Kent County Cricket Club

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Kent County Cricket Club
One Day nameKent Spitfires
Captain Flag of England.svg Sam Billings
Coach Flag of England.svg Matt Walker
Chief executiveSimon Storey [1]
Team information
Home ground St Lawrence Ground
First-class debutAll-England
in 1842
at  Bromley
Championship  wins7 (1 shared)
One-Day Cup  wins2
National League  wins5
B&H Cup  wins3
Twenty20 Cup  wins1
Official website: Official website
Cricket current event.svg Kent County Cricket Club in 2019

Kent County Cricket Club is one of the eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Kent. The club was first founded in 1842 but teams representing the county have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century and the club has always held first-class status. Kent have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club's limited overs team is called the Kent Spitfires after the Supermarine Spitfire.


The county has won the County Championship seven times, including one shared victory. Four wins came in the period between 1906 and 1913 with the other three coming during the 1970s when Kent also dominated one-day cricket cup competitions. A total of eleven one-day cricket cup victories include eight between 1967 and 1978, with the last trophy won by the club coming in the 2007 Twenty20 Cup.

The club plays most of its home matches at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, which hosts Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest cricket festival in England. It also plays some home matches at the County Cricket Ground, Beckenham and the Nevill Ground, Royal Tunbridge Wells which hosts Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week.

Kent also field a women's team in the Women's County Championship. The team has won the Championship a record seven times, most recently in 2016, and the Women's T20 title three times, most recently also in 2016. It has traditionally played matches at the Polo Farm in Canterbury, but since 2016 has moved to be based mainly at Beckenham.


Cricket is generally believed to have originated out of children's bat and ball games in the areas of the Weald and North and South Downs in Kent and Sussex. [2] [3] [4] The two counties and Surrey were the first centres of the game and the earliest known organised match involving adult players took place in Kent in about 1610 at Chevening, [5] with village cricket developing in the area during the 17th century. [2] [4]

Early county teams to 1842

A newspaper report recorded an 11-a-side match played for a wager of 11 guineas a man, probably at Town Malling, between West Kent and Chatham in 1705, the first properly recorded cricket match in the county. [6] [7] [8] [9] Four years later the earliest known inter-county match took place when a Kent side and one from Surrey played against each other on Dartford Brent. [10] [11] Dartford was an important club in the first half of the 18th century. [12] [13] It came under the patronage of Edwin Stead through the 1720s and its team began to become rather more representative of Kent as a county, [14] [upper-alpha 1] often playing against teams from Sussex. [18] There were three Kent v Sussex matches in 1728 and Stead's team won them all. After the third win, a newspaper reported the outcome as "the third time this summer that the Kent men have been too expert for those of Sussex". [10] [19] [20] This proclamation of Kent's superiority is the first time that the concept of a "Champion County" can be seen in the sources and it is augmented by comments made in other newspaper reports in the next two years. [19] [21] [22] [23]

Fuller Pilch, who was signed by the Town Malling club Fuller-pilch.jpg
Fuller Pilch, who was signed by the Town Malling club

In July 1739, the strength of Kent as a county team was recognised by the formation for the first time of an All-England team to play against them. Kent won the first All-England match and drew the second. [24] [25] [26] In 1744, the year in which the Laws of Cricket were first published as a code, Kent met All-England four times including the famous encounter on Monday, 18 June at the Artillery Ground which was commemorated in a poem by James Love. [27] [28] Under the 3rd Duke of Dorset and Sir Horatio Mann, Kent continued to field strong teams through the last quarter of the 18th century, and were, along with Surrey, the main challengers to Hampshire whose team was organised by the Hambledon Club. [23] Teams, which were not always wholly representative of the county itself, [15] [16] played numerous inter-county matches through the 1770s and 1780s, mostly against Hampshire and Surrey. [29] [30] [31] Inter-county cricket ceased during the Napoleonic Wars, probably due to a lack of investment, [32] although Kent teams played a few matches [upper-alpha 2] and club cricket continued. [36] County matches were not resurrected until 1825 when Kent met Sussex at Brighton's Royal New Ground. [37] [38]

