep working on it to make it as good as it can possibly be. Do let us know if we can improve anything.