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Coles' behaviour investigated by Kent

Matt Coles has missed successive NatWest Blast and Championship matches Getty Images

The turbulent career of Matt Coles, Kent's roistering allrounder, has taken another downturn as the county considers how best to deal with his conduct during a Championship match in Cardiff last week.

Coles' behaviour was discussed at length on Monday by Kent officials, including the chief executive Jamie Clifford and chairman of the cricket committee Graham Johnson, as the fallout threatened to harm Kent's season at a critical juncture.

Johnson was earlier pressed for an explanation of Coles' absence from the current Championship match against Derbyshire at a Members Forum at Canterbury as Kent press for promotion to Division One of the Specsavers Championship.

"Unavailable for selection" was Johnson's guarded reply, explaining that it was an employee-employer matter that had still to be fully resolved and which could not properly be divulged.

Coles faced the wrath of at least one Kent spectator when he arrived at the ground in the final session when an elderly female member wagged her finger and asked: "What have you been up to now?" It is not the first time he will have been asked that question.

Coles' last Championship match was a rain-hit four-day affair against Glamorgan in Cardiff last week. As a direct result of events in Cardiff, he then missed the NatWest Blast tie against Middlesex in Canterbury on Friday night in which Middlesex rattled up 210 for 6 - the fifth defeat in seven for a Kent side who began the T20 season with such high hopes.

They now face two critical opportunities to turn around their Blast campain - Sussex at Canterbury on Thursday with a trip to Chelmsford to face Essex the following day - with no indication as yet as to whether Coles, a hard-hitting batsman as well as strike bowler, will be available.

His absence from the Championship match has also had an impact with a weakened attack struggling to contain Derbyshire, who started this match second bottom of Division Two but who finished the second day in a strong position: 88 runs behind Kent's first innings of 379 with seven wickets intact.

Coles has already faced one suspension this season - one where Kent defended him strenuously. He was banned for two Championship games by the ECB for "throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner" - a Level Two breach of the ECB's disciplinary code - during Kent's win against Glamorgan. Video footage of the incident suggested that the penalty was severe.

That incident triggered an automatic suspension because he had accumulated 12 penalty points from the ECB within a two-year period. He was previously reprimanded for a Level One breach in August 2014 and a Level Two breach in September the same year.

Coles left Kent for Hampshire in 2013 but made the return trip by mutual consent before the 2015 season after completing only one year of a three-year contract. A cryptic club statement said the 24-year-old had not "settled as he, or we, would have liked".

He went back to his home county, with the captain at the time, Rob Key, convinced that his talents could be harnessed and calling him a player of England potential. Key, a positive influence, has since retired and taken up a role with Sky TV's cricket commentary team.

Coles vowed to get his career back on track and told ESPNcricinfo that perceptions of him were unfair and openly dismissed talk of a drink problem.

His reputation had also taken a battering when he was sent home early from a Lions tour in 2013, along with Ben Stokes, by Andy Flower for what was deemed "unprofessional conduct" - namely persistent late-night drinking. David Parsons, the ECB's performance director, said at the time: "On a very challenging tour to Australia, both Matt and Ben have ignored the instructions given to them around their match preparation and recovery."

Since then Stokes has got his career back on track to become an integral part of England's set-up, but Coles, although capable of impressive matchwinning flourishes with bat and ball which make him one of most entertaining cricketers around, has not made the same impact.