By the 1830s Kent sides began to dominate English cricket, winning 98 matches during the period [9] [18] and being declared the leading county side for six seasons out of the seven between 1837 and 1843. [39] During this period the formation of county sides was initially focussed on Town Malling Cricket Club, backed by lawyers Thomas Selby and Silas Norton alongside William Harris, 2nd Baron Harris. [8] [40] [41] Selby and Norton recruited "the best batsman in England", [42] Fuller Pilch from Norfolk, to play at Town Malling, maintain the cricket ground and run the connected public house. [43] Alongside other players such as Alfred Mynn, Nicholas Felix, Ned Wenman and William Hillyer, Kent teams selected by Selby played eleven matches at Town Malling between 1836 and 1841. [18] [41] The expense of running county games meant that Town Malling proved too small to support a county club, despite the large attendances that games attracted, and in 1842 Pilch moved to the Beverley club at Canterbury. [18] [41]

The first county clubs: 1842–1870

Poster for 1842 England XI game immediately before the foundation of the Kent County Club Kentvengland1842poster.jpg
Poster for 1842 England XI game immediately before the foundation of the Kent County Club

The Beverley Cricket Club was formed in 1835 at the Canterbury estate of brothers John and William Baker, [41] initially playing in the St Stephen's district of the city before moving to the Beverley Ground in 1839 when they organised the first annual Cricket Week. [44] [45] [46] [47] After the failure of the Town Malling club, the Bakers stepped in to organise Kent teams, the newest patrons of cricket in the county, Pilch moving to Canterbury to be the groundsman. [41]

The Beverley club became the Kent Cricket Club on 6 August 1842, when it reconstituted itself during the annual cricket festival. The club was the first formal incarnation of Kent County Cricket Club and the 1842 cricket festival is seen by Kent as being the first Canterbury Cricket Week. [9] [18] [47] [48]

The new Kent club played its initial first-class cricket match against All-England at White Hart Field in Bromley on 25–27 August 1842. [3] Initially the success of the club continued, with Kent being declared champion county again in 1843, 1847 and 1849 [39] and in 1847 the club began using the St Lawrence Ground on the other side of Canterbury, Pilch once again moving to be the groundsman. [41] This was later established as the county's formal headquarters, although Kent continued to play matches on a variety of grounds around the county until well into the 20th century, rarely using the St Lawrence Ground for more than two or three matches a year. [49] [50]

As the team built around Pilch retired from cricket the fortunes of the club declined, the county sometimes forced to field teams of up to 16 or to combine with other clubs in order to compete. [51] Financial difficulties followed and on 1 March 1859 a second county club was formed in Maidstone to support the Canterbury-based club. [9] [18] [52] The two clubs, the Canterbury club known as East Kent, the Maidstone club as West Kent, co-operated to an extent, although the relationship was later described as "anything but satisfactory". [53] The standard of cricket played by the county side, generally organised by the West Kent club, [53] remained poor and the county found it difficult to attract either the best amateur players or professionals to appear, [52] [54] many amateurs only willing to appear during Canterbury Cricket Week. [55] [56] Financial difficulties also caused problems producing competitive sides. [53] [51] An 1870 meeting chaired by the 3rd Lord Harris at the Bull Inn at Rochester saw the two clubs merge to form the present day Kent County Cricket Club. [3] [9] [53] [57]

A single county club: 1870–1914

The Kent side of 1888 Kent County cricket team 1888.jpg
The Kent side of 1888

Initially the amalgamation of the clubs failed to improve performances on the pitch. The best amateurs still rarely appeared and Kent lacked a core of talented professionals to provide the team with a solid foundation. The 4th Lord Harris was elected to the General Committee in 1870 and became captain and secretary in 1875. He set about reforming the club with an "energetic administration", [53] although performances improved only slowly at first and when the County Championship was formerly established in 1890 Kent were initially able to finish only in mid table. [53] [58]

Kent vs Lancashire at Canterbury by Albert Chevallier Tayler, which was commissioned by Kent to celebrate their 1906 County Championship victory. Albert Chevallier Tayler - Kent Vs Lancashire 1906.jpg
Kent vs Lancashire at Canterbury by Albert Chevallier Tayler, which was commissioned by Kent to celebrate their 1906 County Championship victory.

The establishment of the Tonbridge Nursery in 1897 as a player development centre for young professionals was one of the key developments that lay the foundations for the successes of the pre-war period. The Nursery, which was run by Captain William McCanlis and set up and overseen by Tom Pawley, who became the club's General Manager in 1898, identifying and provided organised coaching and match practise for young professionals for the first time. Players flourished and became the basis of the Kent team, gradually taking the place of the amateurs who had dominated the Kent teams of the 1870s and 80s. [9] [53] [59] [60] By 1906 around 60% of all appearances were by professionals, with bowlers such as Colin Blythe and Arthur Fielder forming the core of the Kent attack. [61] Professional batsmen such as Punter Humphreys and James Seymour and all-rounders such as Frank Woolley became an increasing part of Kent's success, coming together with a group of "gifted" [62] amateurs to produce strong batting lineups.

