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Kent County Cricket Club

Kent County Cricket Club
File:Kent CCC logo.svg
One-day name: Kent Spitfires
Captain: 23x15px Robert Key
Coach: 23x15px Jimmy Adams
Founded: 1842
Home ground: The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence
Capacity: 15,000
Chief executive: 23x15px Jamie Clifford
First-class debut: Sussex
in 1825
at Hove
First class wins: 7 (1 shared)
Limited overs cricket wins: 7
T20 wins: 1
Official website: Official website

Kent County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first class county cricket clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the historic county of Kent. The club's limited overs team is called the Kent Spitfires after the Supermarine Spitfire.

The club plays most of its home matches at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in Canterbury, but also plays some home matches at The County Cricket Ground, Beckenham and the Nevill Ground, Royal Tunbridge Wells where they host the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week.


First XI honours

Second XI honours

  • Second XI Championship (7) - 1961, 1969, 1970, 1976, 2002, 2005, 2006; shared (1) - 1987
  • Second XI Trophy (1) - 2002
  • Minor Counties Championship (2) - 1951, 1956


For Kent County Cricket Club's first-class records, see List of Kent first-class cricket records.
For Kent County Cricket Club's List A records, see List of Kent List A cricket records.
For Kent County Cricket Club's Twenty20 records, see List of Kent Twenty20 cricket records.



For details of Kent county teams before the formation of Kent County Cricket Club, see Kent county cricket teams.

Kent, jointly with Sussex, is believed to be the birthplace of cricket. It is widely held that cricket was invented by children living on the Weald in Saxon or Norman times. The game's earliest tentative reference, re creag in 1300, relates to Newenden in Kent.

Further information: History of cricket to 1725

The first definite mention of cricket in Kent concerned a match at Chevening in 1610 between teams from the Weald and the Downs.

Cricket became established in Kent during the 17th century and the earliest village matches took place before the English Civil War. It is believed that the earliest county teams were formed in the aftermath of the Restoration in 1660. In 1705, West of Kent played Chatham at Malling. The first recorded inter-county match took place in 1709 between Kent and Surrey.

Kent had strong teams throughout the 18th century, often challenging All-England. The county had several famous patrons including Lord John Sackville, his son John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset and Sir Horatio Mann. In the latter half of the 18th century, Kent and Surrey were the only counties that could realistically challenge the power of Hambledon.

In the 1822 MCC versus Kent match at Lord’s, John Willes of Kent opened the bowling and was no-balled for using a roundarm action, a style he had attempted to introduce since 1807. Willes promptly withdrew from the match and refused to play again in any important fixture. His action proved the catalyst for the so-called "roundarm revolution".

In 1837 Kent was unofficially proclaimed the "champion county" and had the most successful team through most of the 1840s. Mainstays of the Kent team in those years included Alfred Mynn, Fuller Pilch, Nicholas Wanostrocht aka "Felix", Ned Wenman and William Hillyer. William Jeffrey Prowse wrote these famous lines about the Kent side, as part of his poem In Memoriam, Alfred Mynn:

And with five such mighty cricketers, t'was but natural to win,
As Felix, Wenman, Hillyer, Fuller Pilch, and Alfred Mynn.


On 6 August 1842, formation of the original Kent County Cricket Club took place in Canterbury. The new Kent CCC played its initial first-class match against All-England at the White Hart Ground in Bromley on 25, 26 & 27 August 1842. In 1847 the club began using the St Lawrence Ground. On 1 March 1859, a substantial reorganisation occurred to create the present Kent CCC.

Kent enjoyed two periods of prolonged success: the first in the years before World War I, when in the space of eight seasons they were county champions four times. The pavilion at Tunbridge Wells was burned down by Suffragettes in April 1913. Though valuable records were lost the Pavilion was rebuilt in 9 weeks, the funds raised by public subscription. The bowling of Colin Blythe and the captaincy of Cloudesley Marsham, and later Ted Dillon were key factors in Kent's decade of success. They remained highly consistent until the 1930s, with high quality players such as Tich Freeman, Frank Woolley, Wally Hardinge and Les Ames all playing at the peak of their career. Kent ran up 803 for 4 dec against Essex CCC at Brentwood in 1934 with Bill Ashdown scoring 332, Ames 202* and Woolley 172. The total took seven hours, with 623 runs alone on the first day. Arthur Fagg scored two double centuries in the same match for Kent against Essex CCC at Colchester in 1938, while Woolley scored over 2,000 runs for Kent in 1935 aged 48. He retired in 1938 with 58,959 runs, 145 centuries, 2066 wickets and 1018 catches to his name. Doug Wright, who took over 2000 wickets with his brisk leg breaks and googlies between 1932 and 1957, took his 7th hat trick in 1949, the most ever.

Former Kent CCC logo

Kent did not become successful again until the 1970s, when they claimed ten domestic trophies, including the County Championship title in 1970, 1978 and a shared title in 1977. They also claimed the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1973, 1976, 1978, and the Gillette Cup in 1974. Their success was this time due to the batting of Brian Luckhurst, Asif Iqbal and Colin Cowdrey.

