Coles puts himself to test with champions
MATT Coles has crossed the Thames to join county champions Essex on a twoyear deal from Kent.
Coles, 27, made his Kent debut in 2009 after coming through the county’s age group squads and academy.
The all-rounder joined Hampshire on loan in August 2013 before signing permanently on a threeyear deal. His spell on the south coast was cut short though by mutual agreement.
Coles returned to Kent just 18 months later and in total made 212 appearances in all formats, taking 439 wickets. He claimed 32 Championship wickets last season at an average of 41.03 and scored 304 runs (21.71) with one halfcentury.
Coles said: “It’s with a heavy heart that I leave Kent. It’s been my home and family for most of my life.
“But I have a great opportunity to move and play Division One cricket with the County Champions.
“It feels right, and I want to push myself to be as good as I can be. Essex’s vision for the future is really exciting and I’m looking forward to playing a significant part.”
Essex head coach Chris Silverwood added: “It is important that we continue to improve the squad and not rest on our laurels.
“We feel Matt offers excellent attributes with both his batting and bowling across all formats.
“He will strengthen competition in red-ball cricket but also offer destructive batting and bowling in white-ball cricket so it is an excellent signing for the club.”