County news January 30, 2012

Kent arrange pre-season Antigua trip

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kent have become the latest county to indicate a preference for Caribbean sunshine over spring showers in England by organising a ten-day training camp in Antigua as part of their preparations for the new county season. Recently appointed head coach Jimmy Adams - the Jamaica-born former West Indies captain who is due to start in his position in February - will lead the players on their first pre-season visit to the Caribbean.

The trip, which will begin on March 7, has been arranged with assistance from the Antigua Tourist Board and follows the decisions of Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Hampshire and Derbyshire to go on pre-season tours of Barbados.

Kent's captain Rob Key said the camp would allow the 14 players and four support staff an opportunity to practise without fear of disruption by the English weather.

"With our first Championship match very early in April, against Yorkshire at Headingly, we needed to guarantee that we could get uninterrupted pre-season training, on good wickets," he said. "Sadly this can't be taken for granted in England and among the various options available to us, Antigua ticked the most boxes."

Missing from the touring party will be several of the squad's younger players, as well as Geraint Jones, who will be turning out for Papua New Guinea in their attempts to qualify for this year's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Kent have also announced three pre-season fixtures for after their return from the Caribbean. The county will play one-day games against Middlesex at Beckenham on March 23, and Glamorgan at Canterbury on March 27. That will be followed by a two-day game against Glamorgan on March 28-29, also at the St Lawrence Ground.