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Rob Key and Derek Underwood open indoor school at Beckenham

Monday 1st June 2015

Kent captain Rob Key and legendary Kent and England spinner Derek Underwood MBE officially opened the new indoor school at The County Ground, Beckenham.

The duo, who grew up in the borough, joined Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill and Councillor Kim Botting, the Mayor of the London Borough of Bromley, to unveil a plaque inside the new facility.

Councillors, members and supporters attended the ceremony before a 5,000-strong crowd watched Kent Spitfires defeat Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast on Friday evening.

A five-lane indoor sports hall at the ground will be a base for Kent Cricket’s youth development squads and senior sides and will be used year-round by schools and community groups for a variety of sports as well as cricket.

Outside the centre, the ground now has a 2,000-seater stand, three outdoor astroturf pitches, two tennis courts and a basketball court.

Kent Cricket CEO Jamie Clifford said: “I really do have to thank Leander, the landowner, and Peter Wilson and Andrew Braddon in particular from the company, for their support and vision.

“I don’t think there are many property developers around with the vision to work with a county cricket club in order to achieve what is being put in place here.

“Beckenham is fast becoming not just an improved and permanent home for Kent cricket, but also a 12-months-of-the-year facility that is of enormous benefit to the community surrounding it. Most exciting will be the reach it gives us for identifying and developing county cricketers.”

Andrew Braddon of Leander said: “We are very proud indeed to have played a small part in creating what is now a major sporting venue here at the County Ground.

“The six days of county cricket staged here this year has brought Kent cricket back to this region after a gap of three years and we hope the redevelopment here will provide great benefit not just to the community of the London Borough of Bromley but to South London in general.”

In addition, the centre will boast hospitality facilities to cater for functions and conferences.

Going forward, there are plans for a physiotherapy clinic and gym as part of the facilities there.

To book tickets for Friday’s NatWest T20 Blast match v Gloucestershire at The County Ground, Beckenham visit www.kentcricketshop.co.uk

For events, functions and other hospitality bookings, please e-mail sales-countygroundbeckenham@centerplate.co.uk or call 0208 650 8444.

For sports facilities enquiries please e-mail tanya.nicholls.kent@ecb.co.uk or call 01227 456 886 opt 0, weekdays 9am to 5pm
For matchday hospitality, please e-mail alan.hilliker@ecb.co.uk or call 01227 456 886 option 0, weekdays 9am to 5pm