Kent welcome respite from tough schedule
Captain James Tredwell says despite being bottom and without a win, Kent’s return to LV= County Championship, Division 2 action at Gloucestershire yesterday (Wednesday) will be a respite from the stresses of the t20 campaign. Kent have drawn six and lost two of their eight four-day games so far while they have lost all five Friends Life t20 matches – including three in four days culminating in a 62-run loss at Essex on Monday night. Tredwell said: “It’d be nice to have a bit of preparation time before, five games of t20 on the bounce and then one day before back-to-back championship games is tough for the lads. “It’s a different form, though. We go into championship cricket and look to pick that area of our game up. We’ve played some reasonable fourday cricket in recent weeks and been close (to the first win) on a couple of occasions.” Vernon Philander is set to make his championship debut for Kent with hopes high he can inspire the side to victory and Tredwell added: “It’s great to have him around. He’ll make a difference.” Brendan Nash, Daniel Bell-Drummond Calum Haggett, Ben Harmison and Charlie Shreck all returned to the side while Mark Davies, Mitch Claydon and Adam Riley missed out. Meanwhile, Tredwell has backed Ben Harmison to return to the t20 fold after being sacrificed for tactical reasons to allow the recall of Geraint Jones to the Spitfires side. Harmison had scored just 39 runs in his last five one-day appearances for the Spitfires and was visibly frustrated at the crease in his last appearance on Friday night against Essex. He was replaced in the side by Jones – who had been told to expect to miss the t20 campaign – at Middlesex on Sunday, with Jones taking the gloves from Sam Billings, who had kept wicket in the opening three games. Tredwell admitted: “We’ve got ourselves in a bit of a rut in that top order which put pressure on the middleorder. Ben’s a classical sort of player and he was finding it difficult with the different roles he was being asked to play in t20. “He’s been going pretty well in four-day cricket and we want that to continue. We have him for at least another year and want good things from him. “It was more of a tactical decision. We needed something else in that middleorder. He was frustrated with his roles and we felt Jonah was better equipped to be able to fill those roles. “Jonah knew he could be called upon at any point. We took that initial decision, by Sam keeping, which opened up the spot to enable us to keep Harmy in the team but that didn’t work. Whether it was right or wrong, we went back to Jonesy for the balance of the team. “He (Sam) could have kept keeping but, with respect to Jonesy, Sam’s a better fielder than he is. We have learned from everything.”
Edwards (pictured) will lead England into an Ashes series for the fourth time after being named alongside four of her Kent colleagues in the initial squad for the 2013 series. After helping her country win the Ashes for the first time in seven series in 2005, Edwards skippered the side for the victory on the trip Down Under in 2007/08, the drawn series in England in 2009 which retained the trophy and the single Test defeat in Australia in 2010/11 which saw the hosts regain the title. Kent Academy scholar Natasha Farrant is in the initial 18-player squad while Tammy Beaumont, Lydia Greenway and Laura Marsh are also included. The series will comprise one Test, three oneday internationals and three t20 matches. The winners of the Test will be awarded six points while two points go to the winners of each limited overs match, with the team scoring the most points in total claiming the trophy.