This Kent side was the first since the 1840s to enjoy a period of real success, winning the County Championship four times in the years between 1906 and 1914. The first title, in 1906, came under the captaincy of Cloudesley Marsham and was won on the last day of the season. Sides captained by Ted Dillon won three further Championships in 1909, 1910 and 1913 and the Kent XI was strong throughout the pre-war period. [63] [64] Blythe was the team's leading bowler throughout the period, taking over 100 wickets a season between 1902 and 1914, including 17 in one day against Northants in 1907. [63] [65] [66]

Consistency but no Championships: 1919–1939

Blythe died at Paschendaele in 1917, although it is unlikely he would have played county cricket once the war was over. The Kent side, once the makeshift 1919 season had been played, continued to be consistently strong throughout the inter-war period, finishing in the top five of the County Championship table in all but one season between 1919 and 1934. [67] [68] Players such as Woolley, Wally Hardinge and Les Ames all played at the peak of their career whilst Blythe's bowling was replaced by Tich Freeman's. Freeman took 102 wickets for Kent in 1920 and then took at least 100 each season until 1936, taking 262 in 1933. He leads all Kent bowlers in wickets taken. [66]

Kent scored 803 for 4 declared against Essex at Brentwood in 1934, with Bill Ashdown scoring 332, Ames 202 not out and Woolley 172. The total took just seven hours, with 623 runs scored on the first day alone and remains, as of April 2018, Kent's highest score in first-class cricket, Ashdown's 332 runs remaining the highest individual score made for Kent. [69] [70] Arthur Fagg scored a unique two double centuries in the same match for Kent against Essex at Colchester in 1938, [71] while Woolley scored over 1,000 runs for Kent in each season between 1920 and his retirement in 1938. In 1928 he made 2,894 runs for the county at a batting average of 59.06. He retired in 1938 after making 764 appearances for the county side, with 47,868 runs, 122 centuries and 773 catches for Kent - all county records. [72] [73]

Statistical research has revealed that between the years 1895 and 1950 Kent were the fastest-scoring team in the County Championship, making their runs at an average of 313 runs per 100 overs. In those 46 seasons Kent were the fastest-scoring team 16 times. [74]

Post-war rebuilding and the Second Golden Age: 1946–1978

Gerry Chalk had captained the side in 1939 when they had, once again, finished in the top five of the Championship, but he was killed during World War II and the post-war period saw Kent struggle to compete consistently. After two promising seasons under Bryan Valentine in 1946 and 1947, the county only finished in the top nine teams twice between 1948 and 1963. [67]

The rebuilding of the side continued under David Clark's captaincy – Clark would later become chairman the club. Colin Cowdrey, the first man to play 100 Test matches made his Kent debut in 1950 and was appointed captain in 1957, following Doug Wright who was the first professional to captain Kent. [67] Wright took over 2,000 wickets with his brisk leg breaks and googlies between 1932 and 1957 and became the only player to take seven hat-tricks – six of them taken for Kent. [75]

An improvement in performances began in the mid-1960s under the captaincy of Cowdrey and the management of former wicket-keeper Les Ames. A seventh placed finish in 1964 was followed by fifth-place in 1965 and fourth-place in 1966 before the county finished as runners-up in 1967, winning the Gillette Cup in the same season. Another second-place finish in 1968 followed before the county won their first Championship since 1913 in 1970. [67] Ten trophies were won during the 1970s, including a second Championship title 1978 and a shared title in 1977. The Sunday League was won in 1972, 1973 and 1976, the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1973, 1976 and 1978 and the Gillette Cup again in 1974 – six of the trophies between 1972 and 1976 under the captaincy of Mike Denness who had succeeded Cowdrey in 1972. [76]

Recent history

In the 2006 season, Kent finished fifth in Division One of the County Championship and fifth in the NatWest Pro40 League Division Two. On 4 August 2007, Kent won the Twenty20 Cup for the first time, defeating Sussex in the semi-finals, with captain Rob Key scoring 68 not out. [77] [78] In the final they defeated Gloucestershire in a see-saw game where in the final over, chasing 148, they required 13 runs, winning with three balls to spare. Matthew Walker top scored for Kent in the final with 45 runs while Darren Stevens scored 30 not out from 21 balls, including hitting the winning runs. Earlier in the final, Ryan McLaren took a hat-trick. [77] [79]

In September 2008, Kent were relegated from the First to the Second Division of the County Championship for the first time. They won the Second Division in the 2009 season to be promoted before being relegated again at the end of the 2010 season. They have played in the Second Division since 2010, with a best finish of second in 2016, failing to be promoted only due to a restructuring of the divisional system meaning that only the Division Two champions, Essex, were promoted during that season.

