Match Preview: Kent vs. Essex

Match Preview: Kent vs. Essex

Specsavers County Championship cricket returns to The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence as Kent welcome cross-Thames rivals Essex to Canterbury during Canterbury Cricket Week.

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Kent will take on the current Division One leaders after a draw away at Hampshire and a win at oldest rivals Surrey before a break in Championship cricket for the Vitality Blast.

Daniel Bell-Drummond is currently Kent’s highest Championship run-scorer with 724 in 19 innings, including a career-best score of 166 against Warwickshire in Canterbury.

Matt Milnes tops Kent’s Championship wicket-taking charts with 43 so far at an average of 25.60, closely followed by Harry Podmore, who has taken 39 at 28.17.

Sir Alastair Cook has scored the most runs for Essex in this year’s Championship so far with 701 in 17 innings, whilst South African spinner Simon Harmer has taken 65 wickets at 17.47, the highest tally in this year’s competition.

Kent captain Sam Billings could be in line to play his first Championship match of the Summer, and Marcus O’Riordan is included and could make his first-class debut.

Darren Stevens is in Kent’s squad after joining Derbyshire on loan for the Vitality Blast, and Kent’s Ollie Rayner, on loan from Middlesex, is included.

Kent squad in full

  • Sam Billings (captain)
  • Daniel Bell-Drummond
  • Mitchell Claydon
  • Jordan Cox
  • Zak Crawley
  • Sean Dickson
  • Heino Kuhn
  • Matt Milnes
  • Marcus O’Riordan
  • Harry Podmore
  • Ollie Rayner
  • Ollie Robinson
  • Darren Stevens

Things you need to know

Live streaming

  • All untelevised Specsavers County Championship fixtures at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence will be live stream on the Kent Cricket website

Getting here

  • The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence in Canterbury enjoys good travel links with London and the rest of Kent
  • Full travel information can be found here
  • Gates open at 10:00 – one hour before the start of play each day
  • Both the Main Gate on Old Dover Road and the Nackington Road gate will be open but please allow plenty of time for entry


  • There will be no public pay-on-the-gate or life member on-site parking (excluding pre-paid parking pass holders & blue badge holders)
  • Parking is now available at Simon Langton Girls’ School and will cost £10 on the day (free for life members). This cannot be booked in advance
  • On-site parking for blue badge holders costs £15 for the day and cannot be booked in advance
  • We highly recommend use of the New Dover Road Park & Ride – CT1 3EL (£3.50 per day) – More information here


  • We recommend that supporters pre-buy tickets to guarantee entry and to save £5 on the gate price
  • Each day of this fixture counts as one day in the Six Pack package

Match enhancement

  • The world famous Claret Jug, the trophy that is awarded to the champion golfer of the year, will be in attendance with a year to go until The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich in 2020
    • The trophy will be on display at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence with an opportunity for spectators to have their photo with one of golf’s biggest prizes
  • Canterbury’s Expression Art Café will be running cricket-themed arts and crafts activities in a marquee
  • A free face painter will be at the ground
  • Bouncy castle
  • Performances from a jazz band before play starts and also during the Lunch interval
  • CAMRA will be hosting their annual marquee
  • The stars of Kent Cricket will be holding an autograph session after the end of the day’s play

Food & Drink

  • Spectators are permitted to bring in their own food, as well as four cans of beer or a bottle of wine

The club operates a Challenge 25 policy at all bars serving alcohol at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence. If you’re lucky enough to look under 25 years of age, please bring photo ID with you if you’re purchasing alcohol inside the ground.


Toilet facilities are located around the ground:

  • Behind the Big Screen
  • Behind the Leslie Ames Stand
  • Behind the Frank Woolley Stand
  • Behind the Underwood & Knott Stand
  • Leslie Ames Bar
  • Cornwallis Bar (First floor of the Colin Cowdrey Stand)
  • Disabled toilets in the Leslie Ames entrance area and behind the Woolley Stand


The Kent Cricket Shop is located next to the Frank Woolley Stand and in the side of the Colin Cowdrey Stand and sells a variety of Kent Cricket merchandise, including:

  • Kent Cricket replica shirts
  • Kent Cricket branded clothing and accessories
  • Kent Cricket memorabilia
  • Cricket equipment
  • Hockey equipment

Cash machine

  • All bars support contactless card payments but if you require cash, there is a cash machine situated at the Sainsbury’s Local outside the main entrance to the ground


  • Sadly cricket matches are sometimes adversely affected by rain and play can be stopped
  • View the club’s Wet Weather Policy here

Purchase your Canterbury Cricket Week tickets now to avoid disappointment >>>