County news April 24, 2008

Kemp arrives to fight ban

Cricinfo staff

Justin Kemp hopes to bring his big hitting to Kent after his appeal © Getty Images
Justin Kemp, the former South Africa allrounder, is confident he will be able to successfully appeal the ECB's ban on his Kent deal and resume his county career. Kemp was one of four players, including Wavell Hinds, Johan van der Wath and Andrew Hall, barred from taking up their positions at the beginning of the season after their participation in the Indian Cricket League.

But Kemp has flown into the UK and joined up with his Kent team-mates so he can train and maintain his fitness should be become available. His appeal is being heard next week at Lord's and Kemp said he wants to put everything into playing for Kent.

"I think everyone who knows me or has had dealing with me in the past knows my desire to play for Kent is huge," he told the Kent Messenger. "I have been approached by one or two other counties to play in England, but I've played some of my best cricket for Kent and Kent is where I want to be.

"I've signed up for two years and I'm already looking longer-term than that because I'm in an environment here where I can really enjoy myself. It has been nerve racking for me and I am disappointed at not being allowed to play, but hopefully things can all be resolved next Wednesday and things will sort themselves out.

"I'd like to think that me being over here more than a week ahead of the appeal hearing is a clear indication of how strongly I want to play for the club."

He adds that his priority was always with Kent and he wouldn't have taken up the ICL offer if he'd known the problems it would cause. At one stage during the last ICL tournament he remained in his hotel room in case taking the field for Hyderabad Heroes added to his problems.

"I would never have made the decision to play in India if I had known at the time I was putting my career with Kent into any jeopardy whatsoever," he said. "That's clear with all my dealings, before I did anything I spoke with Kent first."

The difficulty Kemp is facing is because he'd played international cricket, at the ICC World Twenty20, within 12 months of the April 1 cut-off for registrations.