In November 2016, Kent accepted an invitation from the West Indies Cricket Board to compete in the 2016–17 Regional Super50 domestic List A tournament in January and February 2017. [80] [81] [82] This was the first time that any English county side had competed in an overseas domestic competition. [83] The invitation was partly due to the influence of former West Indian captain Jimmy Adams who had, until September 2016, been Kent's Head Coach [83] and was followed by an invitation to take part in the competition again in 2018. [84]


Kent v South Africans in 2003, showing the old lime tree Canterbury Cricket.JPG
Kent v South Africans in 2003, showing the old lime tree

Kent's main ground is the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury. This ground has been used by the club since 1847 and Kent have played over 500 first-class matches at the ground. It is famous for having a tree, the St Lawrence Lime, on the playing field. The original tree, around which the ground was built, was broken in two by high winds in January 2005 and replaced by a smaller replacement lime tree later in the same year. [85] [86] [87] The ground hosts the annual Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest cricket festival in the world. [88] [89] This dates from 1842 and has been held at the ground since the club moved there. [90] [91]

Kent played their first official match at White Hart Field in Bromley in August 1842 and since then have used 29 different grounds within the historic county. Some of these grounds, although still in the historic county of Kent are now also within the Greater London area. Two outgrounds remain in regular use, the redeveloped County Cricket Ground, Beckenham and the Nevill Ground in Royal Tunbridge Wells. The latter ground hosts the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week and has seen over 200 Kent home matches played on it. [92] [93] Former venues include Mote Park in Maidstone, which was used until 2005 and has been the venue for over 200 Kent first-class matches, [94] as well as grounds in Gravesend, Tonbridge, Dover and Folkestone, all of which have had more than 100 home matches played on them.

The county's main offices are based at the St Lawrence Ground. Indoor cricket schools are in place at both this ground and at Beckenham which acts as a centre of excellence for player development in the west of the county. [95]


Frank Woolley who made his Kent debut in 1906 and holds the record for the number of runs scored and appearances made for the county 1193406 Frank Woolley.jpg
Frank Woolley who made his Kent debut in 1906 and holds the record for the number of runs scored and appearances made for the county

Kent's most notable former players include Colin Cowdrey, the first man to play 100 Test matches, Frank Woolley, Derek Underwood and wicket-keepers Les Ames and Alan Knott. All five men played Test cricket for England, making at least 40 Test match appearances. They are the only players to have stands named after them at the St Lawrence Ground, Kent's home ground in Canterbury. [96] A total of 28 Kent players have been named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year, most recently Tammy Beaumont in 2019, Charlotte Edwards in 2014 and Rob Key in 2005. [97] [98]

Other particularly notable former players include spin bowlers Colin Blythe and Tich Freeman. Blythe was a major force in the four County Championship wins in the years leading up to World War I and took 100 wickets in every season from 1902 to 1914. [99] He played 17 Tests for England but was killed in action during World War I. A memorial at the St Lawrence Ground is dedicated to him. Freeman played during the period after World War I and took over 150 wickets in a season for Kent 14 times. He is the only bowler to take more than 300 wickets in an English season, a feat he achieved in 1928, and the only man to have taken all ten wickets in an innings three times. [100] Fast bowler Graham Dilley represented England in 41 Test matches in the 1980s, whilst all-rounder Mark Ealham played in 64 one-day internationals in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Other than Ames and Knott, Kent has produced a number of other top class wicket-keepers. [101] Fred Huish, who never played for England, is considered as the "first of a line of exceptional Kent wicket-keepers" [102] which have included Godfrey Evans, who played 91 Tests for England, [103] Geraint Jones, with 34 Test and 49 ODI appearances, as well as Edward Tylecote, George Wood and Hopper Levett all of whom were capped by the country. [104] Paul Downton started his career at Kent as part of this line of players and the teams' current wicket-keeper, Sam Billings, has made one-day appearances for England.