Kent have become well known for producing high-quality wicket-keepers. Les Ames, Godfrey Evans, Alan Knott, Paul Downton and Geraint Jones have all progressed from the Kent ranks to the English national side.

Recent history

In the 2006 season, Kent finished fifth in Division One of the County Championship while the Spitfires were fifth in the NatWest Pro40 League Division Two. On 4 August 2007, Kent won the Twenty20 Cup for the first time, defeating co-favourites Sussex in the semi-finals, captain Rob Key hitting 68 not out. In the final they defeated Gloucestershire in a see-saw game where in the final over, chasing 148, they required 13 off the last over, before making it home with 2 balls to spare, Matthew Walker hitting 45 and Darren Stevens hitting 30 not out to see the Spitfires home. Earlier in the final, Ryan McLaren got a hat-trick. On 27 September 2008, Kent were relegated from the First to the Second Division of the County Championship for the first time.

Players with most first-class appearances

Further information: List of Kent cricketers

Club presidents

Club captains


Current squad

  • No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
  • File:Double-dagger-14-plain.png denotes players with international caps.
  •   *  denotes a player who has been awarded a county cap.
No. Name Nationality Birth date Batting Style Bowling Style Notes
4 Robert KeyFile:Double-dagger-14-plain.png 23x15px England (1979-05-12) 12 May 1979 (age 36) Right-handed Right arm off break Club Captain
6 Joe Denly 23x15px England (1986-03-16) 16 March 1986 (age 29) Right-handed Right arm leg break
10 Alex Blake 23x15px England (1989-01-25) 25 January 1989 (age 27) Left-handed Right arm medium-fast
17 Sam Northeast* 23x15px England (1989-10-16) 16 October 1989 (age 26) Right-handed Right arm off break Vice-captain
23 Daniel Bell-Drummond 23x15px England (1993-08-03) 3 August 1993 (age 22) Right-handed Right arm medium
30 Fabian Cowdrey 23x15px England (1993-01-30) 30 January 1993 (age 23) Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
40 Brendan NashFile:Double-dagger-14-plain.png Template:Country data Jamaica (1977-12-14) 14 December 1977 (age 38) Left-handed Left arm medium Kolpak registration
3 Darren Stevens* 23x15px England (1976-04-30) 30 April 1976 (age 39) Right-handed Right arm medium
21 Ben Harmison 23x15px England (1986-01-09) 9 January 1986 (age 30) Left-handed Right arm medium-fast
24 Adam Ball 23x15px England (1993-03-01) 1 March 1993 (age 22) Right-handed Left arm fast-medium
25 Calum Haggett 23x15px England (1990-10-30) 30 October 1990 (age 25) Left-handed Right arm medium-fast
26 Matt Coles* 23x15px England (1990-05-26) 26 May 1990 (age 25) Left-handed Right arm fast-medium
7 Ryan Davies 23x15px England (1993-11-05) 5 November 1993 (age 22) Right-handed
20 Sam Billings 23x15px England (1991-06-15) 15 June 1991 (age 24) Right-handed
5 Ivan Thomas 23x15px England (1991-09-25) 25 September 1991 (age 24) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast
8 Mitchell Claydon 23x15px England (1982-11-25) 25 November 1982 (age 33) Left-handed Right arm medium-fast
11 Imran Qayyum 23x15px England (1993-05-23) 23 May 1993 (age 22) Right-handed Slow left-arm orthodox
14 Matt Hunn 23x15px England (1994-03-22) 22 March 1994 (age 21) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium
15 James TredwellFile:Double-dagger-14-plain.png 23x15px England (1982-02-27) 27 February 1982 (age 33) Left-handed Right arm off break
18 David Griffiths 23x15px England (1985-11-10) 10 November 1985 (age 30) Left-handed Right arm fast-medium
19 Sam Weller 23x15px England (1994-11-21) 21 November 1994 (age 21) Right-handed Right arm fast-medium
22 Charlie Hartley 23x15px England (1994-01-04) 4 January 1994 (age 22) Right-handed Right arm medium-fast
33 Adam Riley 23x15px England (1992-03-23) 23 March 1992 (age 23) Right-handed Right arm off break


^ a: An unofficial seasonal title proclaimed by consensus of media and historians prior to December 1889 when the official County Championship was constituted; for titles claimed by Kent teams before the county club was founded, see Kent county cricket teams
^ b: Formerly known as the Gillette Cup (1963–1980), NatWest Trophy (1981–2000) and C&G Trophy (2001–2006)
^ c: Geraint Jones played Test Matches, One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals for England (2004–2006) and for Papua New Guinea in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers


  1. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  2. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive". Retrieved 2013-05-04. 
  3. ^ Kent County Cricket Club Annual 2007. p. 268. 


  • F S Ashley-Cooper, Kent Cricket Matches 1719–1880, Gibbs & Sons, 1929
  • Rowland Bowen, Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
  • Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, volumes 3–11 (1841–1870), Lillywhite, 1862–79
  • The History of Kent County Cricket Club; Dudley Moore. 1988. ISBN 0-7470-2209-7
  • Playfair Cricket Annual
  • Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

External links