Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Hampshire Hawks

Thursday 8th June 2023

Men’s First Team

Vitality Blast

Match Preview: Kent Spitfires vs. Hampshire Hawks

Kent Spitfires welcome current Vitality Blast holders Hampshire Hawks to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence for a Friday night T20 clash.

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This year, we are marking Pride month with activation at a local level here in Kent and we have built our support into Canterbury Cricket Week. This is the oldest surviving festival of cricket in the world – it’s our 171st – and is our annual celebration of the role of Kent Cricket plays in the City of Canterbury and local communities across Kent.

During this year’s Canterbury Cricket Week, Kent Cricket is supporting The BeYou Project – in association with the Club’s Official Charity Partner for 2023, Porchlight – and we will be marking Pride month during this match.

For LGBTQ+ young people in Kent, it’s not always clear where to turn for guidance.

The BeYou Project provides safe, welcoming and inclusive spaces where 13 to 25-year-olds can meet, socialise and find the support they need. Everyone is welcome whether they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning their sexual or gender identity. It also advises families about how best to support young people (aged 8+) in their lives and works with schools to help them become more inclusive. More information on The BeYou Project is available here.

Sam Timms, a member of The BeYou Project team, said: “We’re delighted that Kent Cricket is helping us to send a message: LGBTQ+ young people are welcome in this sport.

“Many LGBTQ+ young people tell us they feel unable to be their authentic selves when doing sports at school. They feel an expectation to be seen and to act a certain way – for example, being strong and masculine. They are less likely to get involved, their mental health suffers, and they miss out on the mental health benefits that physical activity can provide.

“Having openly LGBTQ+ people and allies at a club of Kent Cricket’s level gives them the green light to begin participating. Some will enjoy this at amateur level, others may even progress to a career. And most importantly, it reminds us all that everyone is equal.”

During the match, Kent Cricket will be signposting various Pride events taking place across the county this Summer, as well as giving away free Pride-themed FanKlappers and 4 & 6 cards to all in attendance.

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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The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence is a cashless venue. The Kent Cricket Shop, ticket sales, and food & beverage payments at all outlets are conducted without cash during matches.

171st Canterbury Cricket Week

It’s time for cricket to take centre stage in the social calendars of East Kent – the 171st Canterbury Cricket Week, sponsored by MHA Accountants, is underway.

After consultation with a Members’ Working Group, the Club has worked hard to ensure that Canterbury Cricket Week is something that the whole of Kent can rightly be proud of.

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

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Live Streaming via KentCricketPlay

If you’re unable to join us at The Spitfire Ground, Kent Spitfires vs. Hampshire Hawks is available to watch via the Club’s streaming platform, KentCricketPlay.

Streaming passes cost £5.99 for all non-Members, & FREE for all 2023 Kent Members.

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Opposition Report

  • Captain: James Vince
  • Overseas players: Nathan Ellis (Australia), Ben McDermott (Australia)
  • Finals Day appearances: 9 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2021, 2022)
  • Titles: 3 (2010, 2012, 2022)
  • 2022 finish: Winners
  • 2022 leading runscorer: James Vince (678)
  • 2022 leading wicket taker: James Fuller (23)

How do you improve a flawless bowling unit – which dominated in the powerplay, squeezed in the middle and defended at the death? Bring in the most innovative bowler in the world, who has taken more Blast wickets than 11 others, ie Benny Howell. Everything else that made the Hawks great in 2022 stays the same.

  • The big question: Can they defend their crown? No team has managed to do it before, you wouldn’t bet against them if they can get on a run like last year. Having one man score almost 700 runs and four bowlers claiming 20 or more wickets – with five regular bowlers averaging under 23 – will be hard to replicate.
  • Wildcard watch: Tom Prest – Other than McDermott, almost all of Hampshire’s likely starters already have a Hundred gig locked down. Prest is the legible man out, although he spurned the big lights to guarantee playing time in the One Day Cup last year. Aneurin Donald and Scott Currie are outside bets if they break into the Hawks line-up.

Barring maybe James Vince, Hampshire are a team of excellent cricketers rather than superstars. It is head coach Adi Birrell’s way. The South African guru added the SA20 to his Blast medal with a similarly steady-on-paper team over the winter. The bowling attack is perhaps the closest thing cricket comes to Total Football.

Squad News

Men’s Head Coach Matt Walker has named an unchanged squad of 13.

Arafat Bhuiyan, Nathan Gilchrist & Matt Quinn have been featuring for the Second XI against the South Asian Cricket Academy at the Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells ahead of the return of the LV= Insurance County Championship on Sunday. Arshdeep Singh has arrived in Canterbury but is only available for selection in the Championship, as per the terms of his Overseas spell.

Earmarked T20 overseas players, George Linde & Kane Richardson, are both included, with two overseas players permitted in the Playing XI.

Zak Crawley is with England’s Test setup ahead of the start of the Ashes.

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

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

Canterbury Cricket Week continues with the visit of Surrey

In the 250th Year since the oldest surviving completed scorecard of a match between two counties was recorded, Kent vs. Surrey takes place yet again in the first-class game & is the crowning piece of the 171st Canterbury Cricket Week.

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  • Day One – Family Fun Day:

CBeebies’ Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher, will be joined by infamous Canterbury pantomime dame Ben Roddy to provide family fun for all the family in aid of the Kent Cricket Community Trust, with free activities for juniors taking place as well as face painting and other cricket activities run by the Kent Cricket Community Team. Kent Mascots Victa and Victoria will be in attendance to meet and greet the crowds and there will also be free NHS Health checks for the over 40s.

A live jazz band will also be performing during the day.

  • Day Two:

The Club’s annual School’s Day out takes place with over 1,000 schoolchildren across the country invited by the Club to experience County Championship cricket at no cost. There will also be live music during the day to entertain our visitors & Members alike.

  • Day Three:

 A live jazz band will be performing during the day and a Members’ Forum will also take place during the Lunch break.

The Kent Cricket Supporters Club will continue its tradition of laying a wreath to commemorate the Kent cricketers we have lost through conflict during the Tea interval at the Colin Blythe Memorial.

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