Overseas players who have made a significant contribution to Kent cricket include West Indians John Shepherd, Eldine Baptiste, Bernard Julien and Carl Hooper and Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal all of whom played multiple seasons for the county. South Africans Martin van Jaarsveld, Justin Kemp and Andrew Hall have done the same, [105] as has Australian Andrew Symonds. Other great world cricketers to have played for the county for single seasons include Sri Lankans Aravinda de Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan, India's Rahul Dravid and Australia's former Test captain Steve Waugh. [106]

Kent cricket legends' walkway

As part of the redevelopment of Kent's home ground, the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury, the county planned to develop a "legends' walkway" at the entrance to the ground. [107] A public vote was held to select 12 former players of the club to honour in the walkway. The 12 players were named in June 2011. They included Alfred Mynn, who played for the county in the 19th century, Les Ames, Colin Blythe, Tich Freeman and Frank Woolley from the first half of the 20th century, Godfrey Evans and Doug Wright from the 1930s–50s era, and Colin Cowdrey, Alan Knott, Brian Luckhurst, John Shepherd and Derek Underwood from the teams of the 1960s and 70s. [108] [109] The first bricks were produced for the walkway in April 2012 [110] although they were removed during development of the ground in 2017–18 and moved adjacent to the Nackington Road entrance.


Sam Billings is the current club captain. Sam Billings Kent V Surrey 2015 at Kia Oval Cricket Ground (27190750944).jpg
Sam Billings is the current club captain.

As of 2018 the current club captain of Kent is Sam Billings, who was appointed in January 2018, replacing Sam Northeast. [111] In total 33 men have been appointed as club captain, beginning with Lord Harris in 1875. [9] Colin Cowdrey captained the side for the longest span in the County Championship era, serving between 1957 and 1971. Ted Dillon led the county to the County Championship title three times, the only man to captain Kent to more than one championship title. Mike Denness' side of the early 1970s won six one-day titles in his five years as captain.

Current squad

As of 20 January 2019

Of the players in the current squad Joe Denly and Sam Billings have appeared in One Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20 internationals for the England cricket team, with Denly also playing in Test matches along with Zak Crawley. Heino Kuhn, who signed a Kolpak contract in March 2018, has played Test and T20 cricket for South Africa and Fred Klaassen, who was signed on 1 October 2018, has played ODI and T20 cricket for the Netherlands.

No.NameNationalityBirth dateBatting StyleBowling StyleNotes
4 Heino Kuhn* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 1 April 1984 (age 35)Right-handed Kolpak registration;
Four Test and seven T20I appearances for South Africa. [112]
6 Joe Denly* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 16 March 1986 (age 33)Right-handedRight-arm leg break England white-ball contract;
13 Test, 13 ODI and ten T20I appearances for England. [113]
10 Alex Blake*Flag of England.svg  England 25 January 1989 (age 30)Left-handedRight-arm off break List A & T20 only
16 Zak Crawley* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 3 February 1998 (age 21)Right-handedRight-arm medium Three Test appearances for England. [114]
23 Daniel Bell-Drummond*Flag of England.svg  England 3 August 1993 (age 26)Right-handedRight-arm medium
34 Jack Leaning Flag of England.svg  England 18 October 1993 (age 26)Right-handedRight-arm off break
58 Sean Dickson Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 2 September 1991 (age 28)Right-handedRight-arm medium UK passport
3 Darren Stevens*Flag of England.svg  England 30 April 1976 (age 43)Right-handedRight-arm medium
9 Grant Stewart Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 19 February 1994 (age 25)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium Italian passport
25 Calum Haggett Flag of England.svg  England 30 October 1990 (age 29)Left-handedRight-arm fast-medium
55 Marcus O'Riordan Flag of England.svg  England 25 January 1998 (age 21)Right-handedRight-arm off break
7 Sam Billings* Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of England.svg  England 15 June 1991 (age 28)Right-handedClub captain;
15 ODI, 25 T20I appearances for England and one T20I appearance for an ICC World XI. [115]
12 Adam Rouse Flag of England.svg  England 30 June 1992 (age 27)Right-handed
21 Ollie Robinson Flag of England.svg  England 1 December 1998 (age 21)Right-handed
22 Jordan Cox Flag of England.svg  England 21 October 2000 (age 19)Right-handed
1 Harry Podmore*Flag of England.svg  England 23 July 1994 (age 25)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
5 Ivan Thomas Flag of England.svg  England 25 September 1991 (age 28)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
8 Matt Milnes Flag of England.svg  England 29 July 1994 (age 25)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium
11 Imran Qayyum Flag of England.svg  England 23 May 1993 (age 26)Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
18 Fred Klaassen  Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 13 November 1992 (age 27)Right-handedLeft-arm fast-medium Four ODI and 21 T20I appearances for Netherlands. [116]
36 Tim Groenewald Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 10 January 1984 (age 36)Right-handedRight-arm fast-medium UK Passport
75 Hamidullah Qadri Flag of England.svg  England 5 December 2000 (age 19)Right-handedRight-arm off break

