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Key previews Championship trip to Northants

Sunday 9th August 2009

KENT captain Rob Key (pictured) has called on his team-mates to put last week“s disappointments behind them and return to winning ways up in Northampton. Kent begin a four-day LV County Championship match with Northants tomorrow, at Wantage Road, looking to extend their nine point lead at the top of the table.

Key said: “It“s not ideal, playing three back-to-back Championship matches but we want to go straight back up and we know what we need to do. They are at Twenty20 Finals Day, on Saturday, too but we will both want to win this four-day game, because the County Championship is an important competition.”

So will it prove extra tough for Kent, playing this game and then going straight into T20 Finals Day? “Who knows? Last year we had the week off, leading up to it, and lost in the final so I think you can make a case for either. I think all of our guys will want to go well in the Northants game because it will then give us some momentum going into the final. When you are playing well, nothing is a hardship so hopefully we can do the business in this game and then take some positive form into Finals Day.”

The Kent Skipper continues to be linked with a return to the England side. Shane Warne, Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, and countless others, have all said that the 30-year-old should come in for the fifth and final Ashes Test with Australia but Key isn“t letting all the hype affect him: “When you hear greats of the game, saying that you should be brought into the side, it does please you but I“m not letting it worry me either way. Obviously I would love to get back into the England team but the decision will be made by others, not me. All I can do is lead Kent well and continue to score runs.”

Kent have named a 12-man squad for the game. Azhar Mahmood is rested so either Phil Edwards or Rob Ferley will replace him – depending on the state of the wicket. Ryan McLaren is also rested ahead of Twenty20 Finals Day on Saturday.

Kent: Key (C), Denly, Jones (W), van Jaarsveld, Stevens, Northeast, Kemp, Tredwell, Cook, Khan, Edwards, Ferley

Picture: Getty Images