Ford: We ran out of gas
KENT’S director of cricket Graham Ford returned home to South Africa on Monday having seen his side miss out on three limited overs titles and suffer championship relegation.
The irony for Ford is that his side were one game away from winning each of the three limited overs titles and, had they won their last two championship matches, chances are they might have lifted the LV Championship title rather than Durham.
Looking back over the 2008 campaign Ford believes that challenging for all four competitions with such a small squad eventually took its toll and cost Kent the chance of staying in the top-flight for a ninth successive season.
After Kent’s innings defeat to Durham – a result which gave their opponents the title – Ford said: “There’s no question that we ran out of gas.
“I looked at the averages of the various counties this week and when you look at the long list of players they have fielded all summer compared to our 15 at Kent it certainly made me realise that most other clubs have additional man power.
“That isn’t going to change for 2009, we have to accept that and we must also accept that maybe competition on all fronts, as we have this summer, take its toll.”
Ford added: “The disappointments of not quite getting across the line to win the three one-day competitions took its toll too, because winning trophies can be quite energising and had we managed to win one competition it might have provided the energy boost we needed to go on for the rest of the season.”
And in reviewing the season as a whole, Ford added: “It’s a tough day for us because when you look back at the season as a whole you will recall some magnificent performances, we were so close to getting silverware but unfortunately we have to suffer this disappointing end.
“I really feel sorry for the boys because they have put in a magnificent effort this season. The things I can’t fault the Kent players on are their effort and commitment.
“There’s no doubt that some of the players need to look at their performances and a lot of hard work is needed before next season as some of the guys weren’t at their best right through the season.
“We’ve had a bit of a meeting, will take a little time to reflect then we need to get stuck in to the task of setting matters right for next summer.
“Sometimes disappointment is a big catalyst for getting things moving forward again so let’s hope that that’s the case here at Kent.”
Meanwhile, Ford has confirmed he will be staying with the club next season, despite being linked with the vacant New Zealand job.
He explained “New Zealand have approached me, we did have a discussion, but certainly nothing further than that.
“I don’t want to run away when things haven’t been at their best.
“There’s a lot of resolve, a lot of determination within the dressing room.
“It’s a fantastic group of guys to work with and I know they’ll be giving 120 per cent to get back into the first division.”
Ryan McLaren showed some resistance against Durham, finishing unbeaten on 65 in the second innings
Pictures: Barry Goodwin
The end is in sight for Kent as Robbie Joseph trudges back to the pavilion