Coaching staff

Matt Walker is head coach of the side, having been appointed in January 2017 following former coach Jimmy Adams' decision to return to the Caribbean. Walker played for Kent for 16 seasons and was previously batting coach at Essex. [117] The team's bowling coach is Simon Cook, another past player. Cook was head coach of the Hong Kong cricket team between 2015 and 2019 before joining Kent. [118] [119]

The Head of Talent Pathway in charge of the development of young cricketers at the club is former Second XI coach and player Min Patel. [120] [121] Patel works alongside Mark Dekker who had previously coached Kent Women. [122] Former player Mark Ealham is a part-time coach with the club, also spending time coaching at The King's School, Canterbury. [123]


Frank Woolley, who played for Kent between 1906 and 1938, holds the record for the most appearances, most career runs and most runs in a season for the county. He is the only man to score more than 100 centuries for Kent with 122 and is the county's fifth leading wicket taker. Bill Ashdown holds the record for the highest score for the county with 332 runs against Essex in 1934. He is one of only two men to have scored a triple-century for Kent, with two to his name, the other being Sean Dickson who scored 318 against Northants in 2017. [124] [125]

Tich Freeman is the county's leading wicket taker with 3,340 wickets. Freeman took more than 150 wickets for the county 14 times and holds the record for the most wickets in a season. Fellow spin bowler Colin Blythe has the best bowling figures in Kent's history taking 10/30 against Northamptonshire in 1907, with 17/48 in the match. Freeman took ten wickets in a match 128 times with Blythe achieving the same feat 64 times. [124]

Along with Woolley and Freeman, Wally Hardinge, James Seymour and Derek Underwood are the only men with more than 500 first-class appearances for Kent. [124]

Kent Women

The Kent Women cricket team represents the county in the Women's County Championship and Women's Twenty20 Cup. The first recorded match by a Kent Women's team was in May 1935, [126] with the team first appearing in the Women's Area Championship in 1980. [127]

The side features a number of international players and is captained by England international Tammy Beaumont. They have won the County Championship a record eight times since it was established in 1997, most recently in 2019, and the Women's Twenty20 Cup three times, most recently in 2016. The team play the majority of their home matches at the County Cricket Ground, Beckenham. The Women's team is sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University.

Kent Cricket Academy

Joe Denly, seen playing for Kent in 2016, is a graduate of the Kent Cricket Academy Denly2.jpg
Joe Denly, seen playing for Kent in 2016, is a graduate of the Kent Cricket Academy

Kent established an academy in 2003 with the aim of developing future first-class cricketers. The academy is based at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury and makes use of the Ames-Levett Sports Centre at the ground. [128] It has produced over 25 first-term players for the county, including current club captain Sam Northeast and senior England internationals Tammy Beaumont, Sam Billings, Joe Denly, Natasha Farrant, Lydia Greenway and Jo Watts. [129] The leading academy scholar is awarded the John Aitken Gray trophy each year. Past winners have included county First XI players Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Blake [130] and Ollie Robinson. [131]

The academy was established by former wicket-keeper Simon Willis. [132] Paul Farbrace and Philip Relf held lead coaching roles within the scheme until Willis was appointed as high performance director in 2011, serving in the role until May 2016 when he was appointed the high performance manager of Sri Lanka Cricket. [133] [134] [135] [136] Former Kent and England spin bowler Min Patel took over the running of the academy on an interim basis following Willis' departure [129] before becoming Second XI coach in January 2017, with former Shropshire wicket-keeper Jason Weaver taking over the role as high performance director, the two jobs replacing Willis' former role. [120] When Weaver left the club in 2019, Patel took over the role, becoming the club's Head of Talent Pathway and working alongside for women's coach Mark Dekker. [121] [122]


Kent have won the County Championship seven times, including one shared title. Four of their wins came in the years before World War I between 1906 and 1913, Ted Dillon captaining the side to three of their titles. The county had to wait until the 1970s to win their other Championship titles, winning outright in 1970 and 1978 and sharing the title with Middlesex in 1977. Kent have finished as runner-up in the Championship on 12 occasions, most recently in 2004. The County Championship Second Division title was won by the county in 2009. [137]

The county First XI has also won a number of limited overs competition trophies. Eight trophies were won between 1967 and 1978, six times by teams led by Mike Denness. Three more trophies have followed in 1995, 2001 and, most recently, the 2007 Twenty20 Cup. Kent finished runners-up in the 2008 T20 competition, the 2008 Friends Provident Trophy [137] and the 2018 Royal London One-Day Cup.

