Captain Kemp reflects on promotion and Pro40 defeat

Saturday 12th September 2009

Captain, Justin Kemp (pictured), was magnanimous in defeat as the Kent Spitfires suffered a 59-run reverse to Warwickshire Bears in the NatWest Pro40. The defeat for the Spitfires saw them drop to second in the table, a point behind new leaders Middlesex Panthers. Kemp was naturally disappointed to lose the game but says the result wasn“t the all-important thing: “I take great encouragement because the youngsters are getting some valuable game time and experience out in the middle. We obviously wanted to win the game but the result wasn“t overly important. We have been beaten by two of the better sides in the division, in the last two matches, but we have rested some key players and this has naturally helped our form in the County Championship.”

With just one match to go in the Pro40, Kent Spitfires look unlikely to lift the trophy but Kemp isn“t prepared to admit defeat: “It“s not all over. There is still something to play for. We could still win it so we will go all out to beat Northants Steelbacks. We have played two of the better sides in the last two matches and come up just short but the young players are learning all the time and it will help improve their games.”

With Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld rested for the last few Pro40 matches, Kemp has taken on the captain“s armband and is clearly enjoying the challenge: “It“s been a great experience for me. I“m enjoying the challenge of bringing many of the talented younger players through. It has been thoroughly disappointing, losing the last two matches, but we have played some good cricket in this competition and it could still end with us winning the title. We will have to hope that some results go our way and then beat Northants in two weeks time.”

There was much better fortune during the day as Glamorgan and Essex played out a draw at the Swalec Stadium. The drawn match ensured that Kent will go straight back up into Division One of the LV County Championship. Kemp was full of praise for his team-mates: “We“ve shown that we are the best side in the competition by quite a distance. We only need a few points to win the league title but we aren“t thinking like that. We just want to round off the season in style now. If we win our remaining two matches then we will go up with a big points total. We have batted well this season and put in our big performances when needed. It“s been a good season and we are all delighted to have gone straight back up.”

Kent can win the LV County Championship title with a win against Leicestershire. The game, at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, starts on Tuesday. Tickets are still available. You can purchase yours on the day. Come and show your appreciation for the players that have earned Kent an instant return to the top division.