Quinn: “There’s a lot of things in our favour”

Thursday 15th September 2022

Men’s First Team

Metro Bank One Day Cup

Quinn: “There’s a lot of things in our favour”

If New Zealanders are the “good blokes” of international cricket, Matt Quinn is certainly the good bloke in the Kent dressing room, contributing morale as well as wickets.

With his floppy blonde hair and aviator moustache, the Auckland-born Quinn bears a passing resemblance to Lord Flashheart from Blackadder Goes Forth, played by the late Rik Mayall. He has a similar gift for making people laugh.

Having joined from Essex midway through last season, he was asked if what he thought of the occasionally raucous atmosphere at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

“Well coming from Chelmsford, even as an Essex player you get a lot of abuse there so to be honest I didn’t really notice it,” he said, without being obviously deadpan. “When we’re going well here the crowd definitely gets behind us and it’s probably a friendlier crowd to what I’ve been used to in the past.”

Is he enjoying life on the sunny side of the Thames? “I’m loving it,” he replies and this time he obviously isn’t joking. “They’re a great bunch of lads and I’ve really enjoyed my almost two years here.”

Enjoying life is one thing. Enjoying your cricket when the opposition are racking up as 500, as they frequently have against Kent in red-ball cricket season, takes a different kind of mental discipline and skipper Sam Billings has publicly praised Quinn for his unflagging work ethic.

“I’m hanging in there!” Quinn admits. “I won’t lie, it’s been a tough year for the seamers, especially off the back of some Championship cricket where we bowled a lot of overs for not a lot of reward, but we’re hanging in there. I think the good thing about this is that we’ve had a bit of time before this Final so it gives us bowlers chance to freshen up and come out all guns firing.”

Quinn performs so highly in the “good bloke” stakes, that when asked to name his highlight of his time with Kent, he picks an occasion he didn’t even play in.

“Being involved in that Finals Day was pretty special,” he said, before adding the experience should help this time around. “Quite a few of the players were involved in Finals Day last year, we’ve won big competitions before and we’ve beaten Lancashire, so there’s a lot of things in our favour.”

Another thing that might help is the decision to resist the temptation to pick players who missed the RLC because they were playing in The Hundred.

“I think it’s a great decision by the Club,” Quinn says. “Thinking back, in years gone by, the amount of times we’ve seen clubs get to finals and then they put their bigger players in and end up losing. As I’ve said the confidence is high. The lads have won a lot of close games and as a group we’re prepared for whatever Lancashire throw at us. If they play their bigger players that’s fine, we’re not really focused on them, we’re just focused on how we go about things.”

Even if it doesn’t go Kent’s way on Saturday, Quinn offers an antidote to the “All or Nothing” mentality, pointing out that whatever happens, the cup run has lifted everyone at Canterbury.

“It’s pretty obvious that it’s been a tough year for us on the field so to play in a Final has given everyone something to look forward to,” he said. “The hardest thing to do is get to a Final. The Final’s more a celebration.”

By Fred Atkins

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