The Second XI Championship title has been won nine times by the county, including one shared win in 1987. As of 2019 this represents a record number of victories in the competition. Four of the victories have occurred in the 21st century, with the most recent in 2012. The Second XI Trophy one-day competition was won in 2002 and 2019 and the county won the Minor Counties Championship twice in the 1950s when first-class Second XI's entered the competition. [137]

Kent's women have won the Women's County Championship a record eight times, most recently in 2019, and have been runners-up five times since the competition was established in 1997. The women's side has also won the Twenty20 Championship three times, in 2011, 2013 and 2016.

First XI honours

Second XI honours

Women's honours


  1. How representative of the county Kent teams were until 1870, and certainly until 1806, is open to doubt. Even the names of teams involved in matches is disputed in some cases. Some matches given first-class cricket status by some authorities are not considered first-class by the club itself, including 14 matches played by Kent teams with 13 or more players between 1854 and 1881. [15] [16] [17]
  2. For example, Kent teams played four times against an England side in 1800 and a number of times in the early 19th century against club sides, England and MCC. [33] [34] [35]
  3. Known as the Gillette Cup (1963–1980), NatWest Trophy (1981–2000) and C&G Trophy (2001–2006), Friends Provident Trophy (2007–2009), ECB 40 (2010–2013) and Royal London One-Day Cup (2014 onwards)
  4. Formerly known as the Sunday League (1969–1998). Ran until the end of the 2009 season.
  5. Ran between 1972 and 2002.
  6. Names have included the Twenty20 Cup (2003-2009), Friends Life t20 (2010-2013) and T20 Blast (2014 onwards).

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The St Lawrence Ground is a cricket ground in Canterbury, Kent. It is the home ground of Kent County Cricket Club and since 2013 has been known as The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, due to commercial sponsorship. It is one of the oldest grounds on which first-class cricket is played, having been in use since 1847, and is the venue for Canterbury Cricket Week, the oldest cricket festival in the world. It is one of the two grounds used regularly for first-class cricket that have had a tree, the St Lawrence Lime, within the boundary.

Joe Denly English cricketer

Joseph Liam Denly is an English professional cricketer who plays for Kent County Cricket Club. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional leg break bowler who plays as a top-order batsman. Denly played age group cricket for Kent and began his professional career with the county before moving to Middlesex for three seasons between 2012 and 2014. He won the Professional Cricketers' Association Player of the Year award in 2018 and was named the season's Most Valuable Player.

Kent county cricket teams have been traced back to the 17th century but the county's involvement in cricket goes back much further than that. Kent, jointly with Sussex, is generally accepted as the birthplace of the sport. It is widely believed that cricket was first played by children living on the Weald in Saxon or Norman times. The world's earliest known organised match was held in Kent c.1611 and the county has always been at the forefront of cricket's development through the growth of village cricket in the 17th century to representative matches in the 18th. A Kent team took part in the earliest known inter-county match, which was played on Dartford Brent in 1709. Several famous players and patrons were involved in Kent cricket from then until the creation of the first county club in 1842. Among them were William Bedle, Robert Colchin and the 3rd Duke of Dorset. Kent were generally regarded as the strongest county team in the first half of the 18th century and were always one of the main challengers to the dominance of Hambledon in the second half. County cricket ceased through the Napoleonic War and was resurrected in 1826 when Kent played Sussex. By the 1830s, Kent had again become the strongest county and remained so until mid-century.

County Cricket Ground, Beckenham cricket ground

The County Ground, Beckenhamis a cricket ground in Beckenham in the London Borough of Bromley. The ground is owned by Leander Sports and Leisure and is used as an outground by Kent County Cricket Club for First XI fixtures, as well as for other matches. As of 2019 the Kent Women cricket team play the majority of their matches at the ground.

Cheriton Road football stadium in Folkestone

Cheriton Road is a complex of sports grounds at Folkestone in the English county of Kent. The complex includes football pitches, a cricket ground, hockey pitches, netball courts and an indoor sports facility. It includes the home ground of Folkestone Invicta F.C., known as The BuildKent Stadium for sponsorship reasons, and the Three Hills Sports Park which includes the home grounds of Folkestone Cricket Club and Folkestone Optimist Hockey Club. The cricket ground, which was previously called the Cheriton Road Sports Ground, was used by Kent County Cricket Club for top level cricket matches.

