This is a list of Kent County Cricket Club captains. Kent County Cricket Club was formed in 1842 and has played in the County Championship since its inception in 1890 and in List A cricket and Twenty20 cricket. The first match in which Kent have a named captain indicated on scorecards available occurred on 26–27 June 1856 when the county played MCC at Gravesend.South Norton captained the county on that occasion and throughout the period until 1870. The first official captain of the club was Lord Harris, an influential figure in the development of Kent and English cricket, who was appointed to the role in 1875. As of 2018 the current club captain is batsman Sam Billings who was appointed in January 2018, replacing Sam Northeast.
In total 33 men have been officially appointed as the captain of the club. Colin Cowdrey captained the side a total of 250 times in first-class cricket and held the position for 15 years, the most of any player since the establishment of the County Championship.At times there have been multiple captains during a season or joint captains appointed. William Patterson, for example, captained the side five times during the 1891 and 1892 seasons towards the end of each season, the only times he was able to play regularly for the county during those seasons. For the majority of both seasons the official club captain was Frank Marchant. Similarly, Ian Akers-Douglas was the club captain for five games in the 1936 season. Akers-Douglas only captained Kent for seven matches in total, the fewest of any of the official club captains.
Other players have captained the county in matches without being appointed the club captain. Peter Richardson has done so the most times in first-class matches, captaining Kent in 45 games, including 21 games in the 1963 season in place of official club captain Colin Cowdrey.In 2015 Sam Northeast captained the side on a number of occasions, including in all one-day matches, despite the club captain being Rob Key. Northeast captained the side after the beginning of the season even when Key was playing and succeeded him at the end of the season.
Kent won their first County Championship title in 1906, under the captaincy of Cloudesley Marsham, and have won the title on a further six occasions, including one shared title in 1977. Sides captained by Ted Dillon won the Championship three times in the period immediately before World War I. Mike Denness captained Kent to six one-day titles in the early 1970s.
Below is a list of club captains appointed by Kent County Cricket Club or players who have been the sole known captain when no other has been appointed. Captains are listed in order of appointment.
|William South Norton||1856||1870||No captain is recorded in a match for Kent before 1856 or between the end of the 1870 season and the start of the 1875 season. Norton played for Kent between 1849 and 1870 and was honorary secretary of the county club formed at Maidstone in 1859 until the merger of the two Kent clubs in 1870.|
|Lord Harris||1875||1889||Harris went on to be an influential administrator of both Kent and MCC. He was appointed captain in 1875 and held the role for 15 years, having been on the committee at the club since 1870. Resigned the captaincy after the 1889 season to take up an appointment as Governor of Bombay, a post he held until 1895. Played his final match for Kent in 1911 aged 60.|
|Frank Marchant with William Patterson at times||1890||1897||Marchant was captain for eight seasons between 1890 and 1897. William Patterson, a solicitor, was often unavailable to play in the first half of the season and was "elected captain" in the second part of four seasons. He captained most frequently in the 1891 and 1892 seasons in which he was captain five times in each August.|
|Jack Mason||1898||1902||Resigned the captaincy after five seasons due to his time commitments as a solicitor. Temporarily captained the side in the last month of the 1909 County Championship winning season when Ted Dillon "stopped playing for business reasons".|
|Cuthbert Burnup||1903||Made 102 consecutive County Championship appearances for Kent between 1899 and the end of his captaincy in 1903.|
|C. H. B. Marsham||1904||1908||County Championship winners 1906. Became an England Test selector in 1908.|
|Ted Dillon||1909||1913||County Championship winners 1909, 1910 and 1913.|
|Lionel Troughton||1914||1923||Became Kent's General Manager after 1923.|
|Stanley Cornwallis||1924||1926||A fast bowler who bowled only 560 overs during his three seasons as captain, mainly due to injury.|
|John Evans||1927||Played his only full season whilst captain.|
|Geoffrey Legge||1928||1930||Died in 1940 in a flying accident whilst serving in the Fleet Air Arm.|
|Percy Chapman and Bryan Valentine||1931||1935||Chapman had captained England between 1926 and 1931 before becoming Kent captain. He played less regularly from 1936 onwards and the captaincy was shared at various times, with Valentine generally captaining in his absence, although Chapman retained the official club captaincy until the end of the 1936 season and other players were nominated as "deputy captains" in his place.|
|Percy Chapman, Ian Akers-Douglas and Bryan Valentine||1936||Akers-Douglass captained the side five times in 1936.|
