Latham joins Rabada as Kent build squad

Cricket

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sports -

Kent have signed New Zealand opener Tom Latham as a se­cond over­seas player for 2016.

The 23-year-old left­hander av­er­ages 39 in his 18 Test ap­pear­ances for the Black Caps and made a half-cen­tury against Aus­tralia two weeks ago.

Latham is also an ac­com­plished back-up wick­et­keeper, hav­ing kept against Eng­land in the first Test at Lord’s last sum­mer af­ter an in­jury to BJ Watling.

Af­ter Latham’s sign­ing was con­firmed on Tues­day lunchtime, the Kiwi said: “I’m de­lighted to have joined Kent for the sea­son. Play­ing county cricket has al­ways been a goal of mine. I’ve heard great things about the play­ing group and coach­ing staff, so I can’t wait to get started and help the boys push for some sil­ver­ware.”

The sign­ing fol­lows last week’s deal for young South African pace bowler Kag­iso Rabada, 20. Head coach Jimmy Adams said: “We’re de­lighted to have Tom play­ing with us this sea­son. He brings valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence gained from play­ing at in­ter­na­tional level across all for­mats.”

Rabada is set to ar­rive in June and sub­ject to ap­proval from the Black Caps, Latham is ex­pected to join af­ter the sea­sonopener at Worces­ter on April 10 and stay with the club un­til mid-Au­gust, when New Zealand face a home Test se­ries against South Africa.

lead­ing Kent play­ers flew to In­dia on Mon­day as prepa­ra­tions for the sea­son step up.

Joe Denly, Matt Coles, James Tred­well and Adam Ri­ley joined Char­lie Hart­ley, Hugh Bernard and Sam Weller on a 10-day trip where they will train in warm weather at the Global Cricket School in Mum­bai.

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