Rectory Field

Rectory Field is a sports ground in Blackheath in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in south-east London. It was developed in the 1880s by Blackheath Cricket, Football and Lawn Tennis Company and became the home ground of rugby union team Blackheath F.C. between 1883 and 2016. The ground has hosted international rugby matches and at one time, along with the Richmond Athletic Ground, it was the unofficial home of the England national rugby union team before the development of Twickenham Stadium. The ground was also used for first-class and List A cricket by Kent County Cricket Club between 1887 and 1972.

The Angel Ground was a sports ground at Tonbridge in the English county of Kent. It was used as a venue for first-class cricket by Kent County Cricket Club between 1869 and 1939 and then for association football by Tonbridge Angels F.C., until 1980. It was subsequently demolished and redeveloped by Tonbridge and Malling District Council in 1980.

Mote Park (cricket ground)

Mote Park, also known as The Mote, is a cricket ground in Maidstone in the English county of Kent. It is inside the grounds of the Mote Park and is owned by The Mote Cricket Club. The ground is also used by the Mote Squash Club and Maidstone rugby club. It was used by Kent County Cricket Club as one of their out-grounds for county cricket matches. The club played over 200 first-class cricket matches on the ground between 1859 and 2005.

Sam Billings English cricketer

Samuel William Billings, is an English professional cricketer. Billings is a right-handed batsman who fields as a wicket-keeper. He was born in Pembury in Kent and plays for Kent County Cricket Club. He has played for the county since he was eight years old and in October 2017 was appointed as the vice-captain of the team before being appointed as captain in January 2018, replacing Sam Northeast.

William John Fairservice, known as Bill Fairservice, was an English professional cricketer who played first-class cricket for Kent County Cricket Club between 1902 and 1921. He was a right-arm medium-pace off-break bowler who batted in the lower order and played over 300 first-class matches in his career. After his cricketing career he coached cricket and was a scorer. His son, Colin Fairservice, played for Kent and Middlesex from 1929 to 1936.

In 2015, Kent County Cricket Club competed in Division Two of the County Championship, Group B of the 50-over Royal London One-Day Cup and the South Group of the NatWest t20 Blast. The team reached the quarter-finals of both one day competitions but struggled in the County Championship, finishing seventh in Division Two.

Kent County Cricket Club's 1906 season was the seventeenth season in which the county competed in the County Championship and saw the county win their first Championship title. Kent played 25 first-class cricket matches during the season, losing only four matches overall and only two matches in the 1906 County Championship. They finished equal on points with Yorkshire and Surrey but won the title on the percentage of finished matches won.

Kent County Cricket Club's 1909 season was the twentieth season in which the County competed in the County Championship. Kent played 30 first-class cricket matches during the season, losing only two matches overall, and won their second Championship title. They finished clearly ahead of second place Lancashire in the 1909 County Championship with the previous years winners Yorkshire in third place.

Imran Qayyum English cricketer

Imran Qayyum is an English professional cricketer who plays for Kent County Cricket Club. A slow left arm bowler, he made his first-class cricket debut in May 2016 against Northamptonshire in the 2016 County Championship and has gone on to play in limited overs competitions for the county.

Kent County Cricket Club's 1910 season was the 21st season in which the County competed in the County Championship. Kent played 29 first-class cricket matches during the season, losing only five matches overall, and won their third Championship title. They finished well ahead of second place Surrey in the 1910 County Championship.

In 2017, Kent County Cricket Club competed in Division Two of the County Championship, the Royal London One-Day Cup and the NatWest t20 Blast. In addition, before the start of the English cricket season, Kent competed in the 2016–17 Regional Super50, the List A competition of the West Indian domestic season. This was the first time that any English county had competed in an overseas domestic competition. The invitation to take part in the tournament was largely due to the influence of former West Indian captain Jimmy Adams who had been Kent's Head Coach until September 2016.

In 2018, Kent County Cricket Club competed in Division Two of the County Championship, the Royal London One-Day Cup and the 2018 t20 Blast. The county finished second in Division Two of the Championship and were promoted to Division One for the 2019 season. They reached the final of the One-Day Cup. losing to Hampshire at Lord's, and the quarter-final stage of the t20 Blast. In addition, before the start of the English cricket season, Kent competed in the 2017–18 Regional Super50, the List A competition of the West Indies domestic season, reaching the semi-final stage. This was the second time that Kent have competed in the competition, having played in the 2016–17 competition.


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Further reading