|Ronnie Bryan and Bryan Valentine||1937||Bryan was limited to playing for Kent when not working but was granted a three-month leave of absence in 1937 when he shared the captaincy with Valentine.|
|Gerry Chalk||1938||1939||Killed in action in World War II. Scored over 1,000 runs in both his seasons as captain.|
|Bryan Valentine||1946||1948||Had previously been joint captain between 1931 and 1937 and had been injured in World War II.|
|David Clark||1949||1951||Later became an administrator of Kent, MCC and the ICC.|
|William Murray-Wood||1952||1953||Only an occasional player before being appointed as captain in October 1951, having captained the side in the last five matches of the 1951 season. Replaced, against his will, as captain during Canterbury Cricket Week in August 1953 by Doug Wright.|
|Doug Wright||1953||1956||First professional captain. Until this point every captain of the county had been an amateur. Wright replaced William Murray-Wood in August 1953 as captain and was appointed formally after amateur Tony Pawson, the Kent Committee's preferred choice, declined the position.|
|Colin Cowdrey||1957||1971||County Championship winners 1970 and Gillette Cup winners 1967. Longest span as county captain, captaining the county in 250 first-class games over 15 seasons. Captained England 27 times between 1959 and 1969 and was the first man to play 100 Test matches. His son, Chris Cowdrey captained the county between 1985 and 1990 and another son, Graham Cowdrey, and grandson Fabian Cowdrey have both played for the county.|
|Mike Denness||1972||1976||Had stood in as captain when Colin Cowdrey was on England duty and took over full-time at the start of the 1972 season. Won six one-day trophies as captain before being replaced as captain and leaving the county at the end of the 1976 season. Denness captained England 19 times and later was chairman and president of Kent.|
|Asif Iqbal||1977||First overseas player to captain Kent. Joint County Championship winners 1977, Asif also captained the Pakistan side.|
|Alan Ealham||1978||1980||County Championship winners 1978. Ealham was appointed shortly before the start of the 1978 season amid controversy over the role of Asif and other senior players in the establishment of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket competition.|
|Asif Iqbal||1981||1982||Previously captain in 1977.|
|Chris Tavaré||1983||1984||England Test batsman who later captained Somerset.|
|Chris Cowdrey||1985||1990||Son of Colin Cowdrey, Kent captain from 1957 to 1971. Captained England on one occasion in 1988.|
|Mark Benson||1991||1996||Benson was injured in 1996 and did not play, retiring in mid-season. He had been appointed captain at the start of the season although Steve Marsh captain the side throughout the season. Later became an umpire, standing in Test matches.|
|Steve Marsh||1996||1998||Captained the county to the 1995 National League title when Mark Benson was injured in the latter half of the season. Took over as club captain at the end of the 1996 season following Benson's retirement.|
|Matthew Fleming||1999||2002||Replaced Marsh at the end of the 1998 season, having previously captained the British Army cricket team. Was the Chairman of the Professional Cricketers Association from 1998 to 2001 and later became the MCC Chairman of Cricket in 2013 and President in 2016.|
|David Fulton||2003||2005||Matthew Fleming retained the club captaincy in 2002 with Fulton captaining the side in the County Championship before being appointed sole captain in October 2002. Matthew Walker acted as official List A captain for the second half of 2005 after Fulton lost his place in the one-day side. Fulton stepped down after Kent failed to win the 2005 County Championship.|
|Robert Key||2006||2012||Won the Twenty20 Cup in 2007 and the Second Division County Championship title in 2009. Key resigned the captaincy at the end of the 2012 season.|
|James Tredwell||2013||Resigned after one season to focus on his role within the England team, having missed several matches during 2013 whilst on England duty.|
|Robert Key||2014||2015||Previously captain 2006 to 2012. Sam Northeast acted as County Championship captain for much of 2015 and was the one-day captain throughout the year.|
|Sam Northeast||2016||2017||Appointed in September 2016 after captaining the team on the field for most of the 2016 season. Reappointed for the 2017 season in September 2016 and replaced by the county in January 2018 after declining the offer of a contract extension which would have kept him at Kent beyond the end of the 2018 season. Northeast left Kent to join Hampshire in February 2018, having been given permission to speak to other counties.|
|Sam Billings||2018||Present||Appointed in January 2018. Joe Denly captained the team at the beginning of the 2018 season whilst Billings was playing for England cricket team and in the 2018 Indian Premier League. Both Billings and Denly are playing in the 2019 IPL and Heino Kuhn captained the team for the start of the 2019 season.|
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. A club representing the county was first founded in 1842 but Kent teams have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century, and the club has always held first-class status. The current Kent County Cricket Club was formed on 6 December 1870 following the merger of two representative teams. 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.
