We’ll bounce back
KENT chairman of cricket Graham Johnson says preparations for the 2009 campaign began minutes after their relegation was confirmed last September.
Speaking at the club’s annual meeting at the St Lawrence ground on Monday, Johnson described 2008 as a “season of frustration”.
He told members: “There was a meeting involving George Kennedy, Paul Millman, Graham Ford, Rob Key and myself.
“We focused on the huge disappointment and said ‘are we up for 2009’ and ‘what are we going to do about it?’ Nobody in that room was anything but positive.”
Johnson also praised the club for not cutting the playing budget of around £2million despite the club’s financial problems, and hailed it as “a statement of intent”.
He went on to cover a range of topics which he said will affect the way Kent operate this season and next.
Johnson said: “The impact on the game by terrorism means that there are a lot more rules and regulations on players coming into the country apart from Australia and New Zealand, and they won’t only affect counties.
“Clubs in the Kent League Premier Division will find many young players who walked in last season won’t get in unless they qualify.”
Johnson informed members about ECB payments to counties over the next couple of years which will benefit counties with more English qualified players in their squads.
He said: “ A significant proposed change coming in 2010 is going to be weighted in terms of England qualified players.
“There are a whole range of things we have to get right, and the whole performance element is changing. We have to be aware of that and respond going forward.
“IPL has a potential impact on all our players, but only one – Ryan McLaren – has a contract.
“We have taken the decision as a club not to stand in his way and have also been made aware in the last week that somebody like Amjad Khan is attracting lots of interest.
“It’s still a moving feast, and we will try and accomodate that.”
Johnson touched on the idea of Twenty20 City Franchises where teams would represent big cities and Kent would have no direct involvement.
He told the meeting the county would have benefited by £1million had it gone ahead, even though Kent would have had no direct involvement.
THREE members were re-elected to Kent’s general committee on Monday. John Clark (246 votes), Richard Collins (396) and outgoing president Peter Morgan (400).