County cricket 2006 October 21, 2005

Key named as Kent's new captain


Robert Key: keen to resume Test cricket © Getty Images

Robert Key has been named as Kent's new captain for the 2006 season, and believes the appointment can help him regain his place in the England batting line-up.

Key, 26, played the last of his 15 Tests against South Africa during the 2004-05 tour of South Africa and has not been selected for the forthcoming trip to Pakistan. However, after succeeding David Fulton at Canterbury, Key was adamant that his new duties could help him in his quest to get back into the Test side.

"I am thrilled to have been asked to captain Kent and look forward to giving it my best shot," said Key. "I remain committed to getting back into the England side and am sure that my added responsibilities at Kent will help me do this."

Kent, who were in the running to take the 2005 title, eventually finished fifth in the County Championship but a lowly eighth (out of nine teams) in the one-day totesport League second division. But Key said that with the former England left-arm spinner, Min Patel, as his vice-captain, Kent could expect an upturn in their one-day fortunes.

"Min and I will work together. He has committed himself to all forms of cricket and I hope we can play positive championship cricket and make amends of our recent poor performances in one-day competitions."

Graham Johnson, Kent's chairman of cricket, added: "We conducted a rigorous process before reaching this conclusion - we studied a range of captaincy options, including overseas candidates. Having considered suitability and availability of all the contenders we decided to ask Rob to take on the role and I am delighted he has accepted the challenge of leading us in 2006.

"We need to redouble our efforts in the championship whilst reinventing ourselves as a one-day force. We were impressed by how much desire both Rob and Min have to want to shape and be part of a successful Kent team and how much they are up for the job."