Bransby Beauchamp Cooper was a member of the Australian cricket team that played the inaugural Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1877. Cooper was born in Dacca in what was then British India in 1844. He played first-class cricket as an amateur in England for Middlesex and Kent County Cricket Clubs before moving to Australia where he played for Victoria cricket team. He was the first Indian-born cricketer to play Test cricket. He was a right hand batsman and wicket-keeper.
George Gibbons Hearne was an English professional cricketer who played first-class cricket for Kent County Cricket Club between 1875 and 1895. He also played in one Test match for England against South Africa in 1891/92. Hearne was part of the famous cricketing Hearne family. His brothers Alec and Frank also played Test match cricket.
Graham James Kersey was an English professional cricketer who played for Kent and Surrey in the 1990s.
William Murray-Wood, known as Bill Murray-Wood, was an English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Oxford University and Kent County Cricket Club. He was Kent's captain for two years from 1952, leaving in controversial circumstances. He was born at Dartford, Kent.
Sam Alexander Northeast is an English professional cricket who plays for Hampshire County Cricket Club. He is a right-handed batsman. Northeast made his senior debut in 2007 and until 2017 played for Kent County Cricket Club. He captained the Kent First XI for most of the 2015 season before being formally appointed as club captain in 2016. He captained the side in 2017 before being replaced before the 2018 season after declining to sign a contract extension committing himself to the club in the longer term.
John Richard Mason, known as Jack Mason, was an English amateur cricketer who played first-class cricket for Kent County Cricket Club between 1893 and 1914, captaining the team between 1898 and 1902. He played for England in five Test matches on A. E. Stoddart's 1897–98 tour of Australia.
Daniel James Bell-Drummond is an English professional cricketer, who plays for Kent County Cricket Club as an opening batsman. He has represented England at youth level and has played for the England Lions cricket team at senior level.
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.
John Gordon Larking was an English cricketer who played briefly for Kent County Cricket Club after the Second World War. Larking was a right-handed opening batsman. He was born at Loose in Kent and was educated at Charterhouse School.
Fabian Kruuse Cowdrey is a former English professional cricketer who played for Kent County Cricket Club. He made history by becoming the first third generation player to play for the county, following his father, Chris Cowdrey, and grandfather Colin Cowdrey. Cowdrey was often employed as an all-rounder, batting right-handed and bowling slow left arm orthodox deliveries.
Richard Geoffrey Harvey Lowe was an English amateur sportsman who played first-class cricket and association football for Cambridge University during the 1920s. Lowe made one appearance for the England amateur football side, took a hat-trick bowling in the 1926 University Match and became a teacher after leaving university.
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.
In 2016, Kent County Cricket Club competed in Division Two of the County Championship, the Royal London One-Day Cup and the NatWest t20 Blast. The season was the fifth, and last, in charge for head coach Jimmy Adams and the first for new club captain Sam Northeast, who took over from Robert Key at the end of the 2015 season, having captained the side on the field for much of the season.
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.
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.
Walter Badeley Pattisson was an English amateur cricketer who played in 13 first-class cricket matches between 1876 and 1887, primarily for Kent County Cricket Club. Pattisson sometimes played under the name W Batt.
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.
In 2019 Kent County Cricket Club competed in Division One of the County Championship after gaining promotion in the 2018 season, the Royal London One-Day Cup and the 2019 t20 Blast.