The opening match of the Royal London Cup sees Kent Spitfires welcome Durham to The County Ground, Beckenham on Thursday 22 July.
Whilst many sides will see an opportunity for silverware in this competition, the Spitfires seem especially well-equipped in this tournament after naming a 16-player squad that has been well-received by the Club’s Members and supporters.
The last time two sides representing Kent and Durham met in 50-over competition at The County Ground, Beckenham was Kent’s Second XI Trophy Final win back in 2019, with a century from Alex Blake and four wickets for then-Second XI star, Marcus O’Riordan.
The Spitfires have faced-off against Durham 16 times in List A cricket in both counties’ histories, with Kent winning 12, Durham 2, and two no results.
In a tournament that has been heralded for 2021 as a stage for younger prospects to excel, Kent supporters will be excited by recent performances for the side, after COVID-related problems meant that the Spitfires played their last two Vitality Blast matches without their usual big names, and still bowling Middlesex out for a record-low 80 at Lord’s.
Royal London Cup squad
Kent Spitfires have named a playing squad of 16 for the Royal London Cup.
Their ranks have been bolstered ex-Sussex batter Harry Finch, former Kent Academy scholar Joe Gordon, and current Scotland international George Munsey.
Jack Leaning will captain the Spitfires over the course of the Royal London Cup this year, with homegrown ‘keeper-batter Ollie Robinson confirmed as vice-captain.
With Head Coach Matt Walker taking up a role as Assistant Coach for Oval Invincibles in The Hundred, Simon Cook will take over as interim Head Coach for this tournament.
Any remaining tickets, and tickets that our Members have returned to us after they can no longer attend, are on general sale until gates open at 09:00 on Thursday 22 July. As more tickets are released/returned, they will be available to purchase.
We urge any Members that have booked Vitality Blast tickets and do not intend to use them to contact the Club as soon as possible, so that they may be made available to their fellow supporters.
Tickets will not be available on the gate.
Former Spitfire Sean Dickson could make a return to The County Ground, Beckenham , the site of his record-breaking triple century for Kent in 2017, following his move to Durham in 2020.
Durham closed their Vitality Blast campaign with a 78 run defeat against North Group winners Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge. They finished seventh overall in the North Group with five wins from 14 matches.
The visitors will be without Brydon Carse, Matty Potts, Ben Raine, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, all of whom will be playing in the inaugural edition of The Hundred.
Return of spectators
It’s our top priority to welcome you back to The County Ground, Beckenham, and to do that safely, we all have a role to play.
Because COVID-19 remains a part of our lives for the time-being – everyone – including the players, officials, staff, stewards and Members – will need to adhere to COVID-protocols to make the return of spectators a successful, and hopefully a permanent one.
All the information you need to adhere to the Club’s COVID-protocols upon your return to watching the Kent Spitfires live can be found in the below Match Day Information Pack:
Ollie Robinson will captain Kent Spitfires for the first time in his career in our Royal London Cup curtain-raiser.
In-line with the Club’s internal Return to Play protocols following a positive COVID-19 PCR Test, Jack Leaning is likely to miss the Spitfires’ first two Royal London Cup matches.
Nine players are yet to make their debut for Kent Spitfires in 50-over competition, and could be pulling on the sky blue for the first time.