Our guide to where everyone is this winter

Thursday 4th November 2010

After Kent“s cricketers endured a tough 2010 campaign, which ultimately ended in relegation to LV=County Championship division two, they now have several months to kill before launching their bid for promotion back to the top tier. Here we take a look at how the players plan to spend their winters.

Captain Rob Key is staying in England during the off-season where he will be working on his benefit year, doing some work with Sky Sports and working on his game in preparation for an important 2011 campaign for the 31 year-old. His second in command, Martin van Jaarsveld (pictured), is also staying in England, but only up to Christmas before heading back to South Africa to continue his preparations for the 2011 season.

Opening batsman Joe Denly is working on his game in this country until just before Christmas. He will then go to Sydney for three months to play some club cricket and build up his fitness. Another man staying to brave the English winter months is wicket-keeper Geraint Jones as he will be following a tough fitness regime and plans to improve areas of his game in the nets.

2010 Player of the Season Darren Stevens is, however, moving in slightly more exotic climbs this winter. Firstly he jets off to represent England in the Hong Kong Sixes before moving onto New Zealand to play for Otago, as an overseas player in their t20 competition. The all-rounder then completes his stint abroad with a trip to South Africa.

Kent“s winner of the NBC Denis Compton Award for 2010, Sam Northeast, is over in Australia playing for Sydney Cricket Club until the end of January. He has already achieved some impressive knocks as he looks to further his game on the fast, bouncy pitches down under. Another graduate of Kent“s academy, Alex Blake, is in the final year of his studies up at Leeds Bradford University. He is combining this by working on his game and fitness.

Another player currently plying his trade down under is James Goodman. The talented all-rounder has already excelled for North Sydney taking 5-10 and scoring 47 early on in his stint. Young batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond, who signed his first three-year professional deal at the St Lawrence Ground in September, is studying for his A-Levels at Millfield School and is also hoping to go on the England U19 tour to Sri Lanka.

Off-spinner James Tredwell isoff toAustralia with the England Performance Party, after narrowly missing out on a place in the main Ashes party. Seam bowler Simon Cook is helping out at the club“s academy, whilst working hard on his fitness, before heading off to Hong Kong in the New Year.

Another player who is currently playing regular cricket is Azhar Mahmood. The Pakistani all-rounder helped the Islamabad Leopards to the latter stages of the domestic t20 competition in his homeland before falling to the Lahore Lions in the semi-finals, despite Azhar taking 4-32 and scoring 21 with the bat.

Last season“s revelation Matt Coles is continuing to hone his talents, and will be in Perth, Australia until March at the Paul Terry Academy. Quick bowler Robbie Joseph is looking to put an injury ravaged 2010 behind him as he continues his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery, here in England, before heading off to Australia in the New Year to get himself fit for the start of 2011 season.

Adam Ball, another fine talent here at the St Lawrence Ground, is studying hard for his A-Levels at Beths Grammar School and, like Bell-Drummond, is hoping to tour with England U19“s in the New Year. Left-arm paceman Ashley Shaw, whose first season with the county was ruined by injury, is now recovering well from his shin operation and is off to Melbourne at Christmas, for three months, to work on his fitness and to play some cricket.

Finally, Dewald Nel, who showed a huge insight into his potential when he took match figures of 9-119 in the final LV= County Championship game of last season against Yorkshire, is coaching up in Scotland and working hard on his game, ahead of the 2011 season.

Picture:Sarah Ansell