Coles puts him­self to test with cham­pi­ons

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS & FEATURE - By Joshua Peck

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.”

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