The long wait for the return of domestic cricket is finally over as Kent travel to County Champions Essex for the opening weekend of the Bob Willis Trophy from Saturday.
The newly devised-tournament is separate to the County Championship and will be played this summer only following the delay to the men’s domestic season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two sides recently completed a two-day friendly at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence, where Kent ‘keeper-batsman Ollie Robinson scored an unbeaten 103, whilst Matt Milnes took 2/7 from ten overs bowled on day two.
Promising performances from young guns Jordan Cox (52) & Marcus O’Riordan (1/24) also give Kent extra options in the four-day format going into 2020.
Kent will be without captain Sam Billings, Joe Denly and Zak Crawley, who are all involved in England Cricket’s training bubbles as they contest an ODI series against Ireland and Test series vs. Pakistan in the coming weeks.
For the hosts, Essex will be without Dan Lawrence who is also in England’s Test bubble, after the middle-order batsman made a top score of 63 not out during the week at The Spitfire Ground.
Jamie Porter also impressed at Canterbury during the week, ending with bowling figures of 4/44 from 10 overs.
Play in the first fixture of this year’s first-class season will begin from 11:00 on Saturday 1st August.
Both Kent and Essex players have decided that before the start of play on day one, both sets of players will take a knee in solidarity with anti-racism movements in the UK and around the world; not for any political organisation.
There is no room for racism in cricket, sport or the wider community.
The players will also hold a minute’s silence before the match begins for COVID-19 victims and a minute’s applause in support the NHS and key workers.
Kent have named a 13-man squad that is unchanged from this week’s practice match: