Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Gloucestershire

Wednesday 24th May 2023

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Gloucestershire

The Vitality Blast is BACK for 2023 – & Kent Spitfires get their T20 campaign underway at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence against Gloucestershire.

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Australia international white-ball specialist Kane Richardson is primed to make his debut after arriving in Canterbury last week & is one of the Spitfires’ overseas players, alongside South Africa all-rounder George Linde.

Joe Denly was Kent’s top T20 run-scorer in 2022 – his 423 runs helped him earn the Club’s Spitfire One-Day Player of the Season Award at the ned of the season after a white-ball season that included lifting the One-Day Cup at Trent Bridge last September.

Grant Stewart, who was born in Australia but plays his international cricket with Italy through the maternal side of his family, was the Spitfires’ top wicket-taker last year, with 14 wickets to his name.

Matchday Information

Important matchday information for Members, Six Pack Ticket Bundle holders & those that have purchased match tickets can be accessed via the button below:

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We strongly advise that all Members & spectators travelling to the ground make use of public transport.

The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence is located approximately a mile from the historic Cathedral City Centre of Canterbury.

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Ground opens at 16:30, First Ball at 18:30, Interval scheduled for 19:45, Second Innings scheduled for 20:00, scheduled end of match at 21:15

Buy tickets with confidence with Kent Cricket’s Wet Weather Policy

We’re expecting a sunny & dry start to our T20 campaign this year!


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Live Streaming via KentCricketPlay

Kent Cricket is excited to announce the launch of a brand-new streaming service, KentCricketPlay, for all untelevised Kent Spitfires home T20 matches in 2023.

The launch of KentCricketPlay to host this season’s T20 fixtures digitally is the first phase in the creation of a dedicated broadcast platform which will offer improved coverage, exclusive content and matchday features.

By signing up to an account on the new platform, all fans – Members and non-Members – will be able to watch Kent Spitfires’ T20 home opener against Gloucestershire for FREE on Wednesday 24 May.

Sign up to KentCricketPlay now

Opposition Report

  • Captain: Jack Taylor
  • Overseas players: Grant Roelofsen (South Africa), Zafar Gohar (Pakistan)
  • Finals Day appearances: 3 (2003, 2007, 2020)
  • Titles: 0
  • 2022 finish: Fifth (South Group)
  • 2022 leading run-scorer: Glenn Phillips (340)
  • 2022 leading wicket taker: David Payne (18)

Gloucestershire are a team in transition following the departure of established stars Benny Howell, Ian Cockbain and Ryan Higgins. South African wicketkeeper-batter Grant Roelofsen has been recruited to help plug the gap in the top order. Pakistani spinner Zafar Gohar has been contracted for the entirety of the competition.

  • The big question: Can Roelofsen reproduce the white-ball form that made him a big hit with Essex in the One-Day Cup last year? A proven top-order batter, the 26-year-old South African scored 355 runs at an average of 59.16 across seven matches and achieved a highest score of 90 against Yorkshire at Chelmsford in the 50-over competition. His most impressive figures have come in T20 cricket, in which he has scored 1,349 runs in 44 innings at 34.58 and at a strike-rate of 125.37.
  • Wildcard watch: Graeme van Buuren – Released by Birmingham Phoenix, he possesses the skill-set required to be an effective operator in The Hundred. A serious shoulder injury wrecked his T20 campaign in 2022, but the experienced South African all-rounder is back and firing on all cylinders. His canny slow left-arm bowling and ability to bat anywhere in the top and middle order render him a versatile type, suitable to cope with all manner of situations.

Gloucestershire’s chances of success will, in large degree, be dependent upon the ability of up-and-coming Academy products to learn on the job. Benn Wells made the transition to first-team T20 cricket last year and will be joined by talented young brothers Tom and Ollie Price in attempting to establish themselves as effective performers in the Blast.

Squad News

Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has named a squad of 13 for Kent Spitfires’ match with Gloucestershire.

Australia’s Kane Richardson is in-line to make his first-team debut for Kent after a warm-up performance for Kent Second XI in a T20 last week. Arafat Bhuiyan is also included & could make his career T20 debut. Joey Evison & Michael Hogan could also make their first T20 appearances as Spitfires.

George Linde completes the Spitfires’ two overseas slots in the matchday squad, with white-ball contracted Alex Blake in his first Kent squad of the season alongside a returning Joe Denly.

Zak Crawley has now joined up with England ahead of their Test against Ireland & is unavailable, whilst Fred Klaassen is unavailable for the start of the Vitality Blast due to personal reasons.

Kent’s full Matchday Squad, presented by Shepherd Neame >>>

Kent Spitfires matchday squad vs. Gloucestershire: Sam Billings (Captain), Arafat Bhuiyan, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Joe Denly, Joey Evison, Michael Hogan, Jack Leaning, George Linde (Overseas player), Tawanda Muyeye, Kane Richardson (Overseas player), Grant Stewart.

Next Home Match

A repeat of the 2021 Vitality Blast final takes place at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence when Somerset are the visitors to Canterbury to take on the Kent Spitfires.

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Match Previews of Kent’s Vitality Blast fixtures are proudly sponsored by Shepherd Neame >>>