Match Preview: Essex vs. Kent

Match Preview: Essex vs. Kent

After 192 days, the LV= Insurance County Championship returns for Kent with a trip to Chelmsford to face rivals Essex at The Cloud County Ground.

The visitors topped Division Three of 2021’s Championship with victory over Middlesex at The Spitfire Ground back in September. The 2022 County Championship returns to two Divisions, with Kent in Division One.

Last season, Jack Leaning was the county’s top run-scorer in first-class cricket, with 745 runs at a batting average of 46.65 in 13 matches. The right-hander has been confirmed as the Club’s red-ball captain for the beginning of the season, as Sam Billings is playing in the Indian Premier League.

With 39 wickets at 18.58, Darren Stevens was Kent’s top wicket-taker in last season’s Championship, including two five-wicket hauls.

Ben Compton could make his First XI debut for Kent after signing a professional contract in October 2021.The 28-year-old spent his Winter playing for Mountaineers in Zimbabwe’s Logan Cup and Pro50 Championship, amassing 840-runs in just 13 matches, averaging 64.61. He scored his maiden First-Class century against Matabeleland Tuskers in November, and ended his stay in Zimbabwe with four-centuries in all formats to his name.

Opposition Report

Essex finished top of Division Two of last season’s Championship, with six wins in 14 matches. Dan Lawrence scored the most runs for Essex with 640 at 53.33, whilst Sam Cook took 58 wickets at 14.43.

The Chelmsford-based side announced the signing of Northamptonshire wicketkeeper-batter Adam Rossington on season-long loan on Monday, and is available for selection in this County Championship curtain-raiser.

Off-spinner Simon Harmer will be unavailable for the hosts after being selected by South Africa’s Test side for their series against Bangladesh.

Live Streaming

Essex vs. Kent will be streamed and embedded into the Match Centre on the Kent Cricket website, with pictures coming via Essex Cricket.

Team News

Australia International Jackson Bird is included in a Kent squad for the first time in a 13-strong travelling party that includes six seamers and three spinning options.

After discussions between the player and the Club’s coaching team, Zak Crawley will not be selected for this match, having only returned from England duty in the Caribbean in the past few days. Crawley will focus on preparing to face Lancashire at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in the Club’s first home match of the season, starting on Thursday 14 April.

Ben Compton could make his first appearance for Kent’s Men’s First XI, after numerous Second XI appearances in the past for the county.

Jack Leaning (hamstring) has been deemed unable to play in this match by the Club’s physios, but will travel with the squad to Chelmsford to continue rehabilitation work. Ollie Robinson will captain Kent, after having captained the county during 2021’s Royal London Cup.

George Linde arrived in the UK on Monday after featuring for Western Province Blitz in South Africa’s Momentum One Day Cup, and will be available for Kent’s home match next week.

Kent’s full Matchday Squad, presented by Black Opal Travel Group >>>

Next home match

Kent face Lancashire at the first competitive match of 2022 at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury

Buy tickets now

Match Previews of Kent’s LV= Insurance County Championship fixtures are proudly sponsored by FGS Plant Ltd. >>>