Key urges players to stay and bounce back
KENT skipper Rob Key believes his side must pull together and take collective responsibility for this season’s individual inconsistency if they are to bounce back into the LV County Championship top flight next summer.
Not enough runs (particularly in the first innings), too many extras conceded (especially no balls and wides) and the inability to bowl sides out, glaringly so on the spin and seamer-friendly end-of-term pitches, have all played a big part in Kent’s slide into Division 2.
There are of course plenty of ifs, buts and maybes, particularly in the championship. But the facts speak for themselves.
Whenever Kent found themselves in a high-pressure situation, be it in four-day or limited overs cricket, they usually under-performed or cracked under tension. .
Key said: “We lost in two cup finals and if we’d won the last game of the Pro40 Division 2 we might have won that too, so suffering championship relegation is a bitter pill to swallow.”
Now the Kent captain is calling on his players to repel potential close-season suitors and stay to help ignite Kent’s promotion challenge in 2009.
It is known all-rounder Ryan McLaren is being tempted by his native South Africa and that Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat is being lured by ICL cash.
Even player-of-the-season, Martin van Jaarsveld is being linked with potential moves to Lancashire and Surrey.
Yet Key believes his side will not be ransacked, adding: “When you’ve got good players and other clubs like Surrey are really struggling then these rumours start to happen.
“It’s probably flattering for the guys that they’ve been linked with all this stuff, but it’s not the time to scrap everything and start again here.
“Yes we’ve got to address things individually. We must make sure there aren’t so many extras next year, and the people who haven’t got the runs they’re paid to get, must get them next year.”
Key, who admitted his season’s haul of 686 championship runs (average of 31) was modest, added: “We really haven’t had consistency. We’ve won four championship games, which wasn’t many short of Durham, but we’ve also